Playwright Joel Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell “were jailed in 1962 after spending years doctoring books from Islington libraries, the jackets of which they would alter with surreal collaged additions, before returning them to the shelves.” They were sentenced to six months in jail. Today some of these same book jackets are “framed and proudly put on show by the same Islington libraries that once retained them as evidence of wrong doing.” Gill Partington. “Dust Jackets.” in Book Parts (eds. Duncan and Smyth): Oxford University Press, 2019.

Some 2019 Acquisitions

RALEIGH, Sir Walter. Judicious and select essayes and observations. By that renowned and learned Knight. Sir Walter Raleigh. Upon The first invention of shipping. The misery of invasive warre. The Navy Royall and sea-service. With his Apologie for his voyage to Guiana. Published by London. Printed by T. W.[arren] For Humphrey Moseley [dropped y in imprint], 1650. Collation: Engraved frontispiece, A4 + dedication leaf (inserted between title and A2), A-G8 (G8 blank); A[4], B-C8, D4, A-D8 (A3 labelled A2), E4. 4 separate title pages. Separate pagination with some pages unnumbered.

UTOPIA: written in Latin by Sir Thomas Moe, Chancellor of England. Translated into English. Publisher: Richard Chiswell at The Rose and Crown in St. Pauls Churchyard, 1684. Collation A2-A8, B-Q8, P3 [A1 and P4 blanks, lacking]. Pagination: [22], 206p.

Milton, John. A Defence of the People of England. Publisher Np, Np. 1692. Collation: [A1-A2], A3-A8, a-a8 [a8 blank], B-Q8, R4 Final leaf R4 “An advertisement to the reader.”

New Additions to the Anne & Kevin Major Collection

The following works were added to the Anne & Kevin Major Collection in December of 2019.

1. Hiddeness – Richard Tuttle / Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge

2. Annie, Gwen, Lily, Pam and Tulip – Eric Fischl / Jamaica Kincaid

3. Circhi e cene / Circuses and Suppers – Joe Tilson / Andrea Zanzotto

4. Opera of the Worms – Judy Rifka / Rene Richard

5. Snow Country – Tadaaki Kuwayama / Yasunari Kawabata

6. Dream Work – Bruce McLean / Mel Gooding

7. A Tremor in the Morning – Alex Katz / Vincent Katz

As well, there is a separate 5-unit group called “Penguin Designer Classics”. For Penguin Books’ 60th anniversary in 2006, five hardcover books were crafted by five internationally known artists, most with no previous experience in book design. Each volume was released in an edition of 1000 copies, with a transparent Plexiglas (Perspex) box serving as the book’s slipcase, which also supplies protection for the curious designs. Each is complete, with book, plexiglas case, and publisher’s storage box.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Lawrence) designed by Paul Smith

Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky) designed by Fuel

The Idiot (Dostoevsky) designed by Ron Arad 

Madame Bovary (Flaubert) designed by Manuel Blahnik

Tender is the Night (Fitzgerald) designed by Sam Taylor-Wood

Here is a link with a Guardian article dealing with the five books in more detail:

Seeing Through Things: Graduate Research in Material Culture

“What stories do objects tell? Through the study of folklore, we looked at the role of things in everyday life, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Each of us conducted ethnographic research focussed on materials in landscapes and communities; within one’s home and in public ritual; through music and performance. In this exhibit, we present the objects from our research. Each object communicates multiple experiences, from a variety of perspectives. We understand people, places and traditions—our material worlds—through these things.”

Exhibition statement from Dr. Kelley Totten’s Folk6400, graduate students in Material Culture. November 26 to December 17, 2019.

Left to Right. Dr Kelley Totten, Katie Crane, Shannon Bateman, Ting ting Chen, Kiersten Fage and Ayda Dalvand

Folklore of the Caucasus

Archives and Special Collections recently received a donation of six books on the Folklore of the Caucasus region of what is now Georgia. The history behind these books is as follows: prior to about 1910 there was no written language in the region. In the mid 1800’s Russia took control of the region and since then Russian scholars have recorded much of the Folklore and translated it into Russian. In the 1990’s, Dr. David G. Hunt translated these tales from the Russian into English and self-published about a dozen copies of each book. About 60 of the tales were published in “Georgian Folk Tales”, Merani Publishing House, Tbilisi, 1999 (ISBN 99928-16-42-2). Another 100 or so were published in “Legends of the Caucasus”, Saqi Books, London, 2012 (ISBN 978-0-86356-473-4).The six donated volumes are the originals and contain nearly 600 Folktales from which the 160 published tales were selected. The donor believes these are the only copies in Canada, and probably in North America.