Here in New England, May through October is the traditional season for library booksales. Many of our regional libraries hold massive sales with hundreds of thousands of volumes, featuring books old and new, on every subject under the sun. Quite often, they also feature special rare and antique book rooms with treasures that have been priced by local antiquarian book dealers. Today, we made a bunch of pretty nifty discoveries and came home many pounds heavier for all the books in Ashley's trunk!
By far my most favorite find was an 1853 bound volume of Godey's Lady's Book, which includes all of the original color plates. If there's sufficient interest, let me know and I can try to start scanning or photographing the issues (or at the very least the plates) and posting them here on the blog. Here's a quick sample:
Another pretty exciting discovery were two early Harper and Brothers printings of Charlotte Bronte's The Professor and Villette. The Professor is dated 1864 on the title page; Villette is undated, but I'm assuming it must be from about the same time because of the consistent type, layout, and binding. As you can see, "Currer Bell" is still listed as the author on the title pages of both.
My other thrill was finding two 1953 London newspapers - one The Sunday Times and one the Daily News - covering the coronation of Elizabeth II. The Daily News paper is a special commemorative issue with loads of neat pictures.
Ashley's highlight of the day was bringing home a 1900 edition of The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, which collects quotations from Thomas Jefferson on over 9000 topics and arranges them alphabetically to form a catalogue of the president's thoughts.
All in all, a pretty successful booksale day!