Pennsylvania Publishers in our PA Imprints Collection – Lebanon-Orwigsburg

Here is the new installment on the preliminary list of imprints from Pennsylvania cities and towns. It comes from the online catalog of the “Pennsylvania Imprints to 1865” collection in the Rare Collections Library at the State Library of Pennsylvania.

This is a preliminary list.  Printers and publishers are mixed together here.  And some names will eventually either be merged with or separated from similar names (see, for example, the Millers in New Berlin).  Finally, note that the printer’s/publisher’s names are listed here as they appear in the library catalog and are not taken directly from the books themselves (library cataloging rules have directed past catalogers to enter “Blogger” or “S. Blogger” for “Samuel Blogger” and this means you can’t always tell exactly what is printed on the title page just by looking in the catalog).

Lebanon – Joseph Hartman – 1815-1842
Lebanon – Samuel Miller – 1839-1840
Lebanon – H.B. Sage; Heinrich Sage – 1809-1810
Lebanon – J. C. Schmidt und C. und J. Licht – 1831
Lebanon – Jacob Schnee; J. Schnee – 1809-1813
Lebanon – Joseph Schnee; J. Schnee – 1808-1814
Lebanon – Jacob Stover für J. Schnee – 1811-1814
Lewistown – Charles Bell and Sons – 1831
Lewistown – Edward Cole – 1804
Lewistown – Hickok & Shugert – 1834
Lewistown – J. W. Shugert – 1836
Lewistown – Shugert & Cummings – 1832
Manayunk – Richard Beresford – 1849
Meadville – Thomas Atkinson – 1816-1817 [same person as next name?]
Meadville – Thomas Atkinson, printer – 1831-1832
Meadville – Wm. McLaughlin – 1835
Mechanicsburg – [anon.] – 1837-1838
Millgrove – Gedruckt von S. und S. Siegfried’s – 1834
Milton – at the Office of the State’s Advocate, Tweed & Kincaid Print. – 1827
Milton – Printed at the Office of “The Miltonian” – 1818
Milton – The State’s Advocate – 1830
Milton – S. Wilson and T. C. Slack – 1837
Montrose – [anon.] – 1846
Nazareth – A. W. Senseman – 1839
New Berlin – H. Fischer – 1848
New Berlin – Francis Frank – 1839-1840
New Berlin – D. Hachenberg – 1831
New Berlin – Hammer – 1839
New Berlin – Joseph Miller; G. Miller; Sal. G. Miller – 1830-1840
New Berlin – S. Miller und H. Niebel; Salom. Miller und Henrich Niebel; George Miller  – 1817-1820
New Berlin – J. C. Reissner, J. C. Reiszner – 1844-1846
New London – E. E. Orvis – 1851
Norristown – Wills, Iredell & Jenkins, printers – 1865
Norristown – David Sower – 1801-1818
Norristown – D. Sower, Jr. – 1825
Norristown – James Winnard – 1807-1814
Northampton – A. A. u. W. S. Blumer – 1834
Northampton – bey Augustus Gräter, Buchhändler – 1834
Northampton County – Kleckner, Rolf und Williams – 1841
Northumberland – John Binns – 1805-1806
Northumberland – Andrew Kennedy; A. Kennedy – 1799-1805
Octoraro – Francis Bailey – 1805-1807
Octoraro – J. Steele – 1787
Orwigsburg – Thoma und May – 1828

Published in: on 20 August 2007 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

M. Vattemare Also Gave to Pennsylvania

The August 2007 issue of American Libraries has an article about the 19th century Frenchman Monsieur Alexandre Vattemare, ventriloquist and library supporter.  It describes the man’s interesting career, and focuses on his having pretty well founded the Boston Public Library.

Vattemare supported other libraries in the United States, as well, including the State Library of Pennsylvania.  Just two days before the issue of AL arrived at my home, I was looking at the “Report of the State Librarian to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, with a Catalogue of Books, for the year 1854” and serendipitously saw mention of “A catalogue of books received in exchange from M. Vattemare.”  Remembering that when I read the article, I went back to look more closely at the Librarian’s report.

Here’s what State librarian Wm. R. De Witt had to say about the exchange:

“Several years since, M. Vattemare, the agent for “international exchanges,” sent to the library, in exchange for books received, a number of books in the French, German and Latin languages.  So far as the Librarian can ascertain, there was no list kept of the books given or received.  He has, however, collected all he could recognize as received from M. Vattemare, and herewith sends a catalogue of them.  Other Librarians have acknowledged their indebtedness to M. Vattemare’s agency in adding to their libraries the most valuable productions of the foreign press.”

(The State Librarian then goes directly into suggesting the use of duplicates from the Library’s collection as the foundation for a further exchange program, and the need for a larger acquisitions budget.)

The printed list includes several hundred volumes received, about half of which are identified as “documents” and half as “miscellaneous.”

The oldest dated item in the ‘catalogue’ is Mariale eximii viri Bernardini de Busti ordinis seraphici fracisi …. printed in Lyon by Johannis Cleyn in 1511.  Our call number for the item is RB 232.931 B969m 1511.  It looks like there are several earlier editions of this work and at least two later editions, and that the only other OCLC library holding a copy of this particular edition is the Newberry.  Our copy can be a wonderful teaching tool in a class on the history of the book.

Thank you, Monsieur Vattemare!

Published in: on 17 August 2007 at 8:17 am  Leave a Comment  

No Wands Necessary

We were recently given a copy of Albertus Magnus: Approved and Verified, Both Sympathetic and Natural Egyptian Secrets for Man and Beast…. 3 vols. Bound together.  Translated from the German.  Harrisburg, Pa. : n.p., 1875.  There are already copies on our shelves, both in German and English, that were published elsewhere (Allentown, Pa., 1869; New York, n.d.; and Toledo [Ohio], n.d.).  But perhaps this can bear a second look.

Some of the cures might well work.  For example,

“To Drive away Lice: Fishberry and lard mixed together, and the head anointed therewith.”  (vol. 2, p. 40)  [Fishberry:  Cocculus indicus, the fruit of Anamirta cocculus, used for stupefying fish (OED)]


“To Destroy Mice: In such food as they may like, mix mercury or burnt lead, or particles of iron produced by forging or black hellebore.” (vol. 1, p. 33)

Some cures I don’t even want to copy out because the ingredients and uses sound even more caustic and dangerous than that.

Other cures involve complicated prayers or writing charms on pieces of paper for the afflicted person or animal to wear.  Most of these involve invoking the name of the Holy Trinity.  These are apparently especially useful when warding off witches.

Then there are the ones that – you never know — just might work, such as

“To facilitate healthy sleep: Procure two rabbit ears, place them under the pillow of a person who cannot sleep, without his knowledge.” (vol.3, page 17)

And the ones you just wish would work (and really cause one to wonder how they ever got included in the first place), such as

“To Make Yourself Invisible: Pierce the right eye of a bat, and carry it with you, and you will be invisible.” (vol. 2, p. 53)

or, if that doesn’t work, try

“To make Oneself invisible: You must obtain the ear of a black cat, boil it in the milk of a black cow, then make a thumb cover of it, and wear it on the thumb and no one will be able to see you.” (vol. 1, p. 32).

Since these are all (according to the title, anyway) “approved and verified” it kind of makes one wonder whether the Harry Potter books really ought to be classed in fiction.  Makes one really want to know what the original readers thought.  When (if) these cures and charms didn’t work, did they blame themselves for not using enough fishberry, or the right kind of bat, or milk from a cow that wasn’t black enough?

Published in: on 14 August 2007 at 7:58 am  Comments (1)  

The More Things Change?

“Where are we to stop?  I ask, in God’s name, where are we to stop?  We have been plunged into this condition by the President of the United States, not by the people of the country.  It has been done by the President, not under the recommendation of General Taylor, but under his own stern, stubborn obstinate will.  Where, I repeat, are we to stop?  It is easy to plunge a country into war.  A weak, ambitious, imbecile President, by a single stroke of the pen, may get us into a long, expensive, ruinous war; but it demands all the sagacity, all the wisdom, all the true-hearted patriotism of the country to get us out of it.  The incendiary may set fire to our building, but it requires a multitude, with well-directed efforts to extinguish it.

“The President may hurl his country almost over the precipice; but it requires all the patriotism of all our wisest and best statesmen to save it.  I trust in God it will be saved.  Our only reliance is on the public virtue of the nation.  If that is not exercised, and exercised speedily, I cannot but foresee a dark and gloomy fate for the country.”

Oh, wait … this was written back in 1848.  About President James K. Polk, who had led the country into the Mexican-American War.  The ‘General Taylor’ mentioned was to become Polk’s successor in office: Zachary Taylor.

You can read the quote in context in Speech of Mr. R.W. Thompson, of Indiana, made during the debate on the bill to supply the deficiency of appropriations for the year ending June 30, 1848. Washington : Printed by J. & G.S. Gideon, 1848.  (in our Pamphlet Volume # 880)

Published in: on 7 August 2007 at 8:56 pm  Comments (1)  

A Peek at our Pamphlet Volumes

We have a collection of 2,670 bound volumes of pamphlets, each volume containing 8-30 items or so (the number varies widely).  There was a time in library history when it was deemed wise to bind together pamphlets in order to give them some physical strength so that the items could withstand the rigors of shelving and use.  So they were bound.  In rather random order.  One of the down sides to this practice is that identification and retrieval of the individual items became a problem, especially when the rudimentary cataloging these pamphlets had in our card catalog did not get transferred to our online catalog. 

At the State Library we are now cataloging the individual pamphlets so that they are under intellectual control and become retrievable.  We regularly discover individual pamphlets that are not recorded in OCLC’s WorldCat.  All the volumes are in the Rare Collections Library because of their age and scarcity. 

Here are the contents of one such volume of pamphlets – one that I pulled today for a researcher who was only interested in a single item therein:

The Confederate Defence of Morris Island, Charleston Harbor, by the Troops of South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, in the Late War Between the States, with a Map of Morris and Part of Folly Islands, and a Plan of Fort Wagner; Prepared from Official Reports and Other Sources / by Maj. Robert C. Gilchrist. 1884. (55 p.)

Catalog of the Kansas Territorial and State Documents in the Library of the State Historical Society, 1854-1898 / Prepared by Miss Zu Adams. 1900. (93 p.)

Of the Law and of Economics ; Address / Delivered by James W. Latta before the sixteenth annual convention of the National Association of Officials of Bureaus of Labor Statistics.  1900. (14 p.)

The Brief of the American Free Art League in Favor of the Removal of the Duties on Works of Art ; Submitted to the Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D.C. Nov. 28, 1908 / by The Executive Committee of the League.  1908.  (246 p.)

Address of Col. Charles Marshall, (Formerly Private Secretary and A.D.C. to General Robert E. Lee), of Baltimore Before the Va. Division of the Army of Northern Virginia at their Annual Meeting, held at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., October 29, 1874.  1875.  (23 p.)

A Refutation of the Charges Made Against the Confederate States of America of Having Authorized the Use of Explosive and Poisoned Musket and Rifle Balls During the Late Civil War of 1861-1865 / by Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden.  1879.  (13 p.)

A Normal School President on the Use of Books, Being an Address Read as the Annual Meeting of the National Education Association held at Cleveland, Ohio, June 29-July 3, and Printed in the Library Journal, August 1908 : How Far Should Courses in Normal Schools and Teachers’ Colleges Seek to Acquaint All Teachers with the Ways of Organizing and Using School Libraries? / by David Felmley.  1908  (8 p.)

 Der Internationale Druckschriften-Leihverkehr Zwischen den Bibliotheken : Separatabdruck aus dem Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen Begründet von Otto Hartwig / [by] Aksel Andersson.  N.d.  (15 p.) 

In Memoriam : Joseph Casey.  [1879]  (13 p.)

That’s about how any of these volumes run. Subjects all over the place; publication dates in no particular order; extent varying widely; foreign languages; and so on.  Fun to work with because one never knows what awaits when the cover is opened for the first time.  And especially fun to be able to offer them to researchers.

Published in: on 2 August 2007 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment