Friday, December 7, 2018

The Aura of the Original

Human body surrounded by glow of "Insensible Perspiration" In Special Collections, we sometimes get a bit obsessive about "aura,"that mystical energy that surrounds authentic historical artifacts. It is utterly context specific, and created solely from our cultural expectations, but it is still real. People get a tremendous rush from seeing the original and interacting with it. It opens people's minds to new ways of knowing, excites their imaginations, and, we think, makes them more likely to learn from their encounters. It is one of the reasons why active learning works so damn well in Special Collections.

So, we were delighted today to find a new term to express that "aura" from Ebenezer Sibly's A Key to Physic and the Occult Sciences (London: Printed for the Author, 1800?): "The Insensible Perspiration." It is just so much better than the sensible kind!

To learn more about it (with the original book, mind you!) ask for Rare RS81.C96.

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