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A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

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May 2017

I’m an archivist with a wandering eye…

thejoyofarchives

I’m an archivist with a wandering eye.

Yes, I admit it. As much as love, cherish, obsess over, and constantly think about archives, I cannot deny my love and passion for rare books! There, I said it. To make matters even more complicated, my love affair is exacerbated by my incredible job. Although I am the Outreach/Special Collections Archivist at the Kennesaw State University Archives, my job as evolved into a position that helps preserve and manage our university’s Bentley Rare Book Gallery. At this point, I’m probably my job is probably 60-70% archives and 30-40% Bentley. It is a love triangle that I am stuck in, and honestly, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to my career. Let me explain why. . .

Since starting my job at KSU, I’ve learned that I don’t have to view rare books and archives in isolation. During graduate…

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Rare Book Highlights: the oldest book

Source: Rare Book Highlights: the oldest book

A Tale of Types: William Caxton in Worcester Cathedral Library

Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive Blog

In Worcester Cathedral Library we have, amongst the collection of incunabula (i.e. printed books produced before 1501) a small but fascinating group of books or fragments printed by the father of English printing, William Caxton. These include two leaves from Caxton’s first edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, published in Westminster in 1478. These two leaves are recorded in a letter from the donor in 1919 as being “spare ones” in a copy of the first edition which he calls the “earliest and I think rarest of the Caxton books”. In addition the Library also has a small folio of fragments from what was effectively the fourth edition of Canterbury Tales, published from the same premises in Westminster in 1498 by Caxton’s successor Wynkyn de Worde.

Wynkyn de Worde was a native of Wörth in Alsace. He is believed to have been in Caxton’s…

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Incunable fragments

Eton College Collections

One of my recent tasks has been the identification and cataloguing of just over twenty loose sheets of printed material, found as fragments at ECL. Most of these are from ‘incunables’, books printed before 1500, when the printing process was in its infancy.  The rarity of printed books surviving from the 15th century means that even single sheets and fragments have been kept by collectors.

Although the ECL fragments are small and imperfect, they are each unique. For instance, most have had rubrics painted in by hand, so that they look more like the manuscripts fifteenth century readers were used to.  Some, like the fragment from Alphonso de Spina’s Fortaliter Fidei, even have beautiful decorated initials (whilst others, like the Dante, have gaps where painted initials should have been).

A list from the late 19th century identified some of the fragments, and I visited the Bodleian and…

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On 15th-Century Books; or, How I Learned to Pronounce “Incunabula”

Source: On 15th-Century Books; or, How I Learned to Pronounce "Incunabula"

“The Devil constantly roams the earth seeking someone to devour.”

Bernardinus deBusti, (1540-1513) Incipit Rosarium sermonum predicabilium per quadragesima[m] & totu[m] anni circulum: editum per vite venerabilis religiosum fratre[s] Bernardinu[m] de Busti ordinis sancti Francisci de obseruantia predicatore[m] doctissimu[m]. Pars prima Rosariu[m] (additions by Illuminatus Novariensis and Samuel Cassinensis) Venice... Continue Reading →

The London International Book Fair June THURSDAY 1ST FRIDAY 2ND SATURDAY 3RD

Olympia London Hammersmith Road London W14 8UX  James Gray Booksellers LLC 46 Hobbs Road Princeton Ma jamesgray2@me.com All books subject to prior sales. Prices in Pounds Sterling Credit cards encouraged    Here is a list of some of the books which I will be offering for sale.                         The First English […]

The London International Book Fair June THURSDAY 1ST FRIDAY 2ND SATURDAY 3RD

Olympia London Hammersmith Road London W14 8UX  James Gray Booksellers LLC 46 Hobbs Road Princeton Ma jamesgray2@me.com All books subject to prior sales. Prices in Pounds Sterling Credit cards encouraged    Here is a list of some of the books which... Continue Reading →

Seven books in english which are barely represented in North American Libraries!

All of the books in today’s blog are represented in fewer than 6 libraries in North America. 700G      F.G. = Gregory, Francis .     1625?-1707     Oνομασικὸν βραχύ      (Onomastikon brachy)  sive. Nomenclatura brevis Anglo-Latino-Græca. In usum scholæ Westmonasteriensis. Per F.G. Editio duodecima emendata. Together with Examples of the five declensions of nouns; with the […]

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