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Showing posts from August, 2009

Park Avenue Book Store Calendar, 1984

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Here's a curious pairing of bookmark to book: A Park Avenue Book Store calendar found in Houston: Land of the Big Rich , by George Fuermann (Doubleday, 1951). At first glance, you'd think the book about the big rich in Houston was marked by a transparent red calendar for a bookstore in the Big Apple: Land of Some Really Big Rich. But this Park Avenue is found in Rochester, New York, not NYC. The calendar is circa 1983/1984, the two years printed on it. Tracking that 25-year-old clue, about all I can find presently is a mention from Peggy Rosenthal in the acknowledgments for her book Words & Values : "Herb Leventer, whose Park Avenue Book Store has become a sort of personal research center for Rochester's many writers and avid readers..." So the bookstore with the big-city name appears to have been a literary hangout for its city. And it likely went the way of so many other once-viable book places. I had hoped to find it still thriving as an independent

On the Cherokee Trail with W.M. Morrison,
Texas Bookseller

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Here's an invoice from 1955, W.M. Morrison - Texas Books. Morrison (1914-1981) was a collector, bookseller, and Civil War historian. He was also a publisher of reprints and original works of Texas history. In 1963, Morrison published Texas Book Prices (updated in 1972). During his carer, he issued 340 catalogs, which have in themselves become collectible for their bibliographic and reference value. More associated with Waco, he opened his first book shop in Houston in 1954. Herbert Fletcher (Anson Jones Press), whom I've blogged about, was a mentor to Morrison. A year later, as indicated by this invoice, he sold an interesting book that's now part of my stock: Park Hill , by Carolyn Thomas Foreman (1948). Park Hill is a scarce title dealing with the town that became a publishing center of culture and historical research pertaining to Chief John Ross , the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears , and the Oklahoma Territory. The book was sent to a customer in Oklahom

Ephemera reveals Michigan rare books and collections

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I recently purchased a couple of books dealing with Michigan history. The ephemera angle for this blog post comes into play in two different ways. One book could actually be called ephemera; it's a paper-bound library catalog of rare books pertaining to Michigan's history. Its title is One Hundred Michigan Rarities , published as Bulletin LX (revised from Bulletin XXVII) by the Clements Library in Ann Arbor , 1950. The other is a hardback book about Michigan history in the era of President Grover Cleveland. Inserted inside the book is a promotional piece of ephemera titled Why Michigan and the Cleveland Era was Written . This is of more interest to me than the book because it led me to an interesting site where I learned about the Michigan Historical Collections housed in the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. Here you'll find a treasure trove of historical ephemera--more than 4,500 archival collections, 65,000 printed works, over 10,000 maps,

Goodspeed's Book Shop ephemera

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A recent purchase of an old Goodspeed's catalogue turned up a few pieces of related ephemera tucked inside the cover. Catalogue 233 - Rare Americana. Goodspeed's Book Shop at 7 Ashburton Place in Boston. The catalogue is not dated, but a postcard inside indicates 1936 was the year. In a recent post , I referenced Goodspeed's publication, This Month at Goodspeed's . So it was particularly nice to find an envelope representative of what they were mailed in. None of the copies I've collected (some 100-200 publications) have a mailer with them. This is also the year that Goodspeed decided to leave the Ashburton address and open up shop at 18 Beacon Street. Included in my Goodspeed ephemera was a postcard announcing the move.

A Hustler's Bookplate

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Here is the bookplate of James Hustler. More precisely, James Hustler of Acklam in Cleveland in the North Riding of the County of York, Esq. The bookplate is dated 1730, which I think makes it the oldest in my small collection. It's affixed to the backside, or verso, of the title page of a slim 51-page volume, sans covers, titled A Sermon Preached Before the Learned Society of Lincoln's-Inn . The title page allows that the sermon was preached on January 30, 1732, by a Layman. The price of the book was one shilling. All that's left of the book's binding is the spine--a thin strip of cracked leather, with remnants of gilt and raised bands, clinging tightly to the leaves by antique threads (I wish the covers' hinges could have boasted the same durability!). But the ex libris of the distinguished Hustler fares well almost a score shy of three centuries. Jose Vicente de Braganca has already written about Hustler and this bookplate on his blog Ex Libris//Bookplates