Category Archives: new acquisitions

W.E.S. gift (part 3)

We continue our report on how we spent the $10,000 gift we received from the Woman’s Educational Society, celebrating several works of literature by women authors. (More in the next post.)

bronteCharlotte Brontë (publishing as Currer Bell). Shirley. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1849. First edition. “Triple decker” (three volume set), beautifully re-bound in half leather.

hooksbell hooks. And There We Wept. Los Angeles: Published by Gloria Watkins / Golemics, 1978. This unpaginated poetry chapbook is bell hooks’s first book. Her next book, Ain’t I a Woman, addresses problems of race and class within feminism.

udolpho1Ann Radcliffe. The Mysteries of Udolpho: A Romance. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1794. Second edition, in four volumes. (This second edition appeared the same year as the first.) Bound in half-calf over marbled boards. Radcliffe is widely considered to be the mother of the Gothic novel, and Jane Austen references Udolpho repeatedly in her Gothic satire, Northanger Abbey.colorwalker

Alice Walker. The Color Purple. Illustrated by Brad Teare. Norwalk, Connecticut: Easton Press, 2000. Originally published in 1982, Walker’s novel has been made into a film, a Broadway musical, and this “collector’s edition,” part of the subscription series “Great Books of the 20th Century.” We look forward to comparing this edition (green with gilt) with the first edition (in jacket).

 

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The Moss Rose. New York: Leavitt & Allen, [ca. 1855]. Gift book containing Mary Shelley’s “Sisters of Albano” along with stories and poems by many other women authors. Decorative binding, all edges gilt.

W.E.S. gift (part 2)

We continue our report on how we spent the $10,000 gift we received from the Woman’s Educational Society, celebrating three foundational feminist works newly acquired for Special Collections:

suffrageElizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage. History of Woman Suffrage. Rochester, New York: Charles Mann, 1887. Three volumes (volume 1: 1848-1861; volume 2: 1861-1876; volume 3: 1876-1885). A comprehensive overview of the woman suffrage movement by those who led it.

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Virginia Woolf. A Room of One’s Own. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1929. In dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell. First American edition, simultaneous with British edition.  friedan

Betty Friedan. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1963. First edition, in jacket. Friedan researches and describes what she calls “the problem that has no name” — the dissatisfaction and depression of materially-comfortable American housewives in the 1950s.

 

 

 

W.E.S. gift of $10,000 (part 1)

The Woman’s Educational Society of Colorado College has a long history of supporting Special Collections. In the 1960s and 70s, the WES provided furnishings for our reading room; we still use these shelves and drawers even now, though some of them have become a bit stubborn and difficult with age (dare I say … like all of us?).

This year, the WES decided to make a different kind of long-term gift to Special Collections: $10,000 for the department to spend “for the purpose of enhancing the college curriculum by acquiring significant books and documents that focus on women’s history and women’s contributions to society.”

I shall be reporting over the next few weeks on acquisitions made with this generous gift, starting with an important 16th century edition of a book on women’s health:

albertus_34550_cvr1lalbertus_34550_1lMagnus Albertus (attrib.). De Secretis Mulierum Libellus… [The Secrets of Women.] Lugduni [Lyon, France]: Ioannes Quadratus, 1580. Small leatherbound book in Latin on topics such as menstruation, sexual reproduction, and pregnancy. Extremely rare: this is one of only three known copies in U.S. libraries and fewer than ten worldwide. A portion of Helen Rodnite Lemay’s 1992 English translation of the text is available from Google Books. 21st century readers beware: you won’t find a lot of reliable medical information in this book, which is based on 13th and 14th century manuscripts attributed to Magnus Albertus but probably actually produced by multiple (male) authors.

We also purchased a much more common (and affordable) book on the same topic:

aristotle_35525_3lAristotle (pseud.).  The works of Aristotle, the famous philosopher, in four parts. Containing. I. His complete masterpiece; displaying the secrets of nature in the generation of man … 2. His experienced midwife; absolutely necessary for surgeons, midwives, nurses and child bearing women. 3. His book of problems, containing various questions and answers, relative to the state of man’s body. 4. His last legacy; unfolding the secrets of nature respecting the generation of man. New-England: Printed for the publishers, 1831. Colloquially known as “Aristotle’s Masterpiece” (so one could request it in a bookshop without embarrassment), versions of this text were first published in the late 16th century. Nevertheless, the book contains even more misinformation than The Secrets of Women, with illustrations that only compound the problem. Apparently, for example, if a woman thinks bad thoughts while she is pregnant, her baby may be born covered in fur.

a donation from Professor Fuller

Tim Fuller, a member of the CC political science department since 1965, donated two rare and valuable books to Special Collections this month, both by Richard Hooker.

hooker 1617Professor Fuller writes: “My primary field of research is in British political thought since the English Reformation.  Richard Hooker was considered, and many still consider him, the greatest Anglican theologian. In the turmoil of the 16th century, Hooker defended the natural law tradition (he is sometimes referred to as the English Thomas Aquinas). He wrote against the “religious enthusiasm” of the Puritans, in defense of what became known as the Elizabethan Settlement which established Anglicanism as we have since known it. His great work, Laws of Ecclesiastical Politie, I acquired in two versions: hooker 1705the 1705 folio [below] in an Oxford bookshop in 1989, and the 1617 edition [above] from a Connecticut book dealer about 10 years later.  The 1705 is the complete work with a famous biographical introduction by Isaac Walton, the version used today by students of Hooker’s thought.  The complete work was not published until the 1660s.  The 1617 is roughly the fourth edition (there are several versions of it) which published through only the fifth book (of what was ultimately eight books), but is historically important.”

We are very pleased to have these at CC!

Library record for 1617 edition: https://tiger.coloradocollege.edu/record=b2370155~S5
Library record for 1705 edition: https://tiger.coloradocollege.edu/record=b2370143~S5

Dante again!

Special Collections seems to be making a habit of acquiring editions of Dante’s Commedia. Maybe this is because it was a hugely popular book in the early years of printing history, and it helps that Re Evitt teaches a whole course at CC on the text.

Our newest Dante is a five volume edition published in Padua in 1822 with the commentary of Baldassare Lombardi. The frontispiece illustrations in volumes 1, 2, and 3 will knock your socks off. Just look at ’em!

dante 1822 vol 1dante 1822 vol 2dante 1822 vol 3

 

building a feminist collection

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As you may recall, we recently acquired an early edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman. We had such an outpouring of interest in the book that we decided we should reach out to the Feminist and Gender Studies program at CC and ask for suggestions for other acquisitions. A lively discussion ensued about the books that had brought us to feminism, and Special Collections ended up purchasing several first and/or interesting editions of:

Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Sylvia Plath, Ariel
John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Louisa May Alcott, Her Life, Letters, and Journals
Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Robert Bly’s copy with his annotations)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

We’re always happy to talk with faculty about acquiring books they’ll use with their classes. I’m looking forward to incorporating these new acquisitions into instruction sessions in FGS classes and others.

CC Authors Reception

The CC Authors Reception is today! We’re celebrating 70 faculty and staff authors with publications since May of 2014. It’s quite gratifying to me, as a librarian and a writer, to see the impressive scholarly output of the faculty and staff at Colorado College, a small liberal arts college with a focus on teaching. You’d think we were a big university from the amount of publications on display!

This year we’re concurrently celebrating a few amazing new acquisitions in Special Collections, since, why not, we’re just upstairs from the authors reception. We’ve mentioned many of these acquisitions in earlier blog posts, but not these two:

themistoclesThemistius. Paraphrasis in Aristotelem. [Treviso, Italy]: Bartholomaeus Confalonerius and Morellus Gerardinus, 1481. Purchase. Now the earliest printed book in the library, beating out a 1484 Jacobus de Voragine for the honor. With bookworm damage (not affecting text) and a previous owner’s marginalia throughout.

 

beaumont fletcher madBeaumont, Francis, and John Fletcher. Fifty Comedies and Tragedies. Second folio. London: Printed by J. Macock, for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, Richard Marriot, 1679. Gift of the National Endowment for the Humanities Professorship at Colorado College, 2015, courtesy Steven Hayward.

The event is co-sponsored by Tutt Library and the Crown Faculty Center.

1814 Magic Flute

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Look at this gift we got from Paul Petersky, CC class of 1977! It’s a two-volume score of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in German and Italian, published in Bonn in 1814. It’s in remarkably good condition for its age, and we know it will be fun to show to CC students in the years to come.

1794 Wollstonecraft

wollstonecraftThe first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in London in 1792, currently sells for about $20,000 (if you can even find one on the market). Too rich for our blood! We recently acquired a copy of the third American edition (Philadelphia, 1794) for a fraction of that price. (About a twentieth, if you must know.) Our edition was published toward the end of the author’s life: she died in 1797.

Colorado College students read this text in a number of classes (English, Philosophy, Feminist and Gender Studies). Perhaps an enterprising student will take the opportunity to compare this edition with earlier and later editions we have in electronic and paper form.

An “indestructible” Mother Goose

Special Collections recently purchased an “indestructible” 19th century edition of Mother Goose, Mother Goose’s Melodies: containing all that have ever come to light of her memorable writings. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1879. What makes it indestructible, you ask? It’s printed on coated linen, so the book is chewable, droolable-on, and unrippable. (If you click the image on the right, you’ll see that the page is made of cloth.)

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This isn’t the first “indestructible” edition ever published. The London firm Addey & Co. advertised its “Indestructible Books for Children” printed on “cloth expressly prepared” as early as 1856 (see the ads in the back of George Measom’s Light from the East). American firms also published “indestructible” books around this same period.

While some might argue that all books should be indestructible, it seems particularly useful in a book for young children. Most students at Colorado College are familiar with cloth or plastic books from their own childhoods, so we’re guessing it won’t take them long to figure out why a publisher might print Mother Goose this way. If they can’t figure it out, I guess the curator could give them a hint by nibbling on the front cover.