About the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in George Mason University Libraries serves the scholarly community and beyond. While our services are used mainly by students and faculty, we are open to the public for research or for personal interest. The SCRC staff is dedicated to preserving, organizing, and collecting various objects, books, and manuscripts. Members […]

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Melancholy, Phrensie, and Madnesse, Oh My!

In the 1600’s, Robert Burton wrote Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, to describe illnesses such as “phrensie,” “madnesse,” and lycanthropia or “wolfe madnesse.” Melancholy was defined by Burton as an illness that “goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, feare, griefe, passion, perturbation of the mid, any matter of care, discontent, or thought […]

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