Friday, September 14, 2007

Jefferson's Library Redux

When I first read the title of Scott Brown's Fine Books Blog post "Jefferson Rebuilds His Library" I thought he must have been talking about our LibraryThing project (progress report here, and below), but no, he's found an unrelated item (of great interest nonetheless):

"Catherine Barnes, an autograph dealer, just put out a list that includes a letter from Jefferson in which he orders books from Europe soon after he sold his library." The letter, written 31 January 1816 to George Ticknor in London, includes a list of books that Jefferson wants added to a previous order. They include a 1796 edition of Cicero's works in French (10 volumes), as well as several other Cicero titles.

For a mere $25,000, it could be yours!

The cataloging of TJ's library on LibraryThing is proceeding apace; we've done about 1,300 titles so far, and have started adding Jefferson's "reviews" as they were included in Sowerby's bibliography. This has proven very intriguing, and I think people have enjoyed seeing Jefferson's views on Plato, Noah Webster, Laurence Sterne and others. I know I have.