This is the last week of my internship, and I am continuing to search for good items for the Lilly’s teaching collection. I presented a select number of my favorite, the strangest, and the most interesting books that I had found to the Head of Public Services and the Outreach and Education Librarian. Both of them were very interested in the things I had found, and pretty excited I think. It was a really nice way to finish off this project.
Now that my survey of the stacks incunabula has wrapped up, I’m shifting my focus to other early printed items that would be of interest for classes. This has consisted mostly of atlases and maps, bibliographic examples, etc. I’ve also been pulling modern literature, such as Hogarth Press books and Ian Fleming books.
This week I finished looking at the stacks incunabula in the collection, and began to shift my efforts to finding some interesting items in other areas of stuff. This week I focused on finding atlases and maps. Many of the prettiest and largest atlases are vault items, so I found smaller, later, or uncolored versions of many of the best books.
I took off of my paid positions at the Lilly this week in order to devote the entire week to internship hours. During the course of this week I looked at more than 250 book printed before 1500, and probably another 100 printed between 1500 and 1550.
Here is a video I’ve put together of some of the books I looked at over the course of this week
This week I have created a spreadsheet to track all of the books that I’m looking at in the stacks. I’ve transferred most of the data from the online catalogue into the spreadsheet. Of about 700 incunabula listed in the online catalogue, a lower number than expected are in the stacks, about 400. This is still a pretty big project, but well smaller than the 600 that I expected. The week was spent doing a lot of the data entry, and beginning to look at each of the books. The goal is to find things about the books that can be used in teaching: bibliographic examples, oddities, marks of readership, woodcuts, interesting typography, and interesting bindings.
This week is a pretty short week, because of the holiday. I did observe a class however, helping me to understand how the Lilly uses their teaching collections. I also met with my advisor and the Outreach and Education Librarian to discuss what specific kinds of things are needed for the teaching collection. Many of the kinds of things that are used for teaching are incunabula from the vault. I’m going to complete a survey of all of the incunabula in the stacks in order to find similar items to those vault materials that the Lilly may have limited access to during the renovation.
I’m back from the RBMS conference this week, and now it’s time to buckle down on this curation project. Unfortunately, I’m being started on a new project. The exhibition is far enough along that Emily can complete it herself, so I’ve been asked to help curate the teaching collection that will be used while the Lilly is undergoing renovations for the next few years. For the moment I’m going to start with a review of the incunabula (books printed before 1500) in the stacks collections.
I’m back from the Book History Workshop! Only for a week, though. Next week I will be in Baltimore attending the Rare Book and Manuscript Society conference.
This week I pulled more stacks materials and my 6 Degrees of Francis Bacon have begun to gel a little bit. I’ve got a long way to go, but I have come up with some connective chains outside of England and begun trying to find way to connect them back to Francis Bacon. I seem to be quite far behind Emily, however. She has created several chains now and has a really robust map of connections to Bacon. I really like the work she’s been doing, and I wish I had a bit more time to catch up!
This week worked to brainstorm items for exhibition, pulling items from the stacks and researching the connections between them. I’ve found some very cool things, but am struggling to freaked the Francis Bacon connections out of 16th and 17th Century England. I think it’s important to find connections outside of the English speaking world, and get representation in the exhibition from the rest of Europe and the non-white world. SO far, I’m not having much luck.
I’ll be out next week, attending the Texas Book History Workshop.
This week Emily and I began to research materials for our ‘6 Degrees of Sir Francis Bacon’ exhibition. I set up a Slack channel for us to communicate better and share our research with each other and our advisor. We’ve used different methods to find materials, Emily is using a research at the front method to connect items, while I am going into the stacks to find interesting items. I’ll research and connect them after I’ve found interesting things and gotten an idea of what kinds of things we have.
We also met with our advisor and the Assistant Director of the Lilly. The main gallery exhibition to be installed in August is being partially curated by an outside expert. In anticipation of a visit from this visiting curator, Emily and I are pulling some materials for him to view when he visits in a few weeks.