• <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2013 Issue

Once in a Lifetime

Oldsouthchurch

The Old South Church

Note:  records and links mentioned in this article are listed at the end of page 4]

Boston today is a field of skyscrapers interspersed with patches of history that live on as old buildings and parks and curbside historical plates to explain long-ago significance.  Among these many historic icons is the Old South Church at 645 Boylston on Copley Square opposite the Boston Public Library.   In its present location since the 19th century it has maintained its place in the ancient downtown even as the streets have widened and neighbors one by one succumbed to the blandishments of progress and money.  Through its nearly three hundred and fifty years the church has held on to its royal place in American history through the inevitable fires, depression, development and waves of new ideas that are ever a danger to the old.  History it seems is always at risk, even in Boston.  These days the church’s changing mission, its progress and continuing relevance, even its survival as a living institution are being weighed against the emotional and financial value of two books they own that are so important that the sale of one is expected to reconstitute the institution’s financial structure for the foreseeable future.  The books they own are two copies of the Bay Psalm printed in 1640, the first book to be printed in the British American colonies.  They have two copies and the thinking is they can part with one.

For the Church the issues are complex:  how to maintain and strengthen its robust ministries and honor its storied history.  If the focus is on its history those that oppose a sale will judge it a sacrilege.  If, on the other hand, the goal is the greatest good for the largest audience the book will be cashed and the proceeds invested.  Church leaders and members grappled openly with these matters over many years.  They concluded that as the church is not in the library business they should transform a treasure from the past into ministries for the future.  Recently the congregation voted to sell a copy, a vote that required two thirds in favor and achieved almost Russian results, 88%.  A copy will be sold.

Because this book has been a fragile cultural icon for more than a hundred years neither copy has been kept in the church since 1866 so it's possible many of the church’s 300 members have never seen one in person.  Both copies are kept at the Boston Public Library and access strictly governed.  For the interested a link to the Church's electronic full text version is provided on page 4.


Posted On: 2013-01-01 00:00
User Name: knathan

You mean the 92nd St. Y in NYC, not 72nd St.


Posted On: 2013-01-09 00:00
User Name: PeterReynolds

Some churches here in Scotland and a few in America still sing from a book produced only 10 years after this. We use the Scottish Psalter o


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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana
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    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn, NY: [for the Author], 1855.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> JEFFERSON, THOMAS. Printed Broadside Signed ("Th: Jefferson") as Secretary of State. Philadelphia, February 12, 1793.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> CELLINI, BENVENUTO. 1500-1571. Autograph Letter Signed ("Beto. Cellini"). [Florence, c.1566].
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    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Autograph Manuscript. [c.1795].
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> DICKENS, CHARLES. Great Expectations. London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> REED, JOHN. To the Honourable House of Representatives of the Freemen of Pennsylvania this Map of the City and Liberties of Phiadelphia With the Catalog of Purchasers is Humbly Dedicated.... [Philadelphia]: engraved by James Smit
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> ELIOT, THOMAS STEARNS. The Waste Land. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922.

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