Newly catalogued • Hodder and Stoughton dustjackets

Wrappers of books published by Hodder and Stoughton Limited (London, 1900-1940)
Call number: (Ex) 2010-0025E

Freshest advices! A complete listing of this collection is now available (4 August 2008).

A collection of approximately 1200 wrappers and dust jackets, in albums and loose [viz. 2 vols. and 3 boxes], originally part of the publisher’s archives. Items mounted on leaves, arranged as follows:

[H&S vol 1] Bound in brown cloth, Guildhall Library shelfmark on spine: Ms 16346A vol 1, ca. 1920-40: books at 9d, also (inverted at end) at 2s; [H&S vol 2] Bound in brown cloth, Guildhall Library shelfmark on spine: Ms 16346A vol 3, ca. 1920-40: books at 2s, also (inverted at end) at 2/6, 3/6 and 5s.; [H&S box 1 – unit 1] Leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 2s “Yellow Jacket” series, leaves numerated in white 1 to 50, probably ca 1920-1940 [approx. 53]; [H&S box 1 – unit 2] Leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 3/6 and 2s, leaves numerated in yellow 2 to 71, leaves 2 to 51, books at 3/6, leaves 52 to 71, books at 2s Probably ca 1920-1940 [approx 60] ; [H&S box 2] 38 leaves (white) with wrappers for books at 1s. 2s, 2/6, 6s, leaves numerated and not numerated [approx 75]
[H&S box 3 – unit 1] Leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 3/6, some “Yellow Jacket Western” series, leaves numerated in yellow 52 to 58 [approx. 18]; [H&S box 3 – unit 2] Leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 9d and unpriced, leaves numerated in white: 25, 10[1], 10[2], 113 [approx. 12] ; [H&S box 3 – unit 3] 18 leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 9d and various prices, leaves not numerated — [approx 70] ; [H&S box 3 – unit 4] 45 torn fragments of leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 9d and various other prices [approx. 45]; [H&S box 3 – unit 5] 26 cut fragments of leaves (brown) with wrappers for books at 9d and various other prices [approx. 26] ; [H&S box 3 – unit 6] 23 unmounted wrappers [23]
Provenance: Princeton collection formerly on deposit at the Guildhall Library, London. In March 2001, Hodder and Stoughton withdrew these and eventually sold them. Princeton purchased this lot from a Boston bookseller in April, 2007.


Recently acquired • Angelo Decembrio, De politia litteraria (1540)

Purchased in spring 2007 with funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Professor Anthony Grafton’s comments on this book: “The Milanese humanist Angelo Decembrio provides in his De politia litteraria a uniquely vivid, if fictionalized, record of literary life at the court of Ferrara in the age of Leonello d’Este. His court was the favorite habitat of the great humanist teacher Guarino of Verona; the architect, humanist and theorist of the arts Leon Battista Alberti; the poet Tito Vespasiano Strozzi; and many other scholars, writers, and erudite soldiers of fortune. In Decembrio’s unique dialogues we listen to these men debating the value of ancient and modern poetry, discussing the quality of Flemish tapestries and other works of art, examining the Egyptian obelisk that still stands in Vatican City in the Piazza S. Pietro; and describing the ideal renaissance library and how it should be kept. The text has fascinated students of the Renaissance for the last century and more, and parts of it have been edited (the one on the obelisk, for example, by Brian Curran, now of Penn State, and myself; that on works of art by Michael Baxandall).

“In collaboration with Christopher Celenza of Johns Hopkins, I plan to edit and translate parts of this text, … But it won’t be an easy text to edit. Decembrio’s work survives in two distinct recensions: one preserved in a Latin manuscript in the Vatican, of which we have a full copy; the other in two printed editions based on a manuscript stolen from the Vatican in 1527 and now lost. The differences are multiple and subtle, and the supposedly critical edition that appeared four years ago in Germany is very problematic. We [can] collate the divergent texts far more easily [now that] Firestone ha[s] both printed texts.

“The edition itself is of considerable interest, moreover: its title page illustration is a spectacular rendering of learned conversation, one of the most brilliant ones of this period, and the text it offers is curious in many respects.”


Call number for the book: (Ex) Oversize 2008-0435Q

New Acquisition • The Library of William Chauncey Fowler (1793-1881)

From a descendant, the Library purchased the remaining personal collection of Noah Webster’s son-in-law, William Chauncey Fowler, professor, clergyman and legislator. The 311 titles come to a total of 392 volumes and include books on a wide variety of subjects as well as his personal, marked-up copies of his own works also ranging widely in subject, from anti-slavery to what sorts of books young people should read. Also included are two books formerly owned by his father in law, one of which, Jeremy Belknap’s American Biography (1794), has Webster’s annotation contradicting the author. In addition, because the Fowler family was a share holder in one of the earliest public libraries founded in the United States – the Book Company of Durham, Connecticut (founded 1733), they obtained a number of books from the Library’s stock when the company was dissolved in 1856 and the members voted “to divide the books by auction.” These are variously marked “Book Company of Durham, new library” or “Durham, new library” and include stock numbers (with date of accession as inscribed): 26, 35 (“1789”), 38, 45, 47, 71 (“1791”), 72-76 (“Jan. 3, 1792), 78 (“Jan. 1793”), 86 (“presented by Dr. Stiles, April 8, 1793”), 88 (“presented by Dr. Stiles, April 8, 1793”), 96, 97 (“A.D. 1795”), 101 (“A.D. 1795”), 108 (“1795”), 110 (“A. D. 1795”), 114 (“A.D. 1796”), 129 (“March 5, 1798”), 132, 142-144 (“1800”), 192 (“June 5th, 1812”), 199, 201, 202, 212 (“Jan’y, 1817”), 216, 224, 225, 229, 256, 257, 258, 279, and 286. One book with no stock number is marked “Ethosian Society, Durham, Conn.,” a debating society with a library known to have been formed in 1783 and dissolved in 1793. Few libraries of nineteenth century professors are traceable as a collection today. Equally few are gatherings of books known to have been in one of the thousands of social libraries active in ante-bellum America. Historians of reading are eager not only to know what those books were but to actually examine such documented survivors as these.