Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Displaced Book Collector Has Been Replaced.

I am home sweet home in my library in Florida, and I don't plan on any lengthy displacements. I will continue blogging about the biblio research I am doing. Therefore I am replacing my displaced book collector blog with

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bookplate Literature

Greetings. This book collector is finally back home in Florida!

One of the first biblio-related things I did upon my return was to join the Bookplate Society. Anthony Pincott, sent me a welcoming email, which included a link to the sale catalogue of the library of Brian North Lee. I will have to scrutinize the catalogue because I want one of the books Lee formerly owned for My Sentimental Library.

In a previous email, Anthony Pincott recommended that I acquire a copy of Brian North Lee's "British Bookplates." I checked my small collection of Bookplate Literature, the other day, and I don't have that book. I will order it shortly. Here's a list of books and CDs on bookplates and heraldry I already have in my library, with photos of some of the interesting books:

The Origin and Evolution Of The Bookplate
by G.H. Viner

This soft cover book was reprinted in June 1946 from the Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. George Viner presented this talk before the Bibliographical Society on Tuesday, November 20, 1945. This copy of the book is all the more special because Viner presented it to the noted bookplate collector, C.H. Crouch.

Viner ALS to C.H. Crouch

As a side note, Viner wrote to Crouch on paper containing the letterhead of Headquarters: Anti-Aircraft Command, "Glenthorn," Stanmore, Middlesex. Life goes on, even in time of war.

Viner's Copy Of Heraldry In England

The author of this book, Anthony Wagner, provided a worthy introduction to Heraldry in the King Penguin Book series. Viner, or most likely a more recent owner, added to the material, providing notes on the front free endpapers from Wagner's "Heralds & Heraldry in the Middle Ages," and notes on the rear endpapers from John Platt's "The Arms of the City of Leicester."

Viner's Bookplate

On second glance, these notes appear to be written by a different hand than the hand that wrote the letter to C.H. Crouch.

The Book-Plate Collector's Miscellany

This miscellany was published as a supplement to some of the issues of "The Western Antiquary." This particular supplement, which provides the names of members and subscribers of the "newly-formed Ex Libris Society," is contained in the 1890, 1891 issue of the periodical.

Auction Catalogue,
Bookplates of Henry Blackwell

Besides this catalogue, I also have the auction catalogue of Blackwell's private library.
I've mentioned Henry Blackwell in a previous post about his gift bookplate. I also have two of his personal bookplates, one engraved by H.T.Sears, and the other engraved by E.D. French.

Castle, Egerton. English Book-Plates. London, 1894 (1893).

Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Book-Plates and Super-Libros Held by the Club of Odd Volumes at the Museum of Fine Arts April-June 1898.

Catalogue of the Eighth Annual Exhibition of the Ex Libris Society Consisting of Ladies' Book-Plates. London, June, 1899.

Bowdoin, W.G. The Rise of the Book-Plate. New York, 1901.

Book-Plates. Published by The Book-Plate Printers. Marquette Building, Chicago. February, 1902. Vol. I No. 1 Designed and Printed by Clarence Collins Marder.

Davenport, Cyril. English Heraldic Book-Stamps. London, 1909.

The Book-Plate Booklet. H. Alfred Fowler, editor. Kansas City, March, 1911. Vol. 4. No.1

The Biblio. H. Alfred Fowler, editor. Kansas City, March, 1913. Vol. I No.1.

The Bookplate. The English Bookplate Society. July, 1924. New Series, No.1.

Book-Plates, Selected Examples by R.K. Fletcher. Boston, 1947.

Jones, Louise Seymour. The Human Side of Bookplates. Ward Ritchie Press, 1951. Inscribed by the author with her bookplate enclosed.
Talbot, Clare Ryan. Historic California in Bookplates. Athens, Ohio, 1983 (1936).

Foster, Joseph. Feudal Coats of Arms. London, 1995 (1902).

Pearson, David. Provenance Research in Book History. Oak Knoll, 1998.
Keenan, James P. The Art of the Bookplate. New York, 2003.

Heraldry Reference Library. Euriskodata Inc. 2002. 23 heraldic reference books on one CD.

Somewhere in my library - I haven't found it yet- is a CD of Burke's "General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales."

Sometime in the near future, I will post a thread about the Lydia M. Poirier Collection of Letters from Bookplate Collectors.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Moi the Bookplate Collector?

Yes. Moi the Bibliomaniac is gradually
becoming Moi the Bookplate Collector as well. Some of the bookplates I possessed before coming to Hawaii are displayed in My
Sentimental Library
photo album. Most of them are pasted on the front endpapers of books formerly owned by people whose books I collect. Since arriving in Hawaii six months ago, I have acquired seven more bookplates, only one of which is pasted
inside of a book:

Bookplates of John Carter

John Carter is one of the bibliophiles I collect. I probably couldn't afford to purchase a book from his library, but I couldn't pass up the chance to buy his bookplates. Sandy Malcolm, my London bibliophile friend, also collects John Carter, and even has a book or two from his library - the dirty dog! - so we went halves on an auction for the Carter bookplates. The John Waynflete Carter bookplate was reportedly cut on wood by Reynolds Stone around 1932. Stone reportedly cut the John Carter bookplate around 1940.

Bookplate of Ernestine & John Carter

This is a copy of the bookplate John Carter designed for himself and his wife in 1947, and had printed at the Rampant Lion Press in Cambridge. Sandy Malcolm has the original copy.

Leather Gift Bookplate
Book Presented to Sarah Parry
by her affectionate cousin
Henry Blackwell
June 15th 1872

Henry Blackwell (1851-1928) is one of the bibliophiles in my library. I must admit that I had him confused with the abolitionist by the same name who lived from 1825 to 1909, and who was married to Lucy Stone. My Henry Blackwell was a bookbinder, a biographer and bibliographer. He was also an avid bookplate collector, having amassed over 10,000 old bookplates by 1903. I have a book from his library which he bound, and which contains his bookplate that Sears engraved. I also have a bookplate of his that E.D. French engraved. French also engraved a gift bookplate for Blackwell; however, the gift bookplate displayed above is not the one engraved by French.

Bookplate of William F. Gable

William F. Gable was a prominent Americana collector in the early 1900s. I have four autograph letters from other bibliophiles that were written to him in my library. I acquired Gable's bookplate from a prominent bookplate collector of our period, Lewis Jaffe.

Bookplate of Lewis Jaffe

Lew sent me one of his personal bookplates as well. If bookplates are your thing, you need to read Lew's blog.

Bookplate of Augustine Birrell

I have several books formerly owned by Augustine Birrell in my library back in Florida. I may even have Birrell's bookplate pasted in one of them; but it isn't displayed in My Sentimental Library photo album, so I acquired this one. This bookplate has a provenance of its own; I bought it from Anthony Pincott, a prominent member of The Bookplate Society.

The Bookplate Society

Along with the Birrell bookplate, Anthony Pincott enclosed a brochure from The Bookplate Society, which contains a membership application. If my bookplate collecting continues, I just may join after I return to Florida.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Once A Book Collector...

Despite my best intentions - Hey! Why fight it? - I haven't stopped collecting books. In fact, there is an on-going Friends of the Library of Hawaii Book Sale at McKinley High School in Honolulu, and I plan to see what's left of the 100,000 plus books they had up for sale next weekend.

Believe me, I had good intentions. Upon arriving in Hawaii, I contacted the local chapter of Bookcrossings. Unfortunately, their first meeting was on Pro Bowl weekend. Now I never said I'd give up football, so I missed that first meeting. What's more, after buying a few more books on ebay, I knew I would be keeping the books I bought instead of leaving them behind for others to find and read. It is now July, and I have yet to attend a Bookcrossing meeting.

I have, however, bought a few books here in Hawaii:

For My Harry B. Smith Collection

A Pleasant Comedie of the Life of Will Shakspeare
by Harry B. Smith
Chicago, 1893

One of these days I'm going to list all the Shakespeare books and articles written by all the authors whose books are in my library. I can probably fill a small shelf with them. This is Harry B. Smith's contribution to Shakespeare literature. I acquired it on ebay from Legacy Books II, Louisville, Ky. in January shortly after I arrived in Hawaii for $96.00 I may not get to read it until I return to Florida, but read it I will.

Inscribed by Smith to A.C. Wilkie

A.C. Wilkie appears to be a minor poet, possibly from the Chicago area. Some of his poems are listed in A Parody Anthology

A Birthday Gift From My Friend Asta

The Ballad of Beau Brocade
by Austin Dobson
London 1903

Inscribed by Jean Austin Dobson
(No Relation To Author) (See Warwick Harte's Comment at end of post)

Asta knows that Austin Dobson is one of the authors I collect, and that I also collect association books. I did a double-take when I saw who signed the book. Jean Austin Dobson is no relation to the author; I believe Jean is a singer.

Bill Targ is a Character in This Book

The Vanishing Gold Truck
by Harry Stephen Keeler
Ramble House, 2005 (1940)

Harry Stephen Keeler
was one of America's most forgotten writers; that is, until Richard Polt founded the Harry Stephen Keeler Society in 1997, and Fender Tucker's Ramble House started reprinting Keeler's novels shortly afterwards.

I got thirty pages into this book and I was not impressed. Ramble House is a good name for his publisher, because Keeler rambles on and on. I'll have to pick it up and try again, primarily to understand Bill Targ's minor role in his novel.

C.A. Cutter's Two-Figure Author Table

C.A. Cutter devised a library classification system for arranging books. This copy is undated. It was published sometime between 1880 and 1896, when the Cutter-Sanborn Three-Figure Author Table became the preferred author table.

One of Starrett's Books in the Torch Press Christmas Series

A Student Of Catalogues
by Vincent Starrett
Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1921

25th Anniversary Keepsake for Florida Bibliophile Society
The Ideal Book
Three Essays On Printing
by William Morris
University of Tampa Press, 2007
This is No. 8 of fifty copies printed. Great work by the members of the Tampa Book Arts Studio.

The Future?

The Audacity of Hope
by Barack Obama
New York, 2006

One hell of a writer Obama is. The big question is whether he is one hell of a politician? I think we will see a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama winning ticket; but not necessarily in that order.

The Past

All Too Human
by George Stephanopoulos
New York, 1999

I enjoyed reading Bill Clinton's biography, and look forward to reading about George Stephanopoulos working for him.

Bio of Songwriter of Mele Kalikimaka

Joyful Heart
The Life And Music Of
R.Alexander Anderson
by Scot C.S.Stone
Waipahu, 2003
One dollar at the Borders bookstore in Waikele! I couldn't resist it. Comes with ten of Anderson's songs. He was a pilot during WWI and was captured by the Germans. Anderson wrote over 200 songs, most of them having to do with Hawaii.

A McKinley Association?

Library Essays
by Henry Howard Harper
Boston, 1924

Accompanying TLS from Harper to Milburn. I have a book or two by Harper in my library already. These essays are "about books, bibliophiles, writers, and kindred spirits." This book has an association with President McKinley, or at least the recipient of the book does. President McKinley attended the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York at the invitation of John G. Milburn, and stayed in his house. Milburn was standing next to McKinley when the President was assassinated. McKinley returned to Milburn's residence to recuperate after surgery, but died several days later, possibly in Milburn's library.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Library: A View From the Crib

Welcome to my library!

I usually give a tour of my library while swiveling around in my chair in front of my library table; however, my library table is now in the living room of my house in Florida. I am still in Hawaii! In my library is a changing table, in front of which is a crib. Sleeping in the crib, surrounded by the written words of authors from six centuries, is my seven-month old granddaughter, Hannah.

Wake up sweet child, stand up, look around, and I will tell my readers what your eyes see.

Out, out in the hallway, perpendicular to the bedroom doorway, Shakespeare stands guard, his words contained in a tall, locked bookcase of leather books from the eighteenth century. The bookcase itself is from the nineteenth century, bought at a village auction in England in 1989.

Turn your eyes to the right, my child, and see the bookshelves on the short wall between the door and the long wall: five rows of bookshelves four feet long and fifteen inches high. On these shelves sit my oversized books, my books about libraries, my bookplate literature, my postal books, and some of the association books belonging to My Sentimental Library Collection. On the top shelf are thirty to forty volumes of the "Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress," boring reading for a baby, and for the average reader, but manna from heaven for someone hungry for bibliographical information. On another shelf is Anthony Hobson's "Great Libraries of the World," formerly owned by Nancy H. Marshall, a great lady in her own right, and author of a bibliography of "The Night Before Christmas," a book I shall buy and read to you when you are a wee bit bigger.

Look further to the right, Hannah. Oops! Don't fall! Feast your eyes on Grandpa's delight: seven rows of bookshelves, ten feet long, and filled mostly with Books About Books. Six of these bookshelves are ten inches high, except for the top shelf, which is seven and one-half inches high. On the top shelf sit my smaller-sized books, including the eleven-volume set of Lowndes' "Bibliographer's Manual of English LIterature."There is another eleven-volume set of Lowndes on the second shelf, along with a multitude of other bibliographical works, an entire shelf full. Beginning on the third shelf, and continuing endlessly on and on in alphabetical order are my anecdotal Books About Books, many of which are listed in Winslow Webber's bibliography, "Books About Books." Also on my Books About Books bookshelves - I can't remember exactly where- are my books about book publishers and booksellers. On the very bottom shelf are my auction catalogues. A small collection of early periodicals, My Vol I No. 1 Collection, also rests on the bottom shelf.

Turn around, Hannah, and see the bookcase to your left, an ordinary bookcase, probably bought in Wallmart or Kmart. On these shelves rest my books about bibliographical societies, and bookbinding. Yes, Hannah. I can repair a book if you rip it apart. To the right of this bookcase is my iron bookpress, which weighs a ton, and which is used for getting the air out of books. My sewing presses and my finishing press are underneath my Books About Books bookshelves. A very good friend who passed away this year, Russell St. Arnold, made two of these wooden book presses for me.

See the bookcase to your right, Hannah? On these bookshelves rest my books on essays, literary criticism, and the remnants of my Philosophy Collection. Your Grandpa  loves reading essays! I hope you do too.

Do you see those sliding doors further to your right, Hannah? Behind those doors are the remnants of my History and Poetry Collections. I sold a goodly portion of these collections while I was waiting for my disability to be approved. The remainders of these collections were in the bookshelves in the living room; however, I'm storing them in the closet for safekeeping until I return in November. There are still Religious books, anthologies, and reference books in the bookcase by the front door, but so far, you and your brother haven't touched them. That bookcase, too, is from the nineteenth century.

Look up Hannah. Look up and see the shelf your Daddy built, extending ten feet from wall to wall above the closet. Your Daddy built this particular shelf so Grandpa could display his book chotskys; only, Grandpa decided to use it to display several small collections of books instead. On this shelf, I have my multiple editions of Strunk's "Elements of Style," a poetry book that Paul Ruxin gave me, an almost complete set of the Book-Lovers Library series, and my "Shelf in My Bookcase" Collection, which I talked about in a previous post.

Okay, Hannah. Turn around again. Good girl! Your Daddy built these bookshelves too. In fact, he helped build my entire library. On this wall, your Daddy constructed seven rows of bookshelves, each seven feet long. On these shelves sit more pride and joy: My Samuel Johnson, Mary and Donald Hyde, Shakespeare Society,and Philological Collections. I will talk about each of these collections in future posts.

Uh-oh. Someone is yawning... thank you and goodnight, sweet girl. Pleasant dreams!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Among the Leaves, Fruit

There are many bibliophiles in my library who shared my tastes in book collecting. Harry B. Smith, for one, loved association books. Paul L. Ford loved books about the Constitution. Vincent Starrett loved books about books. William Targ loved autographs. Logan Pearsall Smith loved words and idioms. A. Edward Newton loved Samuel Johnson. Mary Hyde loved Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson. She also loved Logan Pearsall Smith. Luther Brewer loved autographs, books about books, and Leigh Hunt.

Leigh Hunt was one of the first English authors I collected - after Samuel Johnson, of course. After you read Leigh Hunt's essay, My Books , you will understand why Luther Brewer and I love Leigh Hunt.

Luther Brewer not only collected Leigh Hunt, he wrote about him, and published books about Hunt under the Torch Press imprint. Almost every Christmas from 1912 until his death in 1933, Luther Brewer printed a book especially "for the friends of Luther Albertus and Elinore Taylor Brewer." I have a number of them, particularly the ones which pertain to Leigh Hunt. My most recent acquisition is the 1921 Christmas book by Vincent Starrett:


A STUDENT OF CATALOGUES by Vincent Starrett. Introduction by Luther Albertus Brewer and Elinore Taylor Brewer; 24 x 15 cm.; 24 p.; 1/4 vellum; brown boards; "Privately printed for the friends of Luther Albertus and Elinore Taylor Brewer Cedar Rapids Iowa. Christmas nineteen twenty-one"; "Of this book two hundred and fifty copies were printed in December nineteen hundred and twentyone by The Torch Press Cedar Rapids Iowa."

In the Preface of this book, Luther Brewer reveals the acquisition of a Leigh Hunt item that he didn't know existed. The book, an 1822 edition of "The Literary Pocket Book," was listed in a London catalogue, and contained poems and essays by Hunt.

In the first few pages of "A Student of Catalogues," Vincent Starrett relates that a bookseller, having sent Starrett a number of catalogues without receiving an order, queried Starrett: "Are you a prospective purchaser, or merely a student of catalogues?"

The Brewer-Leigh Hunt Collection is housed at the University of Iowa. This library has done much to preserve and promote both Hunt's works and Brewer's works. Additionally, the university has published several checklists covering the publishing history of Torch Press limited editions, which includes a list of the Torch Press Christmas Series.

In my library, I have a number of books by Leigh Hunt and Luther Brewer. I also have a book formerly owned by Luther Brewer: volume II of " A Book For A Corner" by Leigh Hunt. On the ffep is not one but two of Brewer's bookplates: His famous Leigh Hunt Bookplate and his earlier Inter Folia Fructus bookplate from 1892. 

Yes, among the leaves, there is fruit.

Jerry Morris

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Shelf In My Bookcase

When I said Farewell to Bibliomania and to the Florida Bibliophile Society last January, I did not say farewell to book collecting. In fact, I completed one of my book collections just before I left Florida.

My bibliophile friends are probably tired of hearing me rave about Alexander Smith's "Dreamthorp: Essays Written In The Country." Of all of Smith's essays, A Shelf In My Bookcase is the essay I liked the best. I liked it so much that I decided to replicate Smith's shelf in my library.

I already had a copy of Boswell's "Life of Johnson," and quickly acquired copies of "Lyra Germainica," Hawthorne's "Twice-Told Tales," and Professor Aytoun's "Ballads of Scotland;" however, "The Poems of Ebenezer Elliott," the Corn-Law Rhymer eluded me for several years. As luck would have it, I sniped an inexpensive copy of Elliott's poems on ebay, which I received only the day before I left for Hawaii.

All of these books, and more, sit on a shelf in my library originally intended to hold book chotskys. This bookshelf, extending from wall to wall above the closet in my library, contains a few small but choice collections of books, "Smith's Shelf...", being one of them.

I have expanded "Smith's Shelf," to include "The Poems of Alexander Smith," two copies of Smith's "Dreamthorp," and a copy of Smith's "A Shelf In My Bookcase," which Luther Brewer's Torch Press published in a limited edition in 1905. I will have more on Luther Brewer and the Torch Press in my next post.

Jerry Morris

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

to displace: to take the place of

The Displaced Book Collector knows what it means to be displaced.  In his dreams, and only in his dreams, can he turn the pages of a volume of one of his JOHNSON'S DICTIONARIES until he comes to the very word itself:

dis-place: to put out of place, to remove.

A more modern addition to the definition of "to displace" is "to take the place of." This definition has more of a bearing on my current location than Johnson's original definitions.

Living in Florida, one could think I may have been displaced by a hurricane.  That is not the case.  Thus far, Mother Nature has spared me from suffering from the ordeals of her weapon of mass destruction.

There are some who have been displaced by the ravages of war. The Displaced Book Collector is one of them. Although my books are still in Florida,  I am removed to a place far away. I am displaced in Hawaii, taking the place of my son while he is in Iraq. Instead of caring for my books,  I am caring for my grandchildren until my son returns from the place where no weapons of mass destruction were to be found.

Granted, it could be worse.  My son could have been stationed at Minot, why not, North Dakota, and I would have been freezing; but the reason I'm not is because he is stationed in Hawaii.  And while there might be weapons of mass destruction in Hawaii, they will do me no harm.

War is hell for the Displaced Book Collector here in Hawaii.  I go to the beach, read a lot, go the beach and read a lot.  I do miss my books though, and in this blog, I will write about them so I don't forget about them.

Jerry Morris,
The Displaced Book Collector