University of B.C. acquires rare book of Shakespeare’s first collection of plays
The University of British Columbia has acquired a nearly 400-year-old copy of William Shakespeare’s first collection of plays in a single volume, which is known to have preserved 36 of his plays.
Katherine Kalsbeek, head of rare books and special collections at UBC, said the so-called First Folio, titled “William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies,” was bought from a private collector in the United States through Christie’s New York for an undisclosed price.
Kalsbeek said she and Greg Mackie, an associate professor in the English department, worked for seven months to fundraise for the purchase of the complete first edition of the playwright’s works, which was edited by Shakespeare’s friends, fellow writers and actors and published in 1623, seven years after his death.
Plays like “MacBeth,” “Twelfth Night” and “Romeo and Juliet” are part of the collection, which Kalsbeek said was gifted to the university through donations from anonymous people and foundations across North America.
She said 235 copies of the First Folio are believed to exist around the world, mostly in the United Kingdom and the United States, though the University of Toronto has had a copy in its rare collections since the 1970s.
UBC acquired Shakespeare’s Second Folio in 1960, which was published in 1632 and contains the same plays as the first, but with the errors corrected and new ones introduced. The second volume also includes the first published poem by John Milton, who would go on to write “Paradise Lost” in the 1660s.
About 10 copies of the First Folio remain in private hands, Kalsbeek said, adding the one UBC acquired is not in pristine condition and contains a title page from another copy, making it a so-called “sophisticated copy” that is more appealing for teaching and bibliographic research.
She said plans are underway to digitize the portfolio in 3D and to create an augmented reality app so people of all ages beyond the university can engage with the bard’s plays, many for the first time.
“We’ve created a custom cradle that will be used in classes so that the book is presented in a way that supports its spine and supports the binding,” she said of the white oak and Plexiglas holder.
Staff are also learning about the best ways for students to access the treasured book, through procedures gleaned from the University of Toronto and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.
The folio will first be exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, from Jan. 15 to March 22, along with copies of three subsequent folios.
Anthony Kiendl, CEO of the gallery, said one of the collections is on loan from Austin, Texas, and another is from the Legislative Library of British Columbia.
Visitors will have access to interactive material including digital animation, allowing them to flip through the First Folio, he said.
“We’re not showing it because it’s an old book, but because it is as relevant today as ever,” he said of the collection of timeless plays.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2022. Re-post from the Toronto Star.
A calligraphic facsimile by Jacques Fucien Lesclabart of the circa 1470-74 xylo-typographic Speculum humanae salvationis, executed circa 1770-1780.Lesclabart, one of the most brilliant calligraphers of the 18th century, reproduces the entire book in 63 handwritten pages.
The calligraphic facsimile includes the full cycle of originally xylographically printed woodcuts. The text, in verse or in rhymed prose – originally both typographically and xylographically printed – is written in two columns below each illustration. The manuscript consists of a specially prepared title page, carefully handwritten, and then the first five pages containing the preface. The fifty-eight following pages, glued back to back, reproduce the full cycle of wood engravings, each with a copy of the illustrations.
This is monument to one of the most extraordinary (and rarest) books from the first two decades of printing, half blockbook, half typographic work, produced by an unknown Dutch proto-typographer, long believed to be Laurens Janszoon Coster. Until the late 19th century it was thought that block printing – the technique of printing texts from wooden blocks into which the letters are carved – was a precursor of the art of printing, i.e. printing with movable type.
This Latin edition of the Speculum, printed in the Netherlands, has been executed partly in block printing and partly in letterpress. This led some early owners to think that they held in their hands proof of an extremely important moment in the history of the book.
The invention of the art of printing caught in the act, so to speak. However, careful examination of the pages employing block printing has shown that these were made after a typographic example (which means that the woodcutter had a ‘typeset’ copy already to hand).
There are four xylo-typographic editions of the Speculum printed in the Netherlands between around 1465 and 1470: two in Latin and two in Dutch. They combine two printing techniques: typography and xylography. The manuscript is a reproduction of the second Latin edition. Calligrapher, and member of the l’Académie royale d’Écriture de Paris, Jacques Fucien Lesclabart was feted as one of the most skilful and famous calligraphers of Europe, particularly renowned for his uncanny skill in imitating printed characters.
Since the 1970s, millions of young artists have learned to draw—and to see—at the hands of Ed Emberley, the universally beloved illustrator, age 90. “You know what I like to hear the kids say?” asks Emberley. ‘I could do that!’”
In his honor, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art proudly presents I Could Do That! The Picture Book Art of Ed Emberley, on view December 18, 2021 through June 12, 2022. This exhibition showcases Emberley’s remarkable printmaking and drawing talents through more than 110 objects that span more than 20 books. Included are illustrations from his many collaborations, his Drawing Book series, and books now out-of-print. Sketches, handmade book dummies, printing supplies, and color separations shed further light on the methods and career of one of America’s most versatile picture-book illustrators.
The exhibition includes illustrations from two of Emberley’s most famous books, which telegraph his range. Drummer Hoff, written by Barbara Emberley, tells the story of a soldier who fires off a cannon that explodes into color—a kind of 1960s anti-war parable. It won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1968. Go Away, Big Green Monster became a best-seller in the 1990s, helping young readers conquer their bedtime fears.
Caleb Neelon, a longtime wall painter, indoors and out, and friend of Emberley, guest curated I Could Do That! Neelon is also the author, with Todd Oldham, of the retrospective Ed Emberley (AMMO books). At the request of The Carle’s Chief Curator Ellen Keiter, Neelon is painting several of Emberley’s images directly on the gallery walls.
As Neelon explains in his exhibition essay “Keeping Up with Ed Emberley,” Emberley loves to design every aspect of a book, hand-lettering the text (even the publisher’s information). Always experimental and often restless, he has also made his books using innovative techniques: see-through paper, stickers, stencils, die cuts, optical illusions, clip art, and flip books, to name a few. Throughout he sprinkles humor and wordplay. Book to book, Emberley easily shifts artistic styles from technically precise engineer drawings to the playful thumbprints that he transforms with line drawings into witches, cats, owls, and flowers.
Born in 1931, Emberley grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father was a carpenter who occasionally painted signs. As a young boy, Emberley played with the cast-off wooden pieces that came from his father’s building projects and watched how his father used a grid to draw letters. He quickly discovered he had a talent for drawing. Later, attending the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, he met Barbara Collins, who would become his life partner and regular collaborator. Their children, Rebecca and Michael, are also children’s book authors and artists, and Rebecca is a frequent co-author with her father. Since the 1960s, Ed and Barbara Emberley have lived in their Massachusetts home that dates back to the 1600s.
Alexandra Kennedy, The Carle’s executive director, explains why this exhibition is so relevant to the work of the Museum: “Like so many children of the 70s, I learned to draw thanks to Ed Emberley. His lifetime of work has come to stand for so much of what The Carle represents, like encouraging artistic expression, championing experimentation and innovation, and finding ways to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of whether they consider themselves ‘artists.’ Our team here at the Museum have been fans of Ed’s since forever, and are so excited—and humbled!—to be able to share his original art.”
The exhibition, which is in the East Gallery, makes dozens of Ed Emberley books available for browsing in a comfortable reading area. Visitors are also invited to try some of the many drawing techniques that have come to define Emberley’s legacy.
The Eric Carle Museum is grateful for the support and cooperation of the entire Emberley family, Hosea Baskin, and Tim Young of the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University, who were all instrumental in making this exhibition a reality. The Emberley family plans to donate a portion of Ed’s archive to The Carle.
Mary Shelley was born on 30 August 1797, in London. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and feminist activist Mary Wollstonecraft, who died in childbirth
Mary Shelley is famous for her “Frankenstein”, published when she was 21. None of her works published later matched the power of that first legendary novel.
Anyway, she wrote other novels, travelogues and short stories for popular periodicals. Many years after the death of her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she also devoted herself to poetry , especially elegies containing allusions to her husband
If your librarian is doing amazing work for your town, school, or campus, we want to hear from you — submit a nomination for the #ILoveMyLibrarian Award.
Nominations for the I Love My Librarian Award open June 23 and are accepted online through September 27, 2021.
ALA member leaders will select ten librarians from thousands of nominations, and each will receive $5,000 in recognition of their outstanding public service. The association will honor award recipients at the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony on January 22, 2022 at LibLearnX in San Antonio, Texas. Winners also will receive complimentary LibLearnX registration as part of their award packages as well as a $750 travel stipend.
Know an incredible librarian who deserves to be recognized? Get inspired by reading about past winners, including winning submissions from their patrons. Then nominate your favorite librarian. More information is available online, as are promotional resources for your library to spread the word.
The one thing most of us reading this have in common is the English language, and our tongue’s cathedral is the British Library in London.
The British Library is both a workhorse and a beauty queen. Not only is it the United Kingdom’s principal copyright library, meaning it automatically receives a copy of everything published in both the UK and Ireland, it contains Reading Rooms for up to 1200 researchers looking into everything from the humanities and music to rare books and maps. Karl Marx was one of them. So was Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.
The library also serves as a museum and a centre for special exhibitions. In just one room – free to visit and open seven days a week in normal times – you’ll find 250 of the English-speaking world’s most precious and high-profile written documents on display. There’s everything from the original Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s First Folio and Audubon’s Birds of America to handwritten manuscripts of Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Bronte, Lewis Carroll and Jane Austen. Among the showstoppers are John Lennon’s self-edited lyrics to several of the Beatles most popular songs and for classical music aficionados, there are original scores from Beethoven and Mozart. Along with that, there are historical maps and ancient religious texts, including the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, the world’s oldest book, and medieval illuminated manuscripts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The new Sound Gallery is devoted to archived recordings, including the voices of Thomas Edison, Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale.
Join Blue Badge Tourist Guide and Lonely Planet guidebook writer Steve Fallon on a virtual tour of this enormous building – the largest built in the UK in the 20th century – which also boasts some rather unusual architecture and an inordinate amount of artwork. What London’s National Gallery is to fine art, the British Library is to the written word.
Added bonus: a university archivist and librarian from across the pond will join Steve at the end. Katie McCormick, Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections & Archives at the Florida State University Libraries will be on hand to describe her work and answer questions.
This is a virtual tour conducted live online via Zoom. You will receive your Zoom invitation on the email you have provided. Please check your spam folder in case the email from Eventbrite goes astray. In order to participate in the tour, you will need to download the Zoom app beforehand.
Date and time
August 12, 2021
Nov 17, 2021
Please use the button below to see the event in your time zone.
Well, from today, you can find an additional 32,000 images, comprising George III’s collection of atlases and albums of views, plans, diagrams, reports and surveys, produced between 1550 and 1820. These have been uploaded to Flickr with a Public Domain attribution for you to search, browse, download, reuse, study and enjoy.
The first release of 17,000 images – the collection of individual maps and views, was released in one big bundle. It made sense to release this disparate group of items this way, but we appreciate that searching Flickr for specific images is not especially easy (see below, Explore, for a solution. Of course, it can be interesting to browse if you are not sure where you want to end up!).
Responding to feedback, this second release has organised the bound atlases and volumes of prints into separate albums. The images within the albums retain the order in which they are encountered in the physical copy. The titles of the albums are made up of the constituent volume’s author, title, date and shelfmark, so we hope this will make the searching experience a good one. Batching into 500 or fewer images will make downloading easier for you too.
The Transatlantic Book Fair will bring together over 150 rare book dealers who will showcase hundreds of unique and rare works on paper.
Exhibitors from 15 countries will present a carefully curated collection of more than 5000 #books, #maps, #manuscripts, photographs, and rare historical artifacts online during the online fair, which will be the first to unite North American and European book dealers on a single digital fair platform.
This is a lot sale of 2 books which includes a true vintage copy of Gone with the Wind from 1940 and also a modern Companion Gone with the Wind book!
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. 1940 Motion Picture Edition.
This volume was well loved and therefore has a cracked hinge at the front but the cover is still attached, the upper spine area is frayed and pulling away as well as at the bottom. Rather uncommon to find sitting around these days, this book still has a lot to give for a true fan of GWTW, including photographs from the movie!
The Official Gone With the Wind Companion book. 1993. Illustrated with photos. 299 pages.
This volume includes the answers to almost 2000 questions and is a complete and entertaining reference, also the only official companion to the novel.
🖤 WANT THIS? Comment “dibs” below! 🖤
PayPal, US only, Free shipping! Leave a comment below or send me an email if you’re interested in the lot.
Thought lost for almost a century, the Honresfield Library was assembled with passion by self-made Victorian industrialists Alfred and William Law at the turn of the 20th century and has since been maintained with care by generations of the Law family. A unique treasury replete with cornerstones of British culture, its re-emergence after almost 100 years in obscurity marks a defining moment for bibliophiles in what is set to be the one of the great library sales of recent years.
Among the library’s holdings is the most important material by the Brontë sisters to come to light in a generation – unrivalled in importance by any other private collection. The rare pieces open a window onto the short but amazing lives of Charlotte, Emily, Anne and even Branwell Brontë.
Treasures include an extremely rare handwritten copy of Emily’s poems, with revisions from Charlotte (est. £800,000-1,200,000) and the well-loved Brontë family copy of Bewick’s History of British Birds, the book made famous in the opening pages of Jane Eyre (est. £30,000-50,000), brimming with entertaining annotations from their father Patrick. Little-seen letters to and from the likes of fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, Hartley Coleridge (son of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge), George Smith, publisher and vital champion of ‘The Bells’ (The Brontës’ secretive pseudonym), and many more, abound.
Scottish literature is also at the heart of the collection, which includes the most important manuscript by Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, in private hands. A compendium of poems, notes and ideas put together by Burns as an unknown twenty-four year old, First Commonplace Book offers a unique insight into the bard’s mind. It was last sold at Sotheby’s in 1879, for £10. The collection also includes other individual handwritten manuscripts of Burns’s poems and original letters to friends, family, patrons and lovers which build a picture of his colourful life.
Romantic writer Sir Walter Scott – the second-most quoted writer in the Oxford English Dictionary after Shakespeare – is also represented, most notably by the complete manuscript for Rob Roy, one of the last remaining manuscripts of a great 19th century novel that is not now in an institution.
Further noteworthy lots include Jane Austen first editions, including Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, a copy of Don Quixote printed in 1620 for Edward Blounte, the publisher famous for the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, and an annotated copy of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poems with pages showing author’s changes from proof printing in his hand. There is hardly an area that is untouched, with Homer, Ovid, the Grimm Brothers, Montaigne, Ann Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, Charles Dickens and Mary Wollstonecraft also making an appearance.
The more than 500 historic manuscripts, exceptional first editions, intimate letters and beautiful bindings will be offered across three auctions at Sotheby’s, commencing this summer (first auction open for bidding from 2 – 13 July 2021). The public will get the chance to view the library, with exhibitions of highlights to take place in London, Edinburgh and New York.
The Honresfield library was assembled by William Law (1836-1901), augmented by his brother Alfred Law (1838-1913) and their nephew Sir Alfred Joseph Law (1860-1939). The library’s cornerstones are world-class holdings of the Brontës, Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott, on which is built a remarkable collection with precious highlights venturing well beyond the core of 18th-19th century British literature. It is a library of astonishing riches that has been treasured by generations of a private family for more than a century.
Although it cannot quite replace the crinkling noise of book covers, the website Internet Archive is working to bring the thrill of browsing library shelves to the safety of your own home. Their Library Explorer allows users to browse 3D shelves by subject, age, date, and other sorting criteria. While you could just search for a title you already know, the magic of library shelves—real and virtual—is discovering new reads.
— Read on mymodernmet.com/internet-archive-library-explorer/
What a sweet fluffy reading companion this beautiful cat makes. My cats absolutely love it when I sit down to read. Sometimes a little too much, because they will literally lay right on top of my book. Do you have a dog or cat that likes to hang out with you while you read? Drop a reply below in comments to tell me all about your furry (or feathered) friends!
As the Victoria & Albert Museum prepares to celebrate Lewis Carroll’s heroine, ties to mysticism and magical societies have come to light in a new work, Through a Looking Glass Darkly
Great art spawns imitation. And great weird art, it seems, spawns still weirder flights of fancy. Lewis Carroll’s twin children’s fantasies, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There have both inspired a string of adaptations, artistic and musical responses down the generations.
“Together these books are really the first psychedelic texts and I like them because there’s no moral lesson. They actually parody authority, like the judiciary and the monarchy, rather than supporting them,” said Jake Fior, an Alice expert and author of Through a Looking Glass Darkly. “Carroll had a definite interest in the esoteric. I have a catalogue of his possessions, including his library, and he had lots of books on the supernatural,” he told the Observer. Fior’s fresh version of Alice’s journey attempts to elaborate and even improve upon Carroll’s difficult follow-up work, 150 years on from its publication.
“If you think about the structure of Through the Looking Glass, it’s very weird and I always felt it could be improved. The idea of going through a mirror into a reflected dimension is fine, but then suddenly there is this Jabberwocky epic poem and the Vorpal sword and these mythical beasts which are never mentioned again. It is framed as a chess game in which Alice goes from pawn to queen in eight chapters, but it doesn’t run in a fluid way like Wonderland. It is a more flawed book, yet some of the moments are better, so I kept those in my version.” During the author’s research for his new approach to the story he discovered images that will now go on public display for the first time in the V&A show.
Fior, who is the proprietor of the Alice through the Looking Glass shop in the West End of London, was already the owner of several original pieces of Carroll memorabilia when he came across a sketch book that had belonged to Carroll’s famous original illustrator, Sir John Tenniel.
“It shouldn’t have been there, but I was at a rare book fair three summers ago and there it was, nondescript, with just the word ‘costume’ written on the front,” remembered Fior. As a student Tenniel used to skip his classes at the Royal Academy of Art and take his sketch books to the British Museum instead. This book was full of studies of armour and knights, prototypes of the images he went on to use in the Alice books.
Fior uses these images in his book just as Carroll used Tenniel’s work: a dynamic mix of text and illustration, which he believes looks towards the arrival of the graphic novel. Fior’s story tells, in parallel with Alice’s journey, the true story of Samuel Liddell Mathers, a distant relative of the real girl Alice who had inspired Dodgson.
Fior discovered that he had formed the secret magical society known as The Golden Dawn, patronised by major literary figures such as Bram Stoker, E Nesbit and Arthur Conan Doyle, and also by the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley.
“There is no evidence that Carroll was practising magic, but he was interested in telepathy and was a member of the Society of Psychical Research. He also had a well known obsession with wordplay and especially acrostics, and these come from Hebrew mysticism, which he would probably have known,” said Fior.
While working on the book he found that although Carroll was not a Freemason, the Liddell family were very involved in the organisation. The V&A exhibition, Fior suggests, will be a good opportunity for fans to go back to the darker side of the stories, something that the Disney cartoon version has almost obliterated. “The Disney image has become so strong, it has almost effaced Tenniel. But I find the animated visuals a bit saccharine. I always think of the phrase from Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange “weak tea, new brewed” as opposed to the Tenniel which is full strength, with no sugar.”