19th Century Children’s Books Friday, Jul 6 2012 

This is one of  Lighthouse Books Rare Book Moments done by Michael Slicker. It’s a little hokey, very folksy, but he provides good information.

The Athenaeum’s Old Juvenile collection has many of the authors he mentions. We have numerous titles from Jacob Abbott’s Rollo series and books by Randolph Caldecott, the illustrator for whom the Caldecott Awards are named.

Fore-edge Paintings Monday, Nov 22 2010 

On December 3rd Christie’s in New York will be auctioning a private collection that includes hundreds of fore-edge paintings, those wonderful little paintings that appear when you fan the edges of some prior centuries books. (You must scroll a few screens in Christie’s slide-show before you can see the paintings on offer.)

The Boston Public Library has a digital gallery called On the Edge with high resolution images of fore-edge paintings in their collections.

And the Providence Athenaeum has this book:

Whenever the Collections Librarian displays this painting our guests always oohh and aahh.

Finally, here’s a 16 sec. video of someone opening a book with a fore-edge image:


Thanks Christina

Alice in Wonderland Wednesday, Mar 10 2010 

Lewis Carroll’s classic work has had so many manifestations over the years it is incredible. The current Tim Burton 3D extravaganza is just the latest. I can’t imagine trying to collect it all, but others have tried. The Private Library blog had a post by Linda Hedrick about collecting “all things Alice” that got me looking at our collection.

We have an assortment of editions in our special collections but the Macmillan, 1886, facsimile of the original ms of Alice’s Adventure Under Ground is my favorite. Here’s a sample with the author’s own illustrations:

Expression of Emotions by Charles Darwin Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

The University of Glasgow, Special Collections Department posts a book of the month page based on a book in their collection. Recently they did The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).

They make this material very accessible.  Well done.

Rare Book Trading Cards Tuesday, Dec 22 2009 

What? Like baseball? I guess it is ingenious. Another thing to collect, certainly cheaper than that first edition you were hoping to obtain. Book Patrol: A Haven for Book Culture is the source of this wonder and the rare book store who sell’s the cards, Between the Covers, is a hoot  of a website too. Enjoy!

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