Sometimes when writing blog posts, I plug keywords into the library’s catalog of our rare books. Since there’s a cold front coming through, I chose “cold.” While not surprising, one of the results was Truman Capote‘s important work that helped launch the true crime genre.
What is surprising is that our copy is a hard bound limited first edition. In fact, it’s 261 of 500 and signed by Capote.
It’s always fun to find extraordinary little gems hidden in our rare books collection.
One of our largest rare book collections is the Benjamin Monroe Anderson Collection on the History of Aeronautics. Some of the books have beautiful covers like With the Airmen by Claude Grahame White and Harry Harper with colored illustrations by Cyrus Cuneo.
Now, here’s the mystery. This version of the book doesn’t contain a date. Furthermore, when I searched online, I couldn’t find an example of this particular cover. Instead, the one below is the common version.
The only clue about the our book’s publication date is that Auntie Syb. gifted it “Xmas 1925.”
In the medical section of our rare books collection is a wonderful little book titled The Illustrated Practical Mesmerist, Curative and Scientific, 3rd edition by William Davey.
On the hunt to create a spooky gif, our student worker, Chad, found this great illustration. Despite being Mesmerized, the patient did feel a bit of pain.
While these two J. Frank Dobie books are not rare per se and can easily be purchased on Amazon, their covers are.
First, this version of The Mustangs features a pinto horse hide cover, original drawings by the artist, and is numbered.
The copies of Cow People are two of 15 with a cover made from unborn calf. The differences come from the author signatures.
During the summer, our student worker, Claire, created a few gifs, which we’ll be sharing over the next few months. One book that she selected is an atypical book in our rare book collection. It’s Pages and Pictures from Forgotten Children’s Books: Brought Together and Introduced to the Reader by Andrew White Tuer and published by his Leadenhall Press.
Our copy contains some notes at the beginning.
Of course, the title page has been perforated with Rice Institute Library.
The title page of an instructional book.
Claire’s cool gif from that book.
A lovely advertisement at the end of the book.
This will be the last Tech Thursday post I author. It’s a bit of a bittersweet occasion for me, and I hope you all have enjoyed this as much as I have. So, without further ado, I’m going back one more time to my favorite source for Tech Thursday posts- the Rare Book Collection.
A few years ago, Woodson then-intern Susan Kirby made an online exhibit for the History of Science Rare Book collection, featuring some scanned images from a little volume entitled Traité du Nivellement by Jean Picard (1620-1682). Picard was a French astronomer credited with a number of advances in his field, the most famous being the first accurate measurement of the Earth’s size. He was also interested in surveying and hydraulics, and was the principle designer of the aqueducts and cisterns that supplied water to Versailles.
Traité was published posthumously by Phillippe de la Hire, a French polymath and contemporary of Picard. Broken up in sections, the book discusses the theory, instruments, and practices of Leveling, a kind of land surveying. La Hire also included a condensed version of another of Picard’s works, Measuring the Earth. The book includes many diagrams of surveying interments, many of which were original to Picard, including a level fixed with telescope lenses and reticules.
Our student worker, Claire, has been making gifs all summer long. This one is the frontispiece to our 1788 edition Marcus Manilius’ Astronomica.
Julian Huxley‘s rare book collection contains many standard science texts, but also a few different ones like D.H. Rawcliffe’s The Psychology of the Occult (1952), which features a forward by Huxley.
The dust jacket explains Rawcliffe’s aim.
Here are some pictorial examples of the “occult.”
The other Derricke Ridgway Publications’ books also look quite interesting. The publisher also sold L. Ron Hubbard‘s Dianetics.
We’re going to revisit our good friend George Cruikshank’s Comic Almanack. The last time we posted about this book, we focused on the 1836 edition. This time let’s look at one from 1846.
In this section, Rigdum Funnidos, Gent. explains how to escape from a fire using some “new” devices.
Thanks to our new student archivist, Claire, for learning how to create the gif above on her first day.
This book is from our Cruikshank collection: AY758 .C7 C72 v.12-13 (1846-47)
Our Woodring Collection of Shannon and Rickett’s rare books has so many visual treats we could showcase something from it every week.
This time let’s focus on Harry Quilter‘s Preferences in Art, Life, and Literature, 1892. Clocking in at 898 pages, this tome presents many of Quilter’s previously published art criticism (1872-1890), along with some new work. His aim was to review his own criticism and to see how it had stood up to time.