Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2004 Issue

An Antiquarian Visits Tufts

Tufts1

Today Tufts has 5 times as many teaching positions as they used to have students.


By Bruce McKinney

When an antiquarian father visits colleges and universities with his new-age children it’s not surprising that they see these institutions differently. Recently I accompanied my daughter on a ‘visit’ to Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, just an easy gallop for Paul Revere north of Boston which is visible, if not actually accessible, from the roof of their library.

In preparation for this trip I read one of their college catalogues. It begins, “A Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Tufts College 1872-73 printed by John S. Spooner, 4 Province Court, Boston. I make a quick look in ABE’s fifty million listings for other items printed by him, found nothing and concluded he went to his reward without leaving much of a paper trail.

This catalogue starts with the Trustees that number eighteen and includes no one on US currency or coins. Names and places are shown and they are all men, and decidedly New England with one residing in Washington, D. C. Are they authors that have left a trail on the internet? They are. Lucius R. Paige, D. D. and secretary to the board left a variety of printed works of which his histories of Cambridge and Hardwick command low three figures. Richard Frothingham, LLD, the treasurer and apparently once the Mayor of Cambridge, left an array of printed items and signed documents and looks to be an obscure but collectible person. Alonzo A. Miner had no books by him on ABE but had two copies of a biography of him. Timothy T. Sawyer is found once for “Old Charlestown,” a 1902 volume. Henry B. Metcalf left to us his “Papers and Addresses” that one listing dealer describes today as “New England essays on universalism, church, school, citizenship, prohibition, abstinence, [and] church reform. [He] deals with the New England Universalist church.” Then there is the Rev. Elmer H. Capen, AM with three items on ABE, each in a single copy. They are Courage and Resourcefulness: The Fifth Link in the Chain That Binds Man to the Best [Home Culture Series], The People's Bible History; Book III, From the Call of Abraham to the Bondage of Israel, and THE COLLEGE AND THE HIGHER LIFE Baccalaureate Sermons Preached by Elmer Hewitt Capen in Goddard Chapel, Tufts College. Finally there is the Rev. Thomas B. Thayer, DD who left behind The Bible Class Assistant” and “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment.” How tough was this school exactly?

I gather you needed to be quite serious to be appointed trustee.

In the catalogue each student’s name, address on campus and hometown are given. Not surprisingly the student body is also mainly from New England although John Fred Ridlon came all the way from Momence, Illinois, a place that finds many matches on Google today.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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