Monday, November 10, 2008

More Historical Libraries

I've added a trio of new Early American Libraries to LibraryThing recently:

- Mary Hartford (c. 1792-1872), a free black woman who spent much of her life employed in the household(s) of Rev. Jeremy Belknap and his daughters. Hartford's small library (just six books, mostly religious tracts) was inventoried around 1825 (the inventory survives in the Jeremy Belknap papers at MHS).

- James Murray (1713-1781) and his wife Mary, a Boston loyalist merchant couple who moved to Halifax at the start of the American Revolution. They made a manuscript catalog of their library in 1766, which is in the James Murray papers at MHS. This catalog is notable for its inclusion of marks signifying which books belonged to Mary.

- Cuthbert Ogle (d. 1755), an English musician who moved to Williamsburg, VA in the early part of 1755, advertised that he would be teaching music, and then dropped dead within a month. His collection is one of the few colonial libraries to include specific references to musical works. The library was inventoried at his death by fellow musician Peter Pelham, and several later articles were written about his books. Plus I just kind of like the name.

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