Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Libraries up: C.S. Lewis, Dickinson, Yeats, Mann, Tufte

It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on the Legacy Libraries project, but that doesn’t mean the volunteers haven’t been plugging away. In fact just in the last few days we’ve seen a few major completions:

The library of C.S. Lewis (2,166 books) has been cataloged from the holdings of Wheaton College (IL), where it is now housed, thanks to the efforts of BOB81bokaicnbDisassemblyOfReasoniowaboy277janepriceestradaMrsBond, and zwoolard. His top shared libraries (weighted) are rwb24 and jfclark; among the other Legacies his collection most resembles those of T.E. Lawrence and Robert Graves. Check out his author cloud too (lots of G.K. Chesterton, F. Marion Crawford, Roger Lancelyn Green, and George MacDonald).

Some of the members who helped assemble these Legacy Libraries:

Since November 2008 a small but very dedicated team of users (jcbrunner, LolaWalser, GirlFromIpanema) have been working on the very large collection of Thomas Mann’s books, now held (mostly) at the Thomas Mann Archive in Zurich. That project is now complete, with a grand total of 3,282 titles (the largest chunk of which were by Mann himself, with Strindberg, Nietzsche, and Goethe also well represented – see the full author cloud). Mann’s top shared LT libraries (weighted) are Hughie2 and suedwind2.

Another interesting recent completion is the addition of the known books read by/belonging to Emily Dickinson (163 titles). Though we know Dickinson read and probably owned many more books, these are those most closely associated with her. This project was undertaken by nbt00, and completed by benjclark. Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and Edward Hitchcock are the names that pop out of her author cloud. Dickinson’s shared libraries are heavily skewed toward other Legacies: the Mordecai Family, Herman Melville, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti top the list (top shared among non-Legacies is Django6924).

Another long-running Legacy project was William Butler Yeats, whose catalog eventually amounted to 2,284 titles. Assistance for this was provided by Tim, michael_p, mountebank, inge87, and myself (JBD1). Yeats also had many copies of his own works; other well-represented authors include Rabindranath Tagore, Arthur Symons, Ezra Pound, John Masefield, T.S. Eliot, and William Blake (author cloud). Like Dickinson his shared libraries are weighted toward Legacies, with Lawrence, Lewis, and Alfred Deakin leading the pack.

In November some of us got the opportunity to work on a special flash-mob catalog project for a living author: the research library of Edward Tufte (197 titles), which was sold at Sotheby’s on 2 December. Professor Tufte graciously allowed us to add the titles (which include some really amazing works) to LT, which we were happy to do. Catalogers included thornton37814, Katya0133, jcbrunner, jburlinson and me.

As far as the Libraries of Early America project goes, I’m focused at the moment on the Signers of the Declaration of Independence in an attempt to find library information for all 56 of them. You can track progress on the project wiki: so far fifteen libraries have been entered, I have full or partial lists for eight more that I’ll be adding, and there are still a few outstanding queries. Recent additions include Stephen Hopkins (RI) and George Taylor (PA). If anyone has individual books or sources to add to this list, I’ll be delighted to know of them (and if you live in Philadelphia or Annapolis and want to undertake an LT-mission, we’ll be happy to reward you for your efforts!).

The list of Legacy Libraries in progress remains impressively long; if you want to join in, please do! Contact the LTer listed on the page, or me, and we’ll be happy to get you started. If you have a potential Legacy you’d like to get started on, or want to chat about the projects, come on over.

Labels: flash-mob cataloging, legacies, legacy libraries


  1. Nicole says:

    I think the legacy libraries are so interesting to look at. Thanks everyone for your hard work!

  2. Clynell Reinschmiedt says:

    I am sorry to trouble you with this beginners questions, but I can’t seem to stumble my way into the right path.

    Beginners Questions: How do I find the assigned Sears or LC subject headings for a catalogued book?! The “Details” don’t have them.

    How do I import a summary into my book addition?

    Thank you for your help.

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