Oh, I don’t know. Should I even ask why these things happen in June, when I’m trying to tidy up loose ends and wrap up operations as we glide toward the Book Fair? Or is it just one of the rules of life that just when I would like to move the last few boxes of THAT, a hundred boxes of THIS need to be piled on top of them? Anyway, here’s what’s been going on since Memorial Day.
Architecture: We received a lifetime collection of architecture magazines: Architectural Record, Architectural Forum, Progressive Architecture and, of course, Architecture. We did not see complete runs for half a century for each of these (or I’d still be pricing them), but if you want to know what was cutting edge in 1954 or 1979, we can probably accommodate you.
Cookbooks: Our Cookbook Lady reports that she feels there are more and better cookbooks this year than last year. This does not mean just shiny, new coffee table cookbooks by your favorite Food Channel cooks (though we have those as well). We have the sat-in-the-kitchen-for-forty-years classics, too, and, so far, NO cookbooks that show signs of having been through a pressure cooker explosion. (Remind me to tell you about THAT donation some time.)
Genealogists: Genealogists will want to roam through the Reference section beyond just the genealogy bits, because we are working on this names collection. The onomast who gave us these was a not a man of narrow interests, and it is sometimes difficult deciding which of these books goes where. London Street Names os clearly geograophical in nature, and a History of the name Campbell is etymological. But a study of where different family names were to be found in Yorkshire clearly has genealogical implications. I’ve tried to make these divisions, but really, you want to hunt through the whole section. Fortunately, I know that genealogists LIKE digging through things. (By the way, the collection also turned up a beautiful copy of Delmore Schwartz’s 1941 play, Shenandoah, all about how a baby wound up being named Shenandoah Fish.)
Autographs: Well, we have Blossom Dearie and Barry Williams, but I’m not altogether sure those are in the John F. Kennedy range. We do have something more unusual, valuable to those who want it. Once upon a time there was a man named Nathaniel Bowditch, who was the first insurance actuary in America and wrote the basic book on American navigation, editions of which are in print today, two centuries later. We do NOT have his autograph, marshmallow gravy. We have the autograph of his son, Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch. Guess what HE wrote about. Names! And we have a copy of the first edition of his classic, Suffolk Surnames, which he has inscribed to Josiah Quincy, the retired president of Harvard and namesake of Boston’s Quincy Market. It’s all so very Massachusetts, I may have to display this next to the Kennedys.
Civil War: We have a bound volume of a vitriolic pro-slavery, pro-States’ Rights, anti-Republican magazine published in new York in 1864, noting that if this Lincoln fellow understood the principles of 1776 he would never have sent his pirates south in search of plunder. The editor was VERY disappointed by the results of the November election. We also have the recollections of the man who stood as doorman at Ford’s theater the night of the assassination, a book I am told is essential to any good conspiracy theorist.
Another psychologist has added HER library to the massive Psychology section, and we’ve had another load for our Music and Show Biz categories. So there are going to be books come the end of July.
Mark your calendars; we have