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Showing posts from July, 2009

Announcement card for Buzz Aldrin signing

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I am pleased to be posting my latest acquisition of bibliophemera --an announcement card, or ad card, for a book signing at Louis Vuitton in Houston. Apollo 11 astronaut and moonwalker, Buzz Aldrin , appeared in person yesterday at Louis Vuitton to sign copies of his latest book, Magnificent Desolation . I picked up one of these cards at the store before they ran out, then I got in line to get my books signed by Buzz Aldrin. Thus the pleasure at being able to post about it today. This is special, of course, because of the space history connected with the signing. All this week, Americans, as well as other nations, have been observing and celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the first landing on the moon--the Apollo 11 mission. Buzz Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong as the first two men to walk on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. The Vuitton card is from the Louis Vuitton Core Values Ad Campaign , photography by Annie Leibovitz . The announcement is printed with the Leibo

A piece of Harvard Library history:
John Langdon Sibley

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Below is a piece of correspondence on Harvard letterhead-- The Corporation of Harvard College --dated January 29, 1857. It is signed by two notable figures in Harvard's history: John Langdon Sibley , Librarian, and James Walker , President.The letter acknowledges receipt of a gift from the publisher, John Ford, Esq., The Cambridge Directory for 1857, 1 Vol to the Harvard Library. Near the bottom of the document, before John Langdon Sibley's signature, is a date of January 29, 1857, which is likely the date of acknowledgment. John Langdon Sibley was an Assistant Librarian at Harvard for two nonconsecutive periods, 1825-26 and 1841-56. Beginning in 1856, he served as Librarian until 1877. From 1877-1885, Sibley was Librarian, Emeritus. According to information in the link above, Sibley was a noted biographer, best known for his Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University. He was born in Union, Maine on December 29, 1804, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Dece

John Love, the fattest bookseller in England

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For anyone who may have noticed the overweight man (pictured here) on the left side of this blog's banner, he is John Love, Bookseller, of Weymouth England (late 1700s), otherwise known as the " fatest and heaviest man ever known in England. " I first became acquainted with John Love through his likeness on the back cover of a pamphlet published by Goodspeed's Book Shop in Boston, this being Volume I, Number 6 (March 1930). Goodspeed used to publish a monthly pamphlet, beginning in 1929, titled The Month at Goodspeed's Book Shop . Each issue highlighted various books, prints, and autographs in their stock. I was fortunate enough in the last year or two to collect most of the issues published from 1929 through the 1940s. These monthly catalogs had a 40-year run, 1929-1969, and featured well-written, interesting articles about select items arriving in the shop. Norman L. Dodge was the editor of the catalog for its entire run and Goodspeed's ceased public

Raymer's Old Book Store, Seattle 1956

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Here is a 1956 postcard from Raymer’s Old Book Store in Seattle, one of just a few examples of Seattle bibliophemera in my collection and I'm pleased to have it. The store has a bit of interesting history, as you will read later. In a post from a few years ago on Book Patrol , longtime Seattle bookman, Taylor Bowie, describes Raymer’s Seattle store on 3rd Avenue as “a dusty and dreary shop of picked-over dross.” I wonder what he really thought? I still like the postcard, though. I suppose the illustration represents the picked-over dross. Actually it looks like a variant of Carl Spitzweg's Der B├╝cherwurm . It depicts a book hunter’s haven—the hunter on the step stool, books strewn about, seemingly endless shelves of old books to dig through. It seems there may have been more than one location for a book hunter to browse the stacks. I have found Raymer's Old Book Store in Salt Lake City, Denver, Tacoma, and Minneapolis, where the store's name looked like this:

A publisher's calendar for Independence Day

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Here is an appropriate piece of ephemera for July 4th, Independence Day in America: A 1925 calendar from the American Book Company , which features early meeting places of the legislatures of the original thirteen states. As there are only twelve months to associate with the meeting places, the vignette for the thirteenth state is that of the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, 1776. This is where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on this day 233 years ago. Today it is called Independence Hall. The vignette is printed on the cardboard backdrop that holds the monthly calendars, each with their own vignette. I've included some interesting history about the Declaration of Independence in a post on Archaeolibris . Happy Birthday, America!

Eugene O'Neill playbill

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Reviewing some of my old posts from about three years ago on another blog, I found a piece of ephemera that seems appropriate for this blog, which didn't get going until last year. This is a 1963 playbill for Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night , which I found tucked away inside a worn copy of the book. The play was being performed at the McCarter Theatre of Princeton University during October and November of tht year. As a playbill, there's nothing remarkable or interesting about it, except it features an up-and-coming young actress in the play and a concert ad for a young singer-songwriter beginning to make his mark in the music world. First, the ad. Flipping through the program I came across a concert ad for Bob Dylan, " America's newest folksong sensation " appearing in person November 16th, his only college appearance that fall. And shouldn't that be "America's newest folksinging or folksinger sensation?" Gr