Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Calling All Libraries: Do You Have Any Washington Books?

Since I am fairly confident this blog gets read by at least a few librarians out there, a plea: if your institution holds any books which once belonged to George Washington, would you be so kind as to let me know? Why, you ask?

I've been working for several months on the Washington library, which is now entirely entered into LT to the best of my knowledge. The most extensive bibliography of the Washington collection was published in 1897 (Appleton P.C. Griffin, , William Coolidge Lane, and Franklin Osborne Poole. A catalogue of the Washington collection in the Boston Athenæum. Boston: Boston Athenæum, 1897 - digital version here) - and while it's a great starting point, quite a few books have moved around in the intervening 110 years or so.

The locations as I know them are listed at the top of this page, and in each bibliographic record within the LT-catalog. The good folks at Mount Vernon tell me they have received many more original Washington books, and are preparing a list for me to update their holdings. But I'm sure there are hundreds more Washington titles now in institutional collections, and there's no easy way to find them (Google's come up with a few, but not many).

Additionally, and this is a quest for anybody - I'd like to know of any auction records for Washington books that are not already reflected in the LT-records (i.e. all those through 1897, plus a few more that I've found after that). Any leads, lot numbers, prices, buyers, &c. are always appreciated.

Feel free to shoot me an email (philobiblos at gmail dot com) or post a comment here, and thanks in advance for anything you can provide!


peacay said...

Isn't this sort of enquiry *the* perfect question for the Ex Libris listserv? That group has more specialist/rare book/institutional librarians and curator/bibliophile types than you can shake a stick at.
Just a thought. (I'm not a member, but I scan the board from time to time)

JBD said...

Indeed - I'll be posting there too! Thanks!

Megan said...

I'm sure you've found these already, but just in case -- the Gilder Lehrman Institute has a few.

JBD said...

Thanks Megan - I didn't know of them, but found two in their OPAC (Jeffries and Morse) ... do you know if there are others?

Megan said...

Hi Jeremy,

The one about the aerial voyages was the only one I vaguely remembered. When I worked at The New-York Historical Society, we collaborated with Gilder Lehrman on a small exhibition of George Washington items and (if I recall correctly) that book was in the show.

Hope this helps; best of luck with the project!