Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Picking for the American Antiquarian Society Library

Over at Past is Present: The American Antiquarian Society Blog, Laura Wasowicz begins a series of posts in which curators will describe their favorite stories about finding a new acquisition for the AAS library.

Here is a taste of Wasowicz's story: "Curatorial Instinct: Or Flying Blind in Upstate New York."  Here is a taste:

Early last summer, I (along with curatorial colleagues Vince Golden and Elizabeth Pope) piled into a rental van to travel to upstate New York to pay a visit to dealer Peter Luke, who has managed to fill an old house with crates and boxes full of books, newspapers, and printed scraps politely known as ephemera. While scouring the musty boxes for children’s books, I found ABC Book I, a charming piece of mid-nineteenth-century color relief printing (see right). It was issued without an imprint, adding to its mystery and fascination. I thought it looked very familiar, but could not conclusively tell whether AAS had it or not. Although my colleagues had cell phones with internet search capability that could access our online catalog, Peter’s house was just beyond the reach of the cell towers. My instinct told me I had seen it before, and that we already had it, but I took Peter up on his generous offer to let me take it back to AAS and check it.

Read the rest here.