Charles R. Darwin. Three books: The Origins of Species, 1936 (WorldCat); Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. 1, 1900 (WorldCat); Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. 2, 1868 (WorldCat).
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Today we stumble upon your favorite French queen, and mine: Marie Antoinette. I don’t know what keeps me going back to French History, but there I was again, scanning the shelves. Two books caught my eye: Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette (WorldCat) and Secret Memoirs of Princess Lambelle (WorldCat), printed in 1917 and 1901 respectively.
I found that in both books, the embellisments, illustrations, the typography and even the width of the margins on the page, all combined to to form a feeling of opulance that reflected the subject matter.WorldCat), but it was a lifeless book in comparison to the 1917 version.
Talk about a great find. I don’t really remember what started me down the Technology section of our research library, but at one point, I found myself face to face with a 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking (WorldCat). I took it off the shelf and opened it up to a random page on preparing game – rabbits and squirrels. Looking around to see what else was at hand, I found a 1972 edition of the The Epicurean (WorldCat) which was an “unabridged, unedited” version taken from the plates of the first printing in 1893. Oh man, what fun! I spent about 20 minutes reading on the differences of serving a French party versus an American party versus a German party (all parties had 24 persons). Turns out the Germans don’t get mineral waters during the appetizers.
Speaking of the Germans, I kept looking around and found Spanish cookbooks, regional cookbooks from America, Kosher cookbooks and even one on the cuisine of South Africa. But most impressive was a 1972 printing of the Nurenburgerische Koch Buch. Now, I don’t know German but I think that’s a book on the food stylings of 17th century Nurenburg. I tried looking for mention of hossenfeffer to no avail.
I’ve worked at a university Library for 8 years now and have just started to explore it. That’s pretty sad for someone who loves to read. So I thought I’d start a blog where I search out the strange, rare, cool, interesting books that can be found in any of the campus libraries.
To start, I gathered up three different printings of The Odyssey, by Homer.
Book the first was published in 1932 by Oxford University Press (WorldCat) and of the three, it is the only book written in prose (the others use verse). It shows some wear in the cover and the binding but was still pretty manageable. Also this book had a nice drawing on the inside.
The second book was published in 1965 by Harper and Row.
And the third copy of The Odyssey was published by Hackett Publishing in the year 2000 (WorldCat).