Miniature Monday!  (I made it…).
This tiny mini blank book is chained to its larger relative, and fits in the little recess in the cover. 
Statement from the artist’s website: (Click here!)
"Until fairly recently all books were prized possessions — medieval libraries chained books to the shelves to prevent theft. In those days each volume was crafted with precision, elaborately decorated and embellished with precious stones and metals. I aim to make my books just as precious as those medieval manuscripts."
[Chained book on a book].  [Asheville, NC : Dan Essig, 1999]
Catalog: N7433.4.E55 C5 1999a 
See all of our Miniature Monday posts.

Miniature Monday!  (I made it…).

This tiny mini blank book is chained to its larger relative, and fits in the little recess in the cover. 

Statement from the artist’s website: (Click here!)

"Until fairly recently all books were prized possessions — medieval libraries chained books to the shelves to prevent theft. In those days each volume was crafted with precision, elaborately decorated and embellished with precious stones and metals. I aim to make my books just as precious as those medieval manuscripts."

[Chained book on a book].  [Asheville, NC : Dan Essig, 1999]

Catalog: N7433.4.E55 C5 1999a 

See all of our Miniature Monday posts.

It’s been a while since we have gotten a video out to you due to how much our schedules change over the summer in an academic institution.  But Staxpeditions are still in the works!  
Here’s a hint for a video we’re editing behind the scenes right now:
While in Las Vegas for the American Library Association conference some of the UISpecColl team met with Rebecca Romney at Bauman Rare Books (Rebecca is called up when they need help with rare book appraisals on the TV show “Pawn Stars.”)
From left to right:
Margaret Gamm ( from uimapcoll)
Patrick Olson ( From Staxpeditions) 
Colleen Theisen ( uispeccoll )
Rebecca Romney ( Bauman Rare Books, Rebecca’s Facebook)
Laura Hampton ( uispeccoll Miniature Mondays)
Jillian Phillips ( uispeccoll Thursday posts)

It’s been a while since we have gotten a video out to you due to how much our schedules change over the summer in an academic institution.  But Staxpeditions are still in the works!  

Here’s a hint for a video we’re editing behind the scenes right now:

While in Las Vegas for the American Library Association conference some of the UISpecColl team met with Rebecca Romney at Bauman Rare Books (Rebecca is called up when they need help with rare book appraisals on the TV show “Pawn Stars.”)

From left to right:

Margaret Gamm ( from uimapcoll)

Patrick Olson ( From Staxpeditions

Colleen Theisen ( uispeccoll )

Rebecca Romney ( Bauman Rare Books, Rebecca’s Facebook)

Laura Hampton ( uispeccoll Miniature Mondays)

Jillian Phillips ( uispeccoll Thursday posts)

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Today we celebrate the 148th birthday of the famous children’s author, Beatrix Potter, who is mainly known for writing The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Here at the University of Iowa, we are fortunate enough to have a copy of one of the first printings of this charming tale, which according to our acquisition papers, was previously owned by Potter’s niece!

This particular book was printed in a grouping of 250, and is widely believed to have been done so in 1901. However, the acquisition papers accompanying this copy state that the author’s records say it was privately printed in 1900, and later issued in 1901. This copy is also interesting as it contains the later omitted pages showing how Peter Rabbit’s father met his demise by way of pie. 

Want to see the fully digitized version of this book? Click here!

Want to learn more about this and other Beatrix Potter books at Iowa? Click here

-Beatrix Potter aficionado, Lindsay M.

PZ5.P86 T3

hevelincollection

hevelincollection:

Here’s Weird Tales from September, 1929. It features stories by H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and E. Hoffman Price. Also of note: Stories by Sophie Wenzel Ellis and Otis Kline. Kline later became an agent and placed some stories for Robert E. Howard. E. Hoffman Price was a prolific writer with a long career (he knew Howard and Lovecraft) and could fence and swordfight. Very useful, I’d imagine, if you were writing adventure stories. The back of this pulp is priceless (no pun intended)! The Lovecraft story, The Hound, finishes above one of Howard’s poems, The Moor Ghost. The cover is by C. C. Senf.

Today would have been Amelia Earhart’s 117th birthday.  The famous aviatrix was born on July 24,1897 and died July 2, 1937 while attempting to fly around the world. Her plane crashed while flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island.  Earhart wrote two books during her life time: 20 Hrs. 40min.(1928) and The Fun of It (1932).  While photographing 20hrs. 40min., I discovered that the book originally belonged to Bertha Shambaugh. Bertha’s husband, Benjamin Shambaugh, chairman of the University Lecture series, is in the photograph with Earhart.

On March 31, 1936, Earhart visited the University of Iowa as part of the University Lecture series.  Bertha recorded the event in both her copy of Earhart’s book and in one of the Shambaugh house books—diaries Bertha kept that detail their lives and University campus life.  In the house book she included several newspaper clippings and the University Lectures advertisement. Bertha described that “Amelia Earhart’s lecture is a not a great one - but is entertaining.”  She did not attend the lecture herself, but instead recorded Benjamin’s report.  The majority of the entry is dedicated to complaining about the ticket situation for the event which apparently was a mess—only 1,800 seats were available and the campus population was close to 7,000!  Benjamin gave up his seat and listened to the lecture from a doorway! It seems that Benjamin made an impression as a host, Bertha particularly noted that “Miss Earhart seemed to appreciate Benjamin’s protection of her from exploitation.  She thought there should be a special medal struck off for such chairmen. She has the dislike of the average ‘distinguished guest’ of banquets and receptions in her honor.”

Here’s to Lady Lindy!

-Jillian P.

Check out uimapcoll's earlier post of Richard Byrd’s flight map which was partially funded by Earhart!

TL721.E3 A3 1928

RG99.0152

iowawomensarchives

iowawomensarchives:

Sept. 17, 1918 - Tonight the big hospital train came in and every one was on duty until late bathing and dressing the poor boys. Such horrible wounds. How can any one of us complain after seeing the brave acceptance which the boys display…

Here’s a sneak preview from our upcoming World War I digital collection and transcription project, featuing the photo album and journal of Louise Liers, a Clayton, Iowa, native and Army nurse who spent 16 months in France treating wounded soldiers. Check back for links to the full items soon!

Iowa Women’s Archives: Guide to the Louise Liers papers, 1911-1983

View all Women’s History Wednesday posts

pittspecialcollections

pittspecialcollections:

PART II: HISTORY OF GILT                                                                       

BY: LAUREN GALLOWAY

Gold decoration on books has been around for centuries. From its past history to current use, on books both old and new, big and small, inexpensive and luxurious, Pitt Special Collections brings you a three part series on GILT.

Gilded books have a history of being luxury items, but at one point gilt was a decoration even bestowed on ordinary books. From the 1600s to the 1800s, books were bought as mere sheets, with only paper wrappers serving as a “cover.” This was the norm, as the owner of the book was expected to have the book bound later, under his or her specific desires. Often times, the wealthy would have their collections bound the exact same way so that their libraries would look uniform.  

Of course, gilt decorating on these books cost extra. By the late 1660s though, bindings were readily available with extra gilt on the spines and covers, and with gilt lettering. This became referred to as the "common" binding.

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This copy of Little Men by Louisa May Alcott is probably a common binding. Even children got gilt on their books, as shown on this copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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As gilt became a more common decoration, people got more creative with it.

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Compare these two copies of She Stoops to Conquer. Even as gilt became a standard in bookbinding, using a significant amount to decorate books still cost a pretty penny, and still marked that its owner was a wealthy man or woman.

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Gold is known as the traditional and most beautiful method to decorate books, and was adhered to the cloth or leather by great pressure and heat. In the early days, this took a great deal of time, skill, and money.

In the 1660s and 1670s, bookbinders began to gild the spine, with or instead of the edges of books. This was because people started shelving their books with the spines facing outwards instead of the fore-edges, which are the edges of paper opposite the spine; they basically shelved their books backwards!

The gilt edges of books became unnecessary because they were less visible, but were still used for elaborate bindings. By 1830, printers figured out how to adapt an iron printing press to block an entire design to the sides and spine of a book. Look at these copies of Jane Austen’s books.

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Their gilt covers are exactly the same, except for the titles. If the title block was removable, it would make it extremely easy to use a printing press to stamp the same design onto these different books. It became a much cheaper process than to do every book by hand or to create a different cover for each title, and made them look nicely uniform.

Though gilded books used to be commonplace, in today’s world you have probably only experienced them first-hand if you have a new, fancy, expensive copy of a book, or if you have a very old book. If you get a chance to look at one yourself, you should take it; some are quite beautiful.

Next week: Booklovers’ Gilty Pleasures

Sources:

Bennett, Stuart. Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles: 1660-1800. First ed. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll, 2004. Print.

McLean, Ruari. McLean, Ruari. Victorian Publishers’ Book-Bindings in Cloth and Leather. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: U of California, 1973.