Monday, March 02, 2009

Providence Athenaeum: Founders' Library

Last weekend at the LT cataloging party we met John Chiafalo, a big fan of the Providence Athenaeum. John told me about a very interesting collection at the Athenaeum, their Founders' Collection. These are the books which survived a 1758 fire that destroyed most of the original collection of the Providence Library Company (which merged with the Providence Athenaeum in 1836).

John had started an LT profile for the Founders' Collection a year ago, but had run into the difficulties finding correct editions and so forth, so I offered to give him a hand and finish it off. I took advantage of this morning's snow day to do that, and am happy to report that the sixty-eight titles known to have survived the fire are now completely entered. Thirty-one of those still remain in the Athenaeum's care today (those will include a call number in the Comments field).

I added a notation to each record giving its listing in the 1768 catalogue of the Providence Library, which includes the price originally paid for each book. John reports that he may also add photographs of the books to their LT records as well.

Completely incidentally, there is a very nice piece in today's Providence Journal about the Athenaeum and its holdings.

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