Wrapping Up 2007 – part 2

Continuing last week’s summarization of researchers, we had email and telephone contacts from researchers and librarians (as well as librarians who are themselves researchers) at the following institutions:  
Harvard University
Dumbarton Oaks
Northwestern University
Princeton University
University of California – Berkeley
Brandywine River Museum
University of Michigan
New York University
Rosenbach Museum and Library

…and from the following other geographic locations: 
Washington, DC
North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY

…interested in researching such things as: vellum fragments used to bind our copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle

determining whether our set of the “Pages from the past. Portfolio set I: History of the written word” contained a leaf from an old Spanish manuscript which a professor and some colleagues are trying to reconstruct.  Unfortunately, our set of these leaves does not include that manuscript, but we were able to provide some important bibliographic clues to the creation and marketing of these sets, along with the current contact information ( now in Costa Rica!) of the man who sold them back in the 1960s – so that our researcher could continue the documentation of these sets of leaves;

for another researcher, a bit of “Greek papyrus” from the “Pages from the Past. Portfolio Set I, History of the Written Word” collection, which turns out to be Coptic, not Greek;

the “Daily X-Ray” published in Beaver, PA in 1903-1904, of which our copies appear to be the only ones in existence;

genealogical inquiries of various kinds;

the only known complete copy of  A Journal of the Rev. John Marrant (London, 1790) for which we have now mounted a copy in our CONTENTdm collection in the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository (Marrant was an African-American preacher);

an elementary school geography text published in Pennsylvania;

depictions of foreign flags flown in the 1880s for an art conservator working on the ceiling in an important political office in Washington DC where he found flag paintings under 22 coats of paint;

our copies of the manuscript General Orders of the Army that were promulgated by General Winfield Scott during the Mexican War;

the life and work of Lydia Bailey, a printer in Philadelphia;

a history of architects in Harrisburg – this researcher called and said he’d found a call slip he wrote some 20 years ago for which, back at that time, the State Library staff told him they could not find the item in question.  He was wondering if it is still “lost.”  Turns out I was able to locate it. (Hooray for his persistence, and for our current cataloging!)  

Published in: on 31 December 2007 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pennsylvania Publishers in our PA Imprints Collection – Philadelphia “D,” “E,” and “F”

Here is the newest installment of the preliminary list of imprints from Pennsylvania cities and towns. This post includes printers and publishers from Philadelphia whose names start with the letters “D,” “E,” or “F.”  It comes from the online catalog of the “Pennsylvania Imprints to 1865″ collection in the Rare Collections Library at the State Library of Pennsylvania.

Remember: this is a preliminary list.  Printers and publishers are mixed together here. 

Philadelphia – Office of the Daily Chronicle – 1832
Philadelphia – B. Davenport & co. – 1836-1838
Philadelphia – Benjamin Davies – 1796
Philadelphia – P. M. Davis – 1823
Philadelphia – R. Davis – 1840
Philadelphia – Joseph Delaplaine; J. Delaplaine – 1812-1815
Philadelphia – office of the Democratic press – 1817
Philadelphia – Denny und Walker – 1830-1831
Philadelphia – Desilver; Robert De Silver; Robert P. Desilver; T. Desilver; Thomas Desilver; Frank Desilver; R. Wilson Desilver – 1812-1850
Philadelphia – Devereux & Co. – 1858-1859
Philadelphia – Abel Dickinson – 1808
Philadelphia – D. Dickinson; David Dickinson – 1818
Philadelphia – Dickinson & Heartt – 1805
Philadelphia – Dobelbower, Key and Simpson – 1795
Philadelphia – Thomas Dobson; Thomas Dobson and son; T. Dobson; J. Dobson – 1786-1841
Philadelphia – T. Dobson and T. Lang – 1789
Philadelphia – G. W. Donohue – 1839
Philadelphia – Bernard Dornin – 1818
Philadelphia – E. G. Dorsey – 1834-1843
Philadelphia – James H. Doughty & Co.; John and Thomas Doughty; John Doughty – 1830-1845
Philadelphia – D. Driscol – 1801
Philadelphia – W. Duane; William Duane; Wm. Duane – 1799-1814, 1826
Philadelphia – William Dunlap; John Dunlap – 1759-1786
Philadelphia – Tertius Dunning and Walter W. Hyer – 1795

Philadelphia – Eaken & Mecum – 1803
Philadelphia – D. & S. Earl – 1825
Philadelphia – Edward Earle – 1813-1819
Philadelphia – Eastwick & Stacy – 1817
Philadelphia – Eleutherium of knowledge – 1840
Philadelphia – Charles A. Elliott, printer – 1840
Philadelphia – William Emmons – 1830
Philadelphia – William Evitt – 1770

Philadelphia – A. Fagan; Augustine Fagan – 1812-1815
Philadelphia – W. P. Farrand; William P. Farrand and co. – 1808-1809
Philadelphia – Farrand, Hopkins, Zantzinger and co. – 1811
Philadelphia – Farrand, Mallory, & co. – 1808
Philadelphia – Female Religious Tract Society of the Northern Liberties – 1817
Philadelphia – John Fenno, printer to the Senate of the United States – 1795-1799
Philadelphia – C.P. Fessenden – 1809-1837
Philadelphia – Anthony Finley; Published by Anthony Finley; William Fry, Printer – 1812-1828
Philadelphia – A. Finley & B. B. Hopkins – 1811
Philadelphia – Fisher and Brother – 1847
Philadelphia – M. Fithian – 1842-1844
Philadelphia – J. Fletcher – 1810
Philadelphia – Florence & Severns – 1846
Philadelphia – Richard Folwell; Folwell’s Press – 1794-1801
Philadelphia – R. Folwell, and G. Allchin – 1813
Philadelphia – J. Fordyce – 1813
Philadelphia – B. Franklin – 1732-1779
Philadelphia – Benjamin Fräncklin und Johann Böhm – 1751
Philadelphia – B. Franklin and D. Hall – 1748-1764
Philadelphia – B. Franklin & H. Meredith – 1730-1731
Philadelphia – Jacob Frick & Co. – 1827
Philadelphia – William Fry. Printer – 1812-1825
Philadelphia – Fry and Kammerer – 1805-1812

Published in: on 31 December 2007 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wrapping up 2007

This isn’t a serious statistical report for the calendar year.  It’s more of a simple summary of some of the recent research activity here.

Researchers coming to the Rare Collections Library during 2007 included several unaffiliated researchers, as well as scholars from:

  •  City of Harrisburg
  • Clarion University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Pennsylvania Museum and Historic Commission
  • Temple University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Office of the Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly
  • Tufts University
  • Widener School of Law
  • Millersville University
  • Cooley Law School (Michigan)
  • Kutztown University

 Other researchers came to us over the telephone and via email from across Pennsylvania, but also from as far away as northern Illinois (Northwestern University) and California.  Sometimes those distant researchers just needed a citation checked, but sometimes we did scanning or photocopying for them. 

What kinds of subjects were researched here this year?  The topics written in on registration forms this year included the following:

  •  Religious symbolism in traditional Pennsylvania German folk art;
  • 18th century frontier journeys;
  • Effect of the Whiskey Rebellion on murder laws in Pennsylvania;
  • Dorothea Dix;
  • Lewis and Clark expedition;
  • Hiester Clymer;
  • Pennsylvania railroads;
  • Development of the legal profession;
  • Fort Wagner;
  • Pennsylvania in the Cold War;
  • Abraham Lincoln;
  • 20th century amateur minstrelry;
  • Steelton, Pennsylvania;
  • Eastern State Penitentiary;
  • Negro suffrage;
  • Nineteenth century lexicography;
  • Historic book bindings

Tours of our facility were taken, for the most part, by citizens of the Commonwealth.  And, actually, I think that this year most of the tours were conducted for elected officials who wanted to have their visits recorded for broadcast on their websites and local cable channels.  As a result, I had a number of people stop me to say “I saw you on tv the other night.”

Published in: on 28 December 2007 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Pennsylvania Publishers in our PA Imprints Collection – Philadelphia “C”

Here is the newest installment of the preliminary list of imprints from Pennsylvania cities and towns. This post includes printers and publishers from Philadelphia whose names start with the letter “C”.  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.  Some names may eventually be merged with or separated from similar names (for example, just how many “Carey” entries do we need?).  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.  This means you can’t always tell exactly what is printed on the title page.

Philadelphia – Robert Campbell – 1791-1800
Philadelphia – J.W. Campbell – 1813-1815
Philadelphia – J.M. Campbell – 1843
Philadelphia – Carey and Co. – 1787
Philadelphia – Mathew Carey – 1789-1816
Philadelphia – James Carey – 1800
Philadelphia – M Carey & Son – 1817-1821
Philadelphia – Carey and Hart – 1846
Philadelphia – E.L. Carey & A. Hart – 1832-1849
Philadelphia – H.C. Carey and I. Lea; Carey and Lea – 1827-1838
Philadelphia – Carey, Lea & Blanchard – 1833-1837
Philadelphia – Carey, Lea & Carey – 1827-1829
Philadelphia – Carey, Lea, & Carey, and R. H. Small – 1827
Philadelphia – H. C. Carey & I. Lea, and A. Small – 1823
Philadelphia – M. Carey and A. Small – 1815
Philadelphia – A. Small and H.C. Carey & I. Lea – 1825
Philadelphia – Carey, Stewart, and co – 1791
Philadelphia – M. Carey and M. Thomas – 1814
Philadelphia – G.W. Carpenter – 1831
Philadelphia – Robert Carr, R. Carr, R & W Carr – 1803-1810
Philadelphia – Carr & Smith – 1801
Philadelphia – Published by the author [Ann Carson] – 1822
Philadelphia – B. Chapman – 1812
Philadelphia – T.E. Chapman – 1844
Philadelphia – Chapman and Jones – 1844
Philadelphia – Joseph C. Charles – 1800
Philadelphia – James Chattin – 1753-1758
Philadelphia – the author [Peter S. Chazotte] – 1819
Philadelphia – Childs and Swaine – 1791-1793
Philadelphia – Charles Cist, Carl Cist – 1784-1805
Philadelphia – Mary Cist – 1806
Philadelphia – Citizen’s Suffrage Association – 1873
Philadelphia – John C. Clark – 1837-1856
Philadelphia – David Clark – 1834
Philadelphia – Clark & Raser Printers – 1818-1832
Philadelphia – John Clarke – 1813-1829
Philadelphia – David C. Claypoole – 1779-1783
Philadelphia – A. Claxton – 1828
Philadelphia – John Cline – 1807-1811
Philadelphia – William Cobbett – 1796-1799
Philadelphia – John Coates – 1845
Philadelphia – Robert Cochran – 1803-1808
Philadelphia – Ann Cochran – 1812
Philadelphia – Cochran and M’Laughlin – 1801
Philadelphia – B. Coles – 1816
Philadelphia – T.K. & P.G. Collins – 1841-1855
Philadelphia – T. K. Collins – 1846
Philadelphia – for the commissioners [of Philadelphia County] – 1847
Philadelphia – T. Condie; Condie & Co – 1796-1806
Philadelphia – W. Conover – 1799
Philadelphia – P.O. Connolly – 1826
Philadelphia – John Conrad & Co. – 1802-1807
Philadelphia – C. & A. Conrad – 1807-1809
Philadelphia – Solomon W. Conrad – 1802-1829
Philadelphia – John Conrad – 1831
Philadelphia – William D. Conway – 1812
Philadelphia – A. Cornman, Junr – 1813
Philadelphia – Court of Oyer and Terminer – 1816
Philadelphia – H. Cowperthwait & Co – 1856
Philadelphia – Thomas, Cowperthwait – 1839
Philadelphia – J. Crissy – 1822-1845
Philadelphia – J. Crissy and G. Goodman – 1824-1834
Philadelphia – Crissy and Markley – 1848-1856
Philadelphia – Crolius & Gladding – 1842
Philadelphia – James Crukshank – 1806
Philadelphia – Joseph Crukshank – 1776-1817
Philadelphia – Crukshank and Collins – 1770
Philadelphia – J.H. Cunningham – 1817-1826
Philadelphia – E. Cumminskey – 1824
Philadelphia – E. Cummiskey – 1833
Philadelphia – Cusack & Frankish – 1819
Philadelphia – C.W. Cutbush – 1825

Published in: on 26 December 2007 at 9:28 am  Comments (2)  

Cataloging an Old Book

It was one of those books in the cataloging backlog that was easy to ignore: plain green cloth binding with a library call number gold-stamped in the spine.  Seemed to be early 20th century.  At some point it must have been removed from the circulating collection but never made it completely into the Rare Collections Library. 

But that title on the spine . . . L’Ami des Moeurs 1788.  Maybe that pointed to something interesting after all.  It did.

The complete title page transcription is: L’ami des moeurs, poemes et epitres / par M. R.D.L. de plusieurs Académies. A Philadelphie, et se trouve à Paris : Chez Cailleau, 1788.

Getting it back into our catalog and onto our rare books shelves proved to be an interesting bit of work.  This book turned out to be a volume of French poetry that doesn’t seem to be in too many places.  Only one, besides here in Harrisburg, as far as I could discover.

The first problem was identifying the author.  Just who was Monsieur R.D.L.?  And would I find him listed in catalogs as “R.D.L.” or as “L., R.D.”  Or not at all?  Looking in the OCLC Database turned up nothing.  So I googled the title.

 There was a single reference to the book title in a footnote of a scholarly article.  And the author’s name was given in full: R.D.L. was identified as “Renaud de La Grelaye.”  Taking that name back to OCLC gave me several items with the name in that form, and one in the fuller form “La Grelaye, Renaud de, 1737-1807.”  But taking that name back to the Library of Congress Name Authority File didn’t retrieve the name.  Maybe it appears under “Grelaye, Renaud…” or “de La Grelaye…” or…?  No such luck. 

But I could confirm the name and dates in an online French encyclopedia.  So I pressed on, looking for another bibliographic record.  Trying the catalog of the Bibliotheque nationale de France brought back nothing.  But then trying their union catalog gave me a copy in the Bibliotheque municipale: Dijon.  A single copy in all of France!  And none – according to OCLC – in the United States and the non-U.S. libraries in OCLC. 

Suddenly, this little 164 page book of poems seemed much more interesting than its cover let on that it might be.  So I went back to the article located via Google.  It was a Project Muse reference to an article by Henry C. Clark that appeared in the May 1998 issue of Eighteenth-Century Life.  Neither of which I have immediate access to at my library. 

Time to call on the kindness of friends.  I know a librarian at a nearby state university whose library subscribes to the Project Muse database.  Can she look at the article and tell me whether the article really says anything about my French book? Better than that: she sent me a pdf version of the article for my research purposes. 

But, unfortunately, the reference was as I feared, simply a mention of ‘my’ book in a long list of other titles making his point (that there were a lot of similar titles published in France at the time, all discussing the morality of luxury).  I could have tracked down Professor Clark to try to find out where he had come across the L’ami des moeurs, but I didn’t.  With his article I was able to come up with proper subject headings for a catalog record.

Now, the only problem left was that publication statement.  Was this book really published “in Philadelphia and available in Paris”?  That should be easy to nail down, what with all the bibliographic work done on early printing in Philadelphia.

Except that the title, author, and publishing firm do not show up in any of the usual sources as a Philadelphia imprint.  (Aside from the rarity of the item, whether or not it was printed in Philadelphia makes a difference to me for where I classify and shelve the book.)   Which led me to call upon the expertise of the rare books people (librarians and book dealers, mostly) on a listserv.  They came back quite quickly late on a Friday afternoon with confirmation that the “a Philadelphie” was a false imprint.

And that gave me what I needed in order to create a bibliographic record for this book in OCLC, export the record to our local catalog, and finish the processing of the item in order to make it available to researchers.

The only fly left in my ointment is that I cannot tell how or why we have this item in the first place.  There seems to have been at one time a page or two in front of the title page, pages on which there could have been some identifying information that is now lost.  This could even be one of our Alexandre Vattemare gifts, but his stamp is not on the title page and the title is not in the list of books from him which our state librarian published in 1854.  I’ll probably never learn how it came to be here.  C’est la vie.

Published in: on 17 December 2007 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment