Tag Archives: rare books

The Acquisitions Table: Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. To be exhibited at the house of [     ]. Ithaca, NY: Mack and Andrus, [between 1825 and 1828] Only known copy, previously unrecorded, of this 8-page promotional pamphlet. Early in 1826, two Egyptian mummies cleared customs in New York on their way to Peale’s Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts on Broadway. One mummy ...

Henry David Thoreau meets Cotton Mather at the Antiquarian Society

The following post comes to us from AAS reader Peter MacInerney. Early in January 1855, a Concord-based free-lance writer, occasional surveyor, and sometime lecturer, visited the American Antiquarian Society at its then-new building.  This second Antiquarian Hall had been completed little more than one year before, after the Society outgrew its original building. The visitor recounted ...

The Acquisitions Table: Omnibus Editions

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Collection of omnibus editions, ca. 1840-1855. AAS has purchased from member Mark Craig an interesting and very unusual collection of 14 omnibus editions, all in fine condition in the original blind- and gilt-embossed publisher’s sheep bindings. These omnibus editions typically consist of 16mo stereotype reprints of popular and juvenile fiction, with three to four works bound ...

The Acquisitions Table: Only Known Copies

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This week we feature two items acquired by AAS in recent months.  What they have in common is that our copies are the only ones known to exist.  Given the age of these items (they were printed in 1795 and 1815 respectively) and given the fact that generations of bibliographers have labored to identify and ...

The Acquisitions Table

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In 1834, AAS librarian Christopher Columbus Baldwin wrote: “Some philosopher has said that his unhappiest moments were those spent in settling his tavern bills.  But the happiest moments of my life are those employed in opening packages of books presented to the Library of the American Antiquarian Society.  It gives me real, substantial, and unadulterated ...

From Cheap-Jacks to Scrooge McDuck

In Cheap We Trust

Recent economic events have raised the profile of cheapness, which makes this Tuesday evening's free public lecture at AAS a particularly timely event.  On Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30pm Lauren Weber will be discussing the value of thriftiness in American history in a talk titled: "From Cheap-Jacks to Scrooge McDuck: A Brief History of Cheapness and Thrift in America."  By ...

Are your bookshelves looking bare?

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Happy weekend, everyone!  Hope you all have had a chance to crash out on the couch and luxuriate in the do-nothing vibe. Should the time come when you decide to do something more drastic with your weekend, here's a last-minute but heartfelt invitation to join us at the acclaimed Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair ...

Anatomy of a Catalog Record

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People tend to treat catalog records a lot like refrigerators: open it, grab what you need, and close it up again. At AAS, the milk, eggs, and butter of the record are the author, title, and call number. Locate those three and the rest can stay a black and white blur. But know that ...