Saturday, April 9, 2016


Last week, in looking through more items in the Bullis collection, we came across the photo below.

Do you recognize any of the men in the photo?  There's a poem written above the photo:

"Never Lose an old friend,

No Matter what the cause,

We wouldn't ever do it

If we didn't look for flaws.

The only thing worth while having

Is the friend who's stood the test

And who has such a friend as this

Knows friendship at its best."

At the bottom of the photo is a lengthy list of names and this photo information:

1880  Christmas  1925
St. Petersburg FL
10-12-1923, 5 PM
Ramona Heights

If you think you might be able to identify any of these men, and/or know how any of them are connected to the Bullis family, please contact us.  If you're not sure, we'll be glad to show you that long list of names (31, to be exact).

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Earth Day is April 22nd. To honor this worldwide event that dates back to 1970, we are planning a display of some of the Bullis books and catalogs on gardening, farming, and landscaping.

Choosing which books to put in the display case is not an easy task.  There are so many volumes with interesting content and illustrations.  And although we've been cautioned not to judge a book by its cover, some of these older books have such decorative covers, it's hard not to instantly declare them "spectacular," before we've even opened them.  However, we're usually not disappointed when we do look inside and see the striking photographs and drawings.

Also, the content of these books is informative and helpful, even though it may be dated. For example, if you're thinking of planting some trees as an Earth Day observance, the Bullis collection has several books on that subject. And there is even a book on effectively using manure for fertilizing those new growths.

The Earth Day display should be ready by early next week. So please plan to stop by during April to feast your eyes on the colorful illustrations and to get some "old" tried-and-true ideas that you can use in a "new" way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016



In honor of Women's History Month, the display case outside the Bullis Room is now full of books by women authors. Please be sure to stop by in the next couple of weeks, to see just a few of  over 250 books in the collection written by women.

And since some of us have been seeing little green stuff popping up out of the ground, it's time to once again take a look at the Bullis books on Spring bulbs as well as the general gardening books. You'll see some of these books in the display case in the months to come. In the meantime, you can stop by the Bullis Room and take advantage of the tried and true gardening advice in the books on Shelf FF (the center shelf, on your left as you enter the room.

And while in the Bullis Room, please be sure to sign the Guest Register that is on a table by the door. There's space for comments, too, and we'd love to see what books you found useful as well as other thoughts you'd like to share with us.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Last month, Bulls Room volunteers talked about how to recognize and observe International Women's Day (March 8) and Women's History Month (March). We decided to start by making a list women authors in the Bullis collection.

The spreadsheet is still in process and so far we have 245 items, which include well-known as well as lesser-known women authors. Here are some of the titles that have attracted our attention and are on our "must take a closer look" list:

Costumes of Colonial Times, Alice Earl (NY, 1894)
Gleanings from Old Shaker Journals, Clara Endicott Sears (Boston, 1916)
Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Ida Harper, (Ind., 1899)
Memoirs of the Emperor Napoleon, Madam Junot (Washington, 1901)
Tales of New England, Sarah Orne Jewett (Boston, 1895)
Life of Abraham Lincoln, Ida Tarbell (NY, 1900)

Our next step is to display these books (and others) in the case outside the Bullis Room. We hope to have that completed tomorrow, so please stop by and see these books as well as others because they represent one of the many, many achievements of women in the past two centuries.

Monday, February 29, 2016


Well ... this year we have an extra day in February, which we can put to use in the Bullis Room working on our various projects, hoping to "catch up" a bit. It also means one more "official" day of our Black History Month and Presidents' Day display in the case outside the Bullis Room.

Then ... tomorrow officially begins another month and the display case will feature Bullis books by women authors in recognition of Women's History Month.

So ... we invite you to stop by the Bullis Room in March to view the display case and remember some of the great women authors of the past.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


As part of our Black History month, volunteers looked this researched Bullis books on the subject of the Sixteenth President of the United States and his role in the abolishment of slavery in this country. One document in the collection that immediately caught our eye is:

Memorial Address on the
Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln:
Delivered, at the request of both houses of the
congress of America, before them,
in the House of Representatives at Washington, 
on the 12th of February, 1866
by George Bancroft (1800-1891)
Published by Washington Government Printing Office, 1866

Here is a quote from  this message delivered 150 years ago yesterday:

"Jefferson and the leading statesmen of his day held fast to the idea that the enslavement of the African was socially, morally and politically wrong. The new school was founded exactly upon the opposite idea; and they resolved, first to distract the democratic party, for which the Supreme Court had furnished the means, and then to establish a new government, with negro slavery for its corner-stone as socially, morally and politically right.

The storm rose to a whirlwind; who should allay its wrath? The most experienced statesmen of the country had failed;  there was no hope from those who were great after the flesh; ... could relief come from one whose wisdom was like the wisdom of little children?

"The choice of America fell on a man born west of the Alleghenies in the cabin of poor people of Hardin County, Kentucky  -- Abraham Lincoln." (pages 15 and 16)

When you're in MPL this week, we suggest you take a closer look at this document.  We think you'll find it an interesting and informative read.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


If you haven't read Frederick Douglass's book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave,  we urge you to:

A) Stop by the Bullis Room and take a look at the collection's copy published in 1847 in Boston at the Anti-slavery office; and,
B) Get a copy (through PLS or your friendly online bookseller) and sit down for a good read.

This is a book that will grab your interest from the very beginning. In fact, a letter from the abolitionist Wendell Phillips, dated April 22, 1845, is printed in the Preface. In it, Phillips declares:

"I was glad to learn, in your story, how early the most neglected of God's children waken to a sense of their rights, and of the injustice done them. Experience is a keen teacher; and long before you had mastered your A B C, or knew where the 'white sails' of the Chesapeake were bound, you began, I see, to gauge the wretchedness of the slave, not by his hunger and want, not by his lashes and toil, but by the cruel and blighting death which gathers over his soul.

"In connection with this, there is one circumstance which makes your recollections peculiarly valuable, and renders your early insight the more remarkable. You come from that part of the country where we are told slavery appears with its fairest features. Let us hear, then, what it is at its best estate—gaze on its bright side, if it has one; and then imagination may task her powers to add dark lines to the picture, as she travels southward to that (for the colored man) Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the Mississippi sweeps along.

"Again, we have known you long, and can put the most entire confidence in your truth, candor, and sincerity. Every one who has heard you speak has felt, and, I am confident, every one who reads your book will feel, persuaded that you give them a fair specimen of the whole truth. No one-sided portrait,—no wholesale complaints,—but strict justice done, whenever individual kindliness has neutralized, for a moment, the deadly system with which it was strangely allied. You have been with us, too, some years, and can fairly compare the twilight of rights, which your race enjoy at the North, with that "noon of night" under which they labor south of Mason and Dixon's line. Tell us whether, after all, the half-free colored man of Massachusetts is worse off than the pampered slave of the rice swamps!"

Again, we strongly suggest you spend some time with Frederick Douglass's book which, according to the abolitionist Phillips, is written with truth, candor and sincerity.