Blog Posts tagged "libraries"



Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

We round up interesting stories about the rare book world being discussed this week. Shakespeare's First Folios Go on Tour The Folger Shakespeare Library has anounced the cities that are getting a First Folio as part of their ambitious plan to put a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio on display in every state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, in 2016. Read more to discover where your nearest First... [more]

Summary of a report by Terry Belanger on the conference “Acknowledging the Past, Forging the Future: National Colloquium on Library Special Collections” Organized by the Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve University 21-22 October 2014 Rare book and special collections librarians tend to be creatures of habit, with traditional migratory patterns. They flock (1) to the annual Rare Book... [more]

The following is an excerpt from the third chapter of Collecting, Curating, And Researching Writers' Libraries, A Handbook, edited by Richard Oram and Joseph Nicholson (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). This chapter deals with the role of the bookseller; other chapters deal with the roles of librarians, curators, and researchers, with accounts of some libraries, a list of authors' libraries preserved i... [more]

Each year the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) holds a four day Preconference focused on special collections. The location of the conference and the theme change annually; this year the event was held in Las Vegas and explored "space, place, and the artifact in special collections". The conference allows special collections libra... [more]

I'm from Maryland and John Waters is my favorite famous hometown boy. (I'm reading his new hitchhiking memoir Carsick now.) I serendipitously met him once at a gallery in P-town and he was just as engaging one-on-one as he is in this video—a recent interview from the LIVE from the NYPL series. Unsurprisingly, Waters is a great story-teller and in it, he talks about his book collection (think cou... [more]

The Library Company of Philadelphia, “America's oldest cultural institution,” traces its history back to the good offices of Benjamin Franklin, who was instrumental in establishing the Library Company in 1731. The Library Company has a storied history of course—it served as the first Library to Congress, was for years the largest public library in the United States, and today houses a first-... [more]

George Washington's personal copy of Acts of Congress is currently on display at Southern Methodist University's DeGolyer Library in Dallas, TX. The leather-bound book was published by the official printer of Congress in 1789, Washington's first year as President of the United States. This copy was custom-printed for Washington and contains his signature and handwritten annotations. Copies of the ... [more]

Russ Davidson, the former University of New Mexico Libraries' Latin American/Iberian curator donated $25,000 and pledged an additional $225,000 to the University Libraries to establish an endowment fund in honor of his longtime friend, Howard L. Karno. Howard was a preeminent Latin American bookseller and member of the ABAA who passed away last year. "I have long wanted to create an endowment that... [more]

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which monitors and reports hate and extremist groups in the U.S., has donated its 30 year collection of extremist materials to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. The 90 boxes of periodicals, pamphlets, flyers, and other documents will be added to the Library's Human Rights Archive. The mission of the Hu... [more]

It was announced in March that Joel Silver was appointed as Director of one of the country's foremost rare book libraries, Indiana University's Lilly Library. The Lilly Library houses over 400,000 rare books, 150,000 pieces of sheet music, and 7.5 million manuscripts. Some of the highlights include the New Testament of the Gutenberg Bible; the first printed edition of Canterbury Tales; George Was... [more]

Last May I posted about the construction of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, a research library that will act as a repository for Mount Vernon's vast collection of books, manuscripts, and archival materials and will include a wing that replicates Washington's own library. Mount Vernon has been raising funds for the construction and maintenance of the library, ... [more]

I've been taking a fabulous course on rare books through NYU SCPS and the greatest part about it is that each session features a guest lecturer and/or a trip. We have visited the Morgan Library & Museum, Christie's auction house, a rare bookseller's store (thanks for having us, James Cummins Bookseller!), and the New York Academy of Medicine. One of the best aspects of living in NYC is that you ar... [more]

The New York Public Library currently has an exhibit on display in its flagship building entitled Charles Dickens: The Key to Character. The exhibit "celebrates the power of Dickens's characters to be imagined ever anew, examining important precedents for his art of characterization as well as intersections between his personal and his literary creations." A few of the items on display are artwork... [more]

An extensive Ernest Hemingway collection compiled by a Mississippi physician was donated to the University of South Carolina Columbia and put on display at the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library for a special showing earlier this week. Edgar Grissom, the 70-year-old collector and donor, has worked for more than 50 years in his quest to compile all of Hemingway's English-language public... [more]


Pay Phone Libraries

By Janine Moodhe

One of Mr. Locke's pay phone libraries (via his blog) John H. Locke, a Manhattan architectural designer, has found a unique use for NYC phone booths: turn them into libraries. With the advent of cell phones and smart phones, the use of public telephones has taken a nosedive in recent years but 13,000 still remain on city streets. In July, the Department of Information Techonology and Telecommunic... [more]

Last year the city of Troy, Michigan was facing a serious funding deficit and considered closing the town's public library. Funding to save the library could have been raised through a "minuscule" tax increase, but powerful anti-tax groups in the area joined together to oppose it. That's when Leo Burnett Detroit, a local advertising agency, decided to support the library by creating a reverse psyc... [more]

A small exhibit at the University of South Carolina at Columbia is currently displaying Joseph Heller's workstation. Heller's desk, lamp, and the typewriter on which he composed many of his major works are set up in the Ernest F. Hollings Library, providing students and library visitors the unique opportunity to sit at his desk and even type on his well worn Smith-Corona. USC at Columbia has one o... [more]

While sorting through the returns pile last week, librarians at the Meath County library in Ireland came across a rare book that had been borrowed eighty years ago and never returned. The book was a pictorial record of the Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin in 1932 (notably, this was only 10 years after Ireland became a free state) and was borrowed from the library just a few months after the eve... [more]

William Haley, the son of Malcolm X's biographer Alex Haley, is asking Syracuse University to return a letter to his family and plans to make a legal claim if the request is denied. Alex Haley co-authored The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which he based on a series of in-depth interviews with the famed leader (Haley is also the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family). Mr. Haley died in 1992... [more]

Last April, ground was broken in Mount Vernon and construction of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington commenced. The library will be a repository for Mount Vernon's vast collection of books, manuscripts, and archival materials, and will be open to students, scholars, and other special groups. It is slated to open in September of 2013. Perhaps the most interesting ... [more]

This past February, librarians at the Russian State Polytechnical Museum Library in Moscow were preparing their collection for relocation to a temporary depository when they made a surprising discovery. Behind one of the emptied stacks a librarian noticed a plywood wall that sounded hollow when knocked upon. The cover was moved aside and revealed a number of books. As librarians dug deeper and rem... [more]

On May 1, Emory University's Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) opened the archive of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to the public. The SCLC was founded in 1957 by seminal civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. in response to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Black leaders in the southeast were cognizant that the boycott was the beginning of a much l... [more]

This Sunday, the Council of Friends of the Princeton University Library will be holding a Book Adoption Party, which will allow attendees to view a number of rare items from Princeton's special collections and give them a chance to 'adopt' these items. The money from each 'adoption' will go toward preservation efforts and adopters' names will be added to a plate that will serve as a permanent acco... [more]

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, a non-profit dedicated to "building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form", has broadened his preservation efforts to include the physical realm as well as the digital. He purchased a wooden warehouse just north of San Francisco to act as a repository for books, and he has spent $3 million thus far purchasi... [more]

The Center for Jewish History in New York, which houses the collections of the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, announced earlier this month that it will establish a rare books room with the $2.5M gift from the David Berg Foundation. The new rare books room will "provide the ... [more]

The Chicago-based Churchill Centre has donated $8 million to establish the first U.S. research center and library devoted to the legacy of Winston Churchill. The National Churchill Center and Library will be located on the campus of George Washington University and is slated to open between 2013 and 2015. Members of the Churchill Centre will collaborate on the collection that will be housed in the... [more]


Treasures of the Bodleian

By Janine Moodhe

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford has just undergone a $122 million renovation and is christening its new gallery with an exciting exhibition of the library's most precious holdings. Treasures of the Bodleian is an especially interesting exhibit because of its interactive nature. Curator Stephen Hebron asked each staff member of the library to choose their favorite, 'unmissable' ite... [more]

Click here to view a photos of "five architecturally impressive libraries". I was especially intrigued by the fact that Yale's rare book collection is housed in a building built with "marble sliced so thin that it allows filtered light into the interior of the building, while protecting the stacks from harmful ultraviolet radiation." Pretty cool stuff! I would love to see it in person. Houses for ... [more]

The Burns Library at Boston College has made a surprising discovery in their own Yeats archiveYeats' unpublished first play, Love and Death, written in 1884 when he was only 18 or 19 years of age. The play was hidden among boxes of journals, notebooks and correspondence that had been long overlooked. It was only last year when the play was re-discovered by the library as part of an in-house proje... [more]

Click here to read a Q & A with Robert Darnton, a cultural historian and the Director of Harvard University's library system, on the proposed Digital Public Library of America. Mr. Darnton made one comment in particular that speaks to worried murmurs in rare book trade: One thing we have learned from the new discipline known as “the history of the book” is that one means of communication does ... [more]

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