Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

New historical libraries in LibraryThing: Mailer, Ransome, Galileo, de Sade, Child, Dana

Another update on some Legacy Libraries folks have added recently or are working on now:

Since I wrote last we’ve had one library completion, that of author Norman Mailer. Mailer’s library is at the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin, and we were able to bring it into LibraryThing by importing the MARC records. Thanks to jburlinson for adding in the records that didn’t import and for sprucing up Mailer’s profile page.

Mailer’s 851-title library contained a huge number of his own books in various editions and translations: check out his author cloud! Volunteer jburlinson commented on the author cloud “I think he would have been pleased with how it looks.”

If you have any information on additional Mailer books, &c., please let us know in the discussion thread.

Another author’s library in the works is that of Arthur Ransome, being cataloged by LTer cynfelyn. Ransom’s catalog so far includes more than 700 identified titles, with a bunch more still to be added.

My favorite collection from Ransome’s library so far is Lakes & Pirates, a list he drew up for children who enjoyed his books and were looking for other reading material.

Know of other Ransome books? Tell us in the discussion thread.

Legacy Libraries volunteer ColmGuerin is hard at work on the library of Galileo Galilei. Nearly 300 titles have been entered so far, with more to come.

Galileo’s library was collected by his student Vincenzo Viviani, and bequeathed by Viviani to the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. The books are now among the collections of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the National Central Library in Florence. You can get a sense of the books entered so far from Galileo’s tag cloud.

As always, we’d appreciate any assistance or additional information on this library: jump into the Talk thread!

Another recent addition is the library of the Marquis de Sade, being cataloged by lolawalser from a transcription of a 1776 inventory of de Sade’s chateau, La Coste. So far a total of 295 titles have been identified and added, including a fair number of works by Rousseau, Locke, Hume, Hobbes, and Voltaire.

Speaking of Voltaire, his library still has many books to be added, so if you’re feeling adventurous (and/or have pretty good knowledge of French), join us! There’s a discussion thread where we’re working out the details, and a wiki page where you can claim a section and add some books.

We’ve started work on the library of Julia Child, a good chunk of which is now in the collections of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard. To help out with this one, please join us in the Talk thread and we’ll get you set up with some books to catalog (much easier to manage than Voltaire’s, to be sure).

Finally, on the Libraries of Early America front, I’ve been working on adding the books of Francis Dana (1743-1811), a Massachusetts lawyer and diplomat. Dana’s library is pretty neat in that it’s drawn from not only some lists of books, but also an impressive collection of receipts and order lists which document his book purchases, loans, and other things quite nicely. I’ve been a little busy what with moving and all, but I hope to finish Dana’s library off before too much longer.

How can I help? We’re always looking for volunteers to help catalog Legacy Libraries. Come join the Legacy Libraries group: introduce yourself, tell us some authors or other historical figures you’re interested in, and we’ll come up with a good Legacy project that would benefit from your help. If you know of somebody important we’re missing, let us know: if we can add their library, we will!

Labels: legacies, legacy libraries


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