Archive for the ‘legacies’ Category

Friday, February 20th, 2009

What do Ben Franklin and C.S. Lewis have in common?

Answer: They’re both on LibraryThing!

I’m pleased to announce the completion of Benjamin Franklin’s LT catalog. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the gracious permission of the American Philosophical Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia, the publishers of The Library of Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2006). Not only have they made the book available via Google Books (here), but they also gave us permission to enter the data from it completely, including the wonderful and incredibly useful annotations by Edwin Wolf 2nd and Kevin Hayes, whose hard work and bibliographical sleuthing made the book possible in the first place.

On the LT end, thanks to pdxwoman, who got the project off the ground way back in January 2008, to hopeglidden and benjclark who cataloged portions of the collection, and to katya0133, who
entered a major chunk of the titles. I jumped in in November and worked to add more titles and augment the records by entering the annotations. We got on a roll in January; since the start of the year, Katya and I added 2,009 titles, ~800 of them in the last ten days.

You can browse the catalog here, read Franklin’s reviews, and check out his stats. Not surprisingly, he shares many titles with his other Early American comrades.

No sooner is one finished than another is begun, around here. I’ll be tackling the Virginia Georges next (Washington and Wythe) but BOB81 has taken on the task of heading up the creation of an LT catalog for C. S. Lewis, based on a listing created by the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. If you’re interested in helping out, sign up here.

[So far Lewis and Franklin only have one work in common, The Spectator. More to come, I'm sure.]

Labels: ben franklin, c.s. lewis, legacies

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Lawrence of Arabia’s library, and other Legacy updates

The latest addition to the ever-expanding Legacy Library universe is T.E. Lawrence, whose 1,181-title library was entered (in just two months) by Kordo, BGP, and Direlander. The collection, drawn from an inventory of Lawrence’s books made at the time of his death, is very rich and certainly worth a browse.

Lawrence’s books include a wide selection of title by authors such as W.B. Yeats (also a Legacy Library in progress), George Bernard Shaw, William Morris, D.H. Lawrence, Sir Basil Henry Liddell-Hart (ditto), Thomas Hardy, Stephen Crane and William Blake, plus many classical titles and fine press books (including a Kelmscott Chaucer).

Another recent completion (in keeping with the military theme) is Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., whose library was added to LT by sergerca and BOB81 from Roger Nye’s The Patton Mind. Not surprisingly, Patton’s books primarily concern military theory and practice.

The Libraries of Early America announcement brought a huge influx of suggestions for that project (at least forty new suggestions for collections, plus some additions to existing libraries). I’ve been thrilled by the response, and can report that some of the suggestions are already completed, with more underway. As a direct result of the project announcement, LT now includes the libraries of New York’s Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence (his books are now in the library of Yale Law School) and John Askin, a fur trader and local official in early Michigan. The colonial-era collection of the Pennsylvania General Assembly (partially purchased by Benjamin Franklin) has also been added, by LTer Melancthon.

2008 was an extremely productive year for the Legacy Libraries project, and we anticipate continued progress and advancement in the new year.

Labels: legacies, libraries of the dead