Friday, September 12, 2008

What I've Been Up To

This week's been a busy one of playing catch-up, which is why I've been posting so rarely. Among other things, I've been adding some more books to the Mather Family Library in LT. Some of those were the books now owned by Harvard which had belonged to various Mathers; the rest were about 100 titles purchased by Cotton Mather in 1682 when Harvard was getting rid of some duplicates from its library. I'll say this for him, Cotton was a pretty savvy book-buyer at age 19. A bit precocious, too; in 1683 he wrote that he had "A Library exceeding any man's, in all this Land" (which was probably true, to be fair).

Adding the titles proved somewhat labor-intensive since I was trying to make sure they weren't already in the catalog (which they were if the copies still exist - some of them are at the American Antiquarian Society, and some of them have gone back to Harvard).

There's still much information about the Mather libraries to add, so that will be an ongoing project. I've also received some new and very interesting library lists from various early American political figures, so look for those additions on the horizon. I think the library of Elbridge Gerry will be up next, and I'll start on that this weekend.

And, as our friend from BiblioHistoria notes in comments below, the Legacy Libraries have gotten some exciting coverage in this month's rare book magazines: there is a feature profile of the project by Jonathan Shipley in Fine Books & Collections, and I just discovered tonight that there is a News & Views piece on the effort in Rare Book Review as well! And I'm delighted to see that this blog makes Bruce Tice's list of rare book blogs ... I'm flattered to be in such good company there.