• <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 - June - 2010 Issue

The Digital Age Comes to the Ivory Tower - <i>A visit to some public and private special collections

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Born Digital Means a Shift in Focus
This group is avidly interested in the world of technology and its implications for libraries. Pitschmann was one of several who used the term "Born Digital," to refer to the whole generation coming up that has always used the computer and other electronic devices as their primary means of getting information. "We're finding that all our university libraries are technology driven, collaborative, multi media, and much more heavily used than in the past," he said.

"The majority of our users prefer the digital format," said Minnesota's Hedin, "They find it easier to use and easier to search. It also saves wear and tear on the primary source material."

"We have a compelling mission," said Liza Kirwin, curator at the Archives of American Art. She stressed the immediacy of the digital technology saying, "When we get a new donation we don't wait five years to put it up. It's important to have access right away."

The enormous push to digitize books has had a corollary effect of shifting the acquisitions spotlight to other kinds of materials, especially unique items like manuscripts, diaries, or letters. Special collections are also seeking photographs, scrapbooks, broadsides, or similar ephemera that help add depth and focus to their other holdings. "Manuscripts, sound recordings, pictures, illustrations, you name it, we're interested," said Bliss of the Bancroft Library.

He, like others, was quick to point out that the move to put entire collections on-line has not in any way diminished the interest in the specialty reading room. "The Bancroft has one of the busiest university rare book rooms in America," he said, estimating "over ten thousand in-person visitors there annually."

Special Collections Aren't Poor & They Are Selective
While money is tight all over, it is not nearly as tight at the special collections as it is in other parts of the library world. Many mentioned an income stream from endowments and grants. Others pointed to generous benefactors. Alabama has allies at the legislature "where the library budget has been increased every year for the past ten years." Some like the Cherokee Nation are fortunate to have income generating for-profit businesses which help support their cultural and heritage acquisitions.

But all the curators and librarians who spoke with AE Monthly were tactful but emphatic about one thing: Not all gifts are created equal. While they might fight tooth and nail to buy (or have donated) something really desirable, they will decline gifts that don't fit their needs or wants. However, in some cases they may help the donor find an appropriate home at another library or institution.

Making Use of Special Collections
Whether you're a dealer or collector or just someone with a question special collections welcome your interest. There are however some provisos:

If you plan to visit in person and you want to have your research materials ready for use when you get there: Do call ahead. Do make an appointment. Do realize that some of these collections are vast and spread out over many buildings. Be sure to allow sufficient time for the things you want to be found and assembled for your use.

Also, despite the emphasis on on-line and electronic technology, don't be surprised if everything isn't digital yet. There's still a great deal of microfilm and its older cousins out there and you might find that what you want is provided in these older formats.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Announcing the Fall 2016 Auction Season
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 1:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b> Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 10:</b> 19th & 20th Century Literature
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Colored Plate Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 1:</b> Art, Press & Illustrated Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 29:</b> Illustration Art
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 3:</b> Old Master Through Modern Prints
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WARREN, JOSEPH. Letter Signed ("Jos Warren") as Chairman of the Committee of Safety. Cambridge, MA, June 4, 1775.
    <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].
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <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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