• <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>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Zane Grey, Inscribed photograph album depicting Grey and party at Catalina, fishing, and in Arizona. $700 to $1,000
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Eric Taverner, Salmon Fishing...London: Seeley, Service & Co., 1931. $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> The Gentleman Angler. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Ken Robinson, Flyfishers' Progress. [London: The Flyfishers' Club, 2000. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> G. H. Lacy, North Punjab Fishing Club Angler's Handbook. Calcutta: Newman & Co., 1890. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> J. Harrington Keene, Fly-Fishing and Fly-Making for Trout, etc. New York, 1887. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Arthur Macrate, The History of The Tuna Club, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California, 1948. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Joseph D. Bates Jr. Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing. Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Company, 1966. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sils. Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials: A Natural History. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Herbert Hoover, Fishing For Fun - And To Wash Your Soul. New York: Random House, 1963. $400 to $600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Cranmer, Thomas (1489-1556). <i>Catechismus, That is to Say, a Shorte Instruction into Christian Religion...</i> London, 1548. First edition. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Donne, John (1572-1631). <i>Pseudo-Martyr.</i> London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Walter Burre, 1610. First edition. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Fletcher, Giles (1549?-1611). <i>The Russe Common Wealth, or Maner of Gouernement by the Russe Emperour…</i> London, 1591. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Gabelkover, Oswald (1539-1616). <i>The Boock of Physicke.</i> Dordrecht: Isaack Caen, 1599. First edition. $12,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Galileo, Galilei (1564-1642) trans. Thomas Salusbury (d. 1666). <i>Mathematical Collections and Translations the First Tome.</i> London, 1661. First edition of Galileo's works in English. $35,000 to $50,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Higden, Ranulphus (d. 1364). <i>Polycronicon.</i> Translated by John Trevisa, with the 1357-1460 <i>Continuation</i> by William Caxton. Southwark, 1527. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Randolph, Bernard (b. 1643). <i>The Present State of the Morea, Called Anciently Peloponnesus…</i> London, 1689. [Bound with] <i>The Present State of the Islands of the Archipelago…</i> $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> <i>The Great Herball Newly Corrected.</i> London, 1539. Folio, ESTC lists three U.S. copies; the last copy offered at auction was incomplete and sold in 1949. $25,000 to $35,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2017 Issue

Does history predict the future?

34768bef-9079-4e59-8c00-215bb927b3fc

Mark, come to Ulster County and we'll show you otherwise!

 

If you look at a slice of history, at a single area with very strong records, and if you then document in full text and cross index a fair approximation of all related printed and manuscript material including letters relating to that area, do you believe that 350 years of such history (1665 to 2015) would be sufficient to represent essentially the complete human emotional experience? If that can be reflected over 17 generations, then Ulster County will provide the Petri dish. I believe a complete understanding of that history would show patterns of repetitive and therefore predictive behavior.

 

In other words, though humans live complex lives in evolving environments; many instinctively believe that the full range of human behavior has already been experienced and that the patterns of those behaviors will be visible upon in-depth investigation.  And if so, what’s the research challenge?

 

Historical records of human activity exist in many parts of the world, but a particularly rich area for research is Ulster County, and in particular Southern Ulster County, in the State of New York.  The ten communities* of Southern Ulster County that have long been home to careful record keeping, an educated population, committed historians, and a highly visible and relatively narrow historical focus.  This area is alive with local history collecting organizations so an unusually significant proportion of newspapers, ephemera and manuscript material has been safe guarded.

 

Within this material are the stories of tens of thousands of people, embedded in newspaper stories, town and county records, their written correspondence and diaries, their lives and exploits known or suggested.

 

Ulster County is a place where, if 350 years of history is enough and because its history has been long prized, copied, recorded and collected, it will be possible to create a predictive model --- one that perhaps will help future generations around the world avoid mistakes and errors that predictably occur and reoccur in human society.

 

This is possible in Ulster County because there are libraries, historical societies, county, town, village and non-profit organization historians, all of whom have something important to contribute to our understanding of recurring patterns in human behavior.  In some sense all those who have believed history to be important may finally see the payoff for their decades of research and collecting.  We cannot predict specific events but we can capture the history of expended emotions, and see patterns of recurring behavior that, taken together, become predictive and therefore important.

 

Then, how can this be done?

 

There are four categories of information to be gathered.

 

Gathering the conventional data into a high-speed database is a manageable project that will require the participation of many people.  There are probably about a hundred printed sources and two to three hundred volumes that can be readily converted into searchable text, chief among them its newspapers, formal histories and directories.  There are also thousands of other printed documents that together can provide a deeper understanding of life as it evolved.  To these we then need to add private manuscript material.  Personal observations will be crucial for they will tend to be more honest expressions of emotional reactions to life.

 

To these we then need to add county, town and village records to see land purchases, sales and foreclosures.  Were people of all ethnicities treated the same?

 

Jail and prison records will, in a matter of fact way, confirm changing social and political assumptions of socially acceptable behavior in each era.

 

And languages, before Ulster County spoke English it spoke Dutch.  A history of the spoken languages by location, class, and perhaps color, would recast our assumptions about how people lived.

 

And length of life – how long people lived, by color, and gender and era.  We assume that lives over time became longer.  But is this true and if so, was it true for everyone?

 

And cemetery records, what do these records show?  And the placement of graves, segregated or integrated, and by era, how have the underlying burial rules, customs and assumptions changed?

 

And the impact of wealth – how did it affect life and for people who had less, what if any price in length of life did they pay?

 

And causes of death, what will they tell us?

 

To all this and more we then particularly need manuscript material.  What did people say, to whom did they say it, and how did they say it?  Did people write their views contemporaneously or more often later?  Were immediate views later amended once emotions had cooled?

 

What would all this data be worth?  For what purposes would it be collected?

 

It seems obvious that if a deep database is created we will have a unique tool that will be used in a generic way because as I suggested at the outset, our behaviors, irrespective of our locations, recur.  So while what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, what happened in Ulster County may very well illuminate behavior in other times and places.  

 

This is a complex project that can be handled with conventional databases but it should also be possible to use relational database software to measure not just facts but also the relationships between facts.  That would permit everyone with a specific interest to analyze the data and find unexpected variations and anomalies in comparison to current expectations.  In that way this Ulster County historical database project would be relevant to everyone looking at the full range of human behavior.

 

It is of special interest that during the 20th century the Hudson Valley was home to one of the greatest business achievements in world history, the rise of IBM Corporation that was based in nearby Dutchess County and had some of its facilities in Ulster County.  The company moved down river to Armonk some forty years ago but never completely left for their roots in the Mid-Hudson Valley are deep.  In the past decade they developed what may be a crucial tool to breaking the code of history:  Watson, software that plumbs deep data connections, software that simulates human intuition.

 

Now, if the historical resources of Southern Ulster can be pulled together and IBM agrees to contribute its best thinking about using databases, perhaps it’s databases, we have an opportunity to make some history and much more importantly, make a difference by focusing on the emotional component of human actions over a long period of time.

 

George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”  But actually he was only half right.  Comparing public actions misses the point.  It is the history of our emotions that predict behavior and in Ulster County we have the resources, if not yet the demonstrated will, to pull the essential facts together.

 

In Ulster County we have the rare opportunity to change the way people understand the past and its relationship to the present and future.  There is no saying this will be so but I grew up there and I remember being told that if there is also a way.

 

This is it.  This is the way forward.

 

 * New Paltz, Rosendale, Tillson, Gardiner, Shawangunk, Plattekill, Marlborough, Milton, Lloyd, and Esopus

 

Bruce McKinney can be reached by phone at 877.323.7273 and email at bmckinney@rarebookhub.com


Posted On: 2017-01-01 16:19
User Name: blackmud42

The mammoth research effort you describe would undoubtedly lead to a vastly deeper understanding of the past and present of Ulster County, but I cannot believe that it would allow us to predict the future. To do that we would need to have a perfect command of an infinity of variables. No matter how much data we accumulate and analyze, what we know will always be negligible compared to what we do not know.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>The Tragedie of Julius Caesar.</i> London, 1623. 1st appearance in print, Complete from the First Folio. Sold for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 372: Martin Luther King Jr. March for Freedom Now! Placard. Chicago, 1960. 28 x 22”. $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 567: Warhol, Andy. Tate Gallery Exhibition Booklet, Signed on the Cover by Warhol. Tate Gallery, 1971. $700 to $900
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 72: Mitchell, Margaret. <i>Gone With the Wind.</i> New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936. First edition, first issue. $4,000 to $5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 468: Photo Archive Documenting the 1930s—50s Chicago Jazz and Night Club Scene. A significant collection. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 143: Dr. Seuss. <i>Oh Say Can You Say.</i> 1979, First Edition, Signed. $200 to $300
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 285: [Maps] Thomas G. Bradford. <i>A Comprehensive Atlas, Geographical, Historical & Commercial.</i> Boston: William D. Ticknor, 1835. First Edition. $1,600 to $1,800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 69: Herman Melville. <i>Moby Dick, or The Whale</i>. New York: Random House, 1930. First Kent Trade Edition. $400 to $600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 295: John James Audoban. Group of 148 Lithographs from the Birds of America. Philadelphia: J.T. Bowen, ca. 1840s. $600 to $800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 54: Langston Hughes. <i>One-Way Ticket.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. First edition. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 7: Ray Bradbury. <i>The Martian Chronicles.</i> With a Wine Label Signed by Bradbury. Garden City: Doubleday, 1950. First edition $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 121. Frank L Baum. <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.</i> Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1899, 1900. First Edition. $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 369. [Declaration of Independence] Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page; 29 x 26”. From the "American Archives" 1837-1853 series of books. $15,000 to $20,000

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