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Showing posts from January, 2009

Handbill for Anna Katharine Green book

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Here is an 1888 handbill advertising the publication of Anna Katharine Green's latest mystery: Behind Closed Doors . Anna Katharine Green helped develop the genre of detective fiction in America. Though a pioneering woman in mystery writing in the 19th century, she was not very progressive when it came to women and politics. She refused to support Women's Suffrage. But she did introduce, in The Golden Slippers and Other Problems , the character Violet Strange, one of the first, if not the first, female detectives in the genre. Green, whose image is found at online-literature.com , lived from 1846-1935. She was an aspiring poet, a correspondent with Emerson, and an influence on Agatha Christie. She published her first book in 1878, The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer's Story , to critical and popular success and is best known for that work. By the end of her life, her work was all but forgotten. Patricia D. Maida has written about her life and work in The Life and Works of

M.D. Anderson bookplate

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Here is a bookplate from Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital and Tumor Institute, as it was known in 1964. I found it in a book titled, The First Twenty Years: The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute (1964). The center got its start in 1941, so this book covers 1941-1961. I presume the age of the bookplate corresponds with the publication date of 1964. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center , as it's known today, is arguably the best cancer research and treatment facility in the country, if not the world. I know from personal experience, unfortunately (and fortunately!) just how good they are. They saved my mother's life--brought her back from death's doorstep. I spent a good chunk of a year in and out of their hospital and various clinics (and every year since with follow-ups and procedures), and I still marvel at the experience our family had with that institution and its team of dedicated doctors and health care professio

Bookplate for the Booklovers Library

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Here's a nice old bookplate, circa early 1900s, from The Booklovers Library, whose home offices were in Philadelphia. This informative ex libris also indicates other offices and their addresses for New York, Brooklyn, Boston, Pittsburg (sic), and Washington. It's subtitle, Library of Current Literature, narrows down what kind of books would comprise the library. If that sounds like a book club where subscribers received a new book each month, that's because it was. But subscribers did not purchase the books, they rented them. The Booklovers Library was founded by Seymour Eaton in 1900. It was very successful within a short period of time, which inspired Eaton to start other enterprises, such as another rental library business (Tabard Inn Library) and the Booklovers Magazine. These attracted investors, who were paid dividends. Mark Twain was one of the more famous investors in Eaton's business. But the company overextended itself and there was some controversy abou

Canis lupus irremotus libri vestigium

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I know part of that title is correct because I copied it directly from the bookmark to the left, which features the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf (canis lupus irremotus). As for libri vestigium , I was shooting for bookmark. Libri starts off in the right direction, but vestigium probably wobbled off course into the archaic definition of footprint or track. Close enough for bibliophemera concerns, eh? Because of Lauren's remarks about my blogs recently, I thought a bookmark was in order for my next post as a nod of the bloggin' cap to her and BiblioBuffet . The kind words are very much appreciated. I found this bookmark a few days ago in a copy of Platte River , by Rick Bass . A more appropriate book by Bass to shelter this bookmark would have been The Ninemile Wolves , his essay on the reintroduction of wolves into the Ninemile valley of northwest Montana. But because of that book and his other works, such as The New Wolves , The Lost Grizzlies , and Winter: Notes from Montana

Bookmobiles

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I can still remember the excitement I felt as a kid when the bookmobile came to our neighborhood. Climbing up into the truck into a world of books, I was like a kid in a candy store. Or I guess a bookstore. Here's a bookmobile postcard picture of the Texas State Library Bookmobile, circa late 1950s. The bookmobiles I remember were not much later than this one. This bookmobile has Bookmobile Demonstration printed on its side. Curious about that wording (was this a demo vehicle for libraries and other potential buyers?), I did some digging and found the Federal Library Services Act of 1956, which helped counties promote and develop library services in rural areas. It also helped urban areas cope with a rapidly growing suburbia. Bookmobile demonstration projects helped promote the growth of rural and suburban community library systems. So the Texas State Library must have gotten funding to send the Bookmobile Demonstrations out into needy areas to promote the need for community lib

KTIS Minneapolis radio station label

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The labels I find inside books usually consist of bookplates, book shop labels, school labels, etc. Now I can add radio station labels to the list. My first one of these is from KTIS in Minneapolis, the radio voice of Northwestern Schools (Bible School, College of Liberal Arts, and Theological Seminary). This promotional label for both the radio station and the college that owned it could date back as far as 1949 because the KTIS came on the air that year . The book it was found in is a later printing of the The Disciplines of Life, by V. Raymond Edman (1948). Without knowing the printing history of the book, my fourth printing could have been in the following year or in any year after that, up to the time zip codes began. The address on the label has Minneapolis 3 Minnesota. Another clue is the FM station indicated on the label. FM radio got started in the 1930s, but didn't begin to flourish until sometime after its inventor's suicide in 1954 ( interesting FM history here )

Baker's Plays - Boston book shop trade label

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Here's a trade label for Baker's Plays, a Boston book shop devoted to playwriting and the theatrical arts, as well as publishing titles in that field. I found it in a copy of Dear Brutus , by J.M. Barrie (Scribner, later printing, 1928). I have no way of knowing (yet) if the label is contemporary to the book's printing. If the book shop sold used books, the label could have been affixed in one of several succeeding decades. It's a nice label with raised letters and a drama mask design befitting the shop's specialty. Baker's Plays still exists, though. Their Web site lists a New York address, but I also found mention of a Quincy (Boston) location. From a Bibliography listed at Heniford.net , I learned this: "Since 1845, Baker's Plays has supplied playscripts and performance rights, adding through the years theatre books, stage makeup, sound effect and dialect tapes." Quite remarkable, if I have my facts right. This must be one of the oldest

Bookseller correspondence with Henry Miller

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In 1964, bookseller/bibliophile Paul H. North, Jr. wrote a letter to author Henry Miller requesting inscriptions in a few of Miller's books he had purchased from a mutual friend or acquaintance. That letter is pictured below. Miller replied directly on the letter and enclosed inscriptions on articles of some kind. He also included a brief note on his own letterhead (below). Miller evidently didn't want to be bothered with receiving and mailing packages of books, as indicated by his reply on North's letter, and hoped his enclosed signatures would suffice (stated on Miller's note below). This correspondence came into my possession a few years ago and included a follow-up letter from North, in which I learned that North had sent Miller some blank fly leaves for signatures. Miller apparently signed and returned them with the note above. North thanked him for it, but seemed perplexed about the reactions of another mutual friend for his having corresponded with Miller.

Happy New Year! A bookseller's trade card

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From Noyes' Book Store in Suncook, New Hampshire, here's a trade card depicting rowers practicing for a race, with the additional caption of "Now all of yis pull together." A metaphor for success in the new year? As the years 1881 and 1882 are indicated on the card, I would assume this holiday greeting is for the Christmas/New Year's holiday season--the end of one year and beginning of the next. As we transition through the holiday season, this bookseller wishes healthy, happy, and prosperous rowing for all as we enter the 2009 race. Happy New Year!