2010 Acquisitions in Special Collections

PPL Special Collections
New Acquisitions
January – December, 2010

The following items were acquired by the Special Collections Librarian during the 2010 calendar year, and are here listed under the collection into which they will be placed, and then by date of creation (oldest to newest). Some items are described, and some are listed as brief citations. At the end of each entry, the fund utilized or the donor’s name is given.

Deery Fund

Acquired with monies given to support the Irish Collection by Dr. Philip Deery, and administered by the RI Foundation.

Duplicate Fund

Acquired from monies or credit generated by the sale of duplicates, either by auction or through individual book dealers.

Gift of —

Items given directly to Special Collections, with the donor’s name.

Nicholson Fund

Acquired with the assistance of the fund established to support the Nicholson Whaling Collection.

Nuggets Fund

Acquired with monies donated to “Occasional Nuggets.”

Rackham Fund

Acquired with monies donated by Martha Sherman to add books illustrated by Arthur Rackham to Special Collections.

General Collection

The books in this catch-all collection were either culled from the circulating collection over the years (we began circulating books in 1878), given to the library by individual donors, or purchased for general interest (i.e., Rhode Island history) and reference.

Anderson Improved: Being an Almanack, and Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1775.  (Newport: Solomon Southwick, 1774).  Milton Drake, who compiled the standard bibliography, Almanacs of the United States, 1639-1875 (1962), rightly stated that “any portrait of early American life that does not include the almanac as a vital part of its fabric is severely deficient. Imagine a picture of life in the period, 1925-1945, without an important place for radio broadcasts . . . or the mid-20th century without paperback books.”  Acquired at auction (Swann Galleries, March 18, 2010, Lot 112).

Duplicate Fund.

An Almanack and Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1776. (Newport: Solomon Southwick, 1774).  Acquired at auction (Swann Galleries, March 18, 2010, Lot 113).

Duplicate Fund.

[Broadside—Advertisement].  Benjamin Thurber has for sale, at very low prices, for ready Money, at the Sign of the Bunch of Grapes . . . a pretty useful assortment of English and West-India Goods . . . Rum, Molasses, Tea, Coffee, Chocolate and Chocolate Shells, Pepper, Alspice, Ginger, Copperas, Allum, Rosin and Brimstone, Redwood, Logwood and Fustic, best Cotton-Wool, warrented Cotton and Wool Cards, and many other articles too numerous for Advertisement. Providence, Dec. 1, 1790.   ([Providence, R.I.: 1790]).  A poignant unrecorded mercantile advertisement by a former Revolutionary War patriot who experienced financial difficulties after the war. Thurber explains that “thro’ late misfortunes” he has, after forty years in business, gone broke, but “is now supplied with the above-mentioned Goods, by his benevolent Friends, on such Terms as enables him to invite his former Customers and others, to call.”  He says in lieu of cash he will receive “all sorts of Shipping-Furs, old Brass and Pewter, Bayberry and Beef-Tallow, Bees-Wax, Butter, Cheese, Eggs, and clear salt Pork and Hams.”  After the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, Thurber was one of three men appointed in July of that year to erect a beacon on College Hill in Providence “to alarm the country in case of an enemy’s approach.”  He also employed at least one armorer the same year to clean and repair arms for the province.  Thurber (ca. 1734–1807), in business, variously, with Lemuel Chandler and Daniel Cahoon, was impoverished by his son-in-law in the late 1780’s, and moved to New Hampshire where he conducted business for a few years.  Resurrecting himself in Providence he seems to have kept his business going until his death.

Duplicate Fund.

Thomas, Isaiah.  Thomas’s Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode-Island, Newhampshire & Vermont Almanack, with an Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1797.  (Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, 1796). 

Nuggets Fund.

Thomas, Isaiah.  Isaiah Thomas’s Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode-Island, Newhampshire & Vermont Almanack, with an Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1798.  (Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, 1797). 

Nuggets Fund.

[Printed circular—Rhode Island Medical Society].  ([Providence, 1812]).  Pardon Bowen and Levi Wheaton were signatories to this 275-word circular letter asking recipients to support their petition to the General Assembly for a charter.  The recipient of our copy of this circular was a Dr. Rowland Greene, of Foster, RI.  Bowen, Greene, and Wheaton were all from families which produced many well-respected doctors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  We know more about Pardon Bowen (1757-1826) who was born in Providence, graduated Brown in 1775, embarked as a surgeon on a privateer in 1779 fitted out to destroy British commerce.  The ship was captured and sent to Halifax, where he spent seven months in prison.  He continued to serve in this capacity, with similar results, until finally his ship seized a good prize, and with the money he made he was able to set up a practice in Providence.  He wrote an account of yellow fever in Providence in 1805, was a Trustee of Brown and a Fellow of the American Antiquarian Society, and was a founding member (and first officer for 7 years) of the RI Medical Society.

Duplicate Fund.

[Broadside—Rhode Island].  Description of the rise and fall of a clergyman. ([Providence, ca. 1820]).  Only one other copy has been located, at the Library of Congress, which is a variant printing (with the words “Pawtucket, R.I.” at the end of the title, after “clergyman”).  An amusing poetical broadside of 28 four-line rhyming stanzas about a fallen preacher who long resided in town as “a man of high renown” who had meeting houses built, preached against demon rum, “the whole Masonic band,” the people of the south who he called a pack of knaves “because they would not free the slaves,” etc.  Then he took up animal magnetism, and worse, succumbed to his carnal passions.  Run out of town in disgrace, his image was hanged in effigy and burned.

Duplicate Fund.

[Manuscript collection—Andrew Jackson].  An archive of fifteen (15) manuscript documents totaling nineteen (19) pages of various size, written in Providence in 1833, relating to President Andrew Jackson’s visit to the city.  After Jackson’s second inauguration in March, 1833, New England Democratic politicians began to invite him to visit their sections, and in June he began his tour, a tour conducted for purely partisan reasons.  Jackson’s visit to Providence was very short, but this archive illustrates the elaborate preparations made by officials and citizens of the city during a rare presidential tour.  “Of the fifteen men who occupied the president’s office between 1789 and 1861 only four—George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and John Tyler—made formal and official tours of the country.  Such an event in those days was not only a rare, but a great occasion . . .” (Fletcher M. Green, “On Tour with President Jackson,” The New England Quarterly (36:2 (June 1963))). “Across Rhode Island cannon boomed from town to town as if all New England were a battle line.  Receptions overlapped each other . . . early in the morning of June 20 the travelers stood on the western end of a bridge across the Blackstone River beyond which was Massachusetts.  At their backs artillery roared a farewell salute, breaking so many windows in Pawtucket that the State provided new glass for nearly every householder who asked for it.”  (Marquis James, The Life of Andrew Jackson).  In short order Jackson passed from Newport to Bristol, to Warren, to Providence, and on to the Massachusetts border.  The documents are:

  • List of seven prominent men appointed to the committee to make preparations to receive the President, including James Fenner (senator and governor), Thomas P. Ives (merchant), Richmond Bullock (merchant), Walter R. Danforth (judge and later mayor), and Dr. W. H. Allen.
  • Letter from Hon. Samuel W. Bridgham, Mayor of Providence, to the committee members and others, asking them to meet him “on the business in the Masonic Hall in the third story of the Market House Building tomorrow,” dated May 24, 1833.
  • Letter from Richmond Bullock to the Mayor, expressing his regret at being unable to participate, due to his “late misfortune” and being “as lame as I am,” dated May 25, 1833.
  • Letter from Thomas F. Carpenter to the Mayor, declining to serve on the committee because of “professional engagements, rendered more pressing at this time, by the commencement of the Common Pleas,” dated May 25, 1833.
  • Minutes of the first three meetings of the committee, up to June 7, 1833, concerning preparations: “. . . concluded without dissenting voice that the same course should be taken on the reception of the President in to the city as was taken when Pres. Monroe visited us . . . viz.: all chartered military companies to be invited to unite in an escort.  Salute to be fired on his arrival over the line of the city . . .”
  • Four detailed manuscripts generated by the committee covering all aspects of the visit, i.e. itinerary, logistics, planned landing of his boat, route and order of the procession based on the Monroe visit in 1817, transport, introductions to various groups at various times, militia and military involvement and escorts, participating dignitaries, entertainment, lodging, list of marshals, etc.
  • List of the occupants of nine (9) carriages, and their order of procession.
  • List of the members of the “President’s Suite,” including Vice-President Martin Van Buren, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, etc., and delegates from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • Draft of a press release (2 pp.) for “Monday” newspapers describing plans for the President’s arrival and visit.
  • Letter from Mayor Bridgham to President Jackson (dated June 10, 1833), “anticipating the pleasure of a visit.”
  • Letter from N. Bullock to Mayor Bridgham (dated June 19, 1833), informing the latter that the President’s arrival in Providence the following day will be delayed an hour and a half.
  • Short note headed “At the boat,” which reads “It affords me great pleasure, sir, to take you by the hand & in behalf of the citizens of the city of Providence, I have the honor to bid you a hearty welcome within her borders.”

A fascinating archive related to what was only the third official presidential tour.

Duplicate Fund.

[Printed circular—bookseller’s advertisement].  List of books offered to the trade by Marshall, Brown & Co. (Providence, 1834).  Circular advertising books for sale issued by Marshall, Brown & Co. (a book shop at 19 Market Street, Providence) in 1834. It was sent to Messrs. G. & C. Merriam, booksellers of Springfield, Massachusetts. John E. Brown (the Providence partner) wrote a letter on the recto and verso of the second leaf of this folded sheet, which (in the printed portion) contains his priced list of school books, "neatly colored toy books," and miscellaneous books. The letter discusses various exchanges, and then Brown encourages Merriam to "go ahead with your attack on the trade sales. For myself individually I am wholly and entirely opposed to them. In this respect I differ from my partner in Phila[delphia] (Mr. Marshall), but I am satisfied he will yet embrace my opinion. I am satisfied that they are ruinous to publishers and destructive to the interests of the trade generally in our cities-for they open means for livelihood & profit to swarms of hungry peddlers who infest our villages selling the books they buy at trade sales at less prices than the regular trade price. I have been looking at this subject long and I feel grateful that you have made the first move."

Duplicate Fund. 

[Printed circular—medical advertisement].  CHARLES DYER, JR. DRUGGIST AND APOTHECARY, WESTMINSTER STREET, PROVIDENCE, R.I., Agent for the sale of the following valuable and popular medicines.  (Providence: Knowles & Vose, ca. 1845).  An early and decorative medical advertising piece, printed on the recto of the first leaf of a bifolium.  Among the wares hawked are Starkweather’s Hepatic Elixir, Taylor’s Balsam of Liverwort, Richardson’s Bitters, Moffat’s Life Pills. Murray’s Fluid Magnesia, and Whitney’s Croup Cordial.

Nuggets Fund.

[Broadside—Rhode Island].  What the Providence Journal Said Editorially of Col. Colt Two Years Ago.  ([Providence, 1906]).  An article reprinted from the October 3, 1904 issue of the Providence Journal about “Our Next Governor.” 

Gift of Russell J. DeSimone.

Recollections of Auton-House, by C. Auton (Augustus Hoppin).  (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909).   Augustus Hoppin (1828–1896) was of a distinguished Rhode Island family, graduated Brown University in 1848, and became a well-known book illustrator.

Duplicate Fund.

[Broadside—Theatre Playbill].  The Knights and Knaves present ETHEL BARRYMORE COLT in Songs of the Theatre.  ([Colchester, VT: St. Michael’s College Playhouse, 1950]).  Advertisement of a production on October 9 & 10, 1950.  Ethel Barrymore Colt (1912–1977) was an actress and a singer, and the only daughter of Ethel Barrymore (1879–1959) and Russell Griswold Colt (1882–1959) who were married in 1909.  She made her acting debut alongside her mother in the 1930 play "Scarlet Sister Mary." She also appeared on stage in "George White's Scandals" (1931), "Under Glass" (1933), "L'Aiglon" (1934), "London Assurance" (1937), "Orchids Preferred" (1937), "Whiteoaks" (1938) and "Follies" (1971). She was a singer who gave concerts, sang in clubs and with opera companies, including the New York City Opera.

Gift of Russell J. DeSimone. 

A Guide to Source Materials for the Study of Barbados History, 1627–1834 by Jerome Handler.  (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2002). 

Nuggets Fund.

Hattendorf, John B. (editor-in-chief).  The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History.  (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).  Four (4) volumes.

Nuggets Fund. 

Rhode Island’s Rebellion: A Look at Some Aspects of the Dorr War, by Russell J. DeSimone.  (Middletown, RI:  Bartlett Press, 2009).  10 numbers in 9 volumes.  A series of occasionally published essays on hitherto under-researched aspects or figures of the Door Rebellion (1841-42), relying heavily on contemporary accounts and newspaper articles. 

Gift of Russell J. DeSimone.

Artists’ Books: Content, Design, Voice, Form, by Laurie Whitehill-Chong.  (Providence, RI: Fleet Library at RISD, 2010).  An exhibition catalogue for a show which ran from 15 April to 25 June, 2010 at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Fifty artists’ books illustrated in 64 pages, with text byWhitehill-Chong, who is Special Collections Librarian and Curator of Artists’ Books. 

Gift of Laurie Whitehill-Chong.

Whaling Collection

The Paul C. Nicholson Whaling Collection is the second largest collection of American whaling logbooks in the world, and includes a fine reference collection, prints, and representative artifacts.  It was bequeathed to the library in 1956, and in 1965 the library published The Voice of the Whaleman, a history and catalogue of the collection compiled by Stuart Sherman.  There are almost 800 manuscript logbooks, journals, and account books recording over 1,000 whaling voyages in the collection, together with thousands of manuscript records of the whaling industry.

An Address to a Young Whale Captain.  ([n.p, n.d, ca. 1830]).  An apparently unique and unrecorded small (8 x 6 inches) broadside, pasted onto another sheet, taken from a scrap album. The ship referred to is probably the Rosalie of Warren, RI, Charles F. Brown, Master.  The PPL has a log from this voyage, so the poem is a nice companion piece.  The poem describes a cruel captain: “No sailors will ever wish their lives, / Captain or Mate to Save, / Who dare at helm to strike a man / Or seize him to a cask, / In order for to have him whipt, / When he for meat did ask[…].”  Captain Joseph Gardner, and his First Mate Charles Brown (both of Warren), took the Rosalie to the Pacific from 1825-28 and took 101 whales, which were rendered into 2,211 barrels of oil. On the return trip, when Captain Gardner put into Payta (Peru), he passed a number of whalers which had obviously had poor luck. As his trying works belched black smoke and he stood upon the quarterdeck he called out to the other captains, “Look and Weep! Look and Weep!”  The Rosalie went out again in 1828 under her former first mate, Charles Brown, now the captain. Gardner was put in command of a new ship that Joseph Smith had purchased, named the Magnet, which went out with the Rosalie—but no logbooks for the Magnet have been found. We have a log from that voyage of the Rosalie, which successfully hunted in the North Pacific from 1828 to 1832. Both ships returned with full holds—one source records that the Magnet had 2,900 barrels of oil.

Duplicate Fund.

Melville, Herman.  Typee: A peep at Polynesian Life.  During a four months residence in a valley of the Marquesas with notices of the French occupation of Tahiti and the provisional cession of the Sandwich Islands to Lord Paulet.  (New York: Wiley & Putnam; London: John Murray, 1846).  This is the first American edition of Melville’s first book, printed shortly after the London first, as was the custom; this secured a British copyright and thus prevented British pirated editions of American authors’ works.  Melville tells the somewhat fictionalized tale of his stint as a captive among a tribe of the Marquesas Islands, drawing on his real-life experience after deserting the whaler Acushnet in 1842.  As readers of Occasional Nuggets may remember (Issue #3, 2009), we acquired a whaling log last year (kept aboard the William Rotch during the 1852-53 season) in which the keeper relates that, not only are the men reading Typee with some avidity, the Third Mate (John Garrison) had actually served with Melville.

Duplicate Fund.

Taber, William C. (compiler).  New Bedford & Fairhaven Signal Book, 1848.  (New Bedford: Benjamin Lindsey, 1848).  This volume contains printed (hand-colored) images of signal flags used by shipping agents of New Bedford and Fairhaven, with lists of the vessels operated by each agent.  Flags and lists are grouped by flag color (red, white and blue; blue and white; red and blue; red and white; and red and blue) in both sections.  This volume joins other signal flag books in the collection produced by the Tabers (1845, 1850, 1855, and 1869).  Acquired at auction (Swann Galleries, March 18, 2010, Lot 256).

Duplicate Fund.

[Seaman’s Protection Certificate].  Protection. United States of America. State of Massachusetts.  No. 1337 District of New Bedford.  This document certified the citizenship of Joseph Morse, an African American sailor.  “Seamen's Protection Certificates were usually printed documents, varying in size and style, that were carried by American seamen as proof of citizenship.  The certificate was obtained by the individual through the customhouse, public notary, or U.S. Consul when required in a foreign port.  It contained the person's name, birthplace, approximate age, height, skin color, eye and hair color, and other distinctive descriptive information, such as the location of scars or tattoos.  "United States of America" was often printed prominently across the top, and the word "protection" might also appear.  Small engravings of the American eagle often served to decorate and establish the nationality of the document.  A serial number was included on every Customs Protection Certificate for record keeping purposes.  The wording of the document was standardized, having been transcribed on many examples, verbatim from the Act of 1796.  The Act of 28 May 1796, entitled "An Act for the Protection and Relief of American Seamen, provided certificates for the protection of American seamen from the threat of impressment by the Royal Navy.  Prior to this act, a mariner could obtain a similar document from a public notary.  An individual desiring protection was required to bring some authenticated proof of citizenship to the customs collector, who, for a service fee of 25 cents, would issue him a certificate.  Most seamen of the day, however, were so transient that they were unable to produce the required proof, and so the condition was altered to allow him to bring a notarized affidavit, instead, in which the seamen and a witness swore to his citizenship.  Because it was easy to abuse this system, the Royal Navy did not always honor the Protection Certificates as valid. Collectors were required to keep a record book of the names of individuals receiving protections and send quarterly lists to the State Department. As the threat to American freedom on the high seas began to disappear, Protection Certificates became more valuable as identification, and they were used as such until 1940, when the Seamen's Continuous Discharge Book replaced them.  These documents are common items in maritime collections and are important research sources for an study of American seamen.”  (American Maritime Documents, 1776–1860, by Douglas L. Stein).

Nuggets Fund.

[Manuscript].  Written at Honolulu on December 9, 1867, this one-page “Memo of Agreement” documents the change of First Mate aboard the whaling ship St. George (George H. Soule, Master).  It joins a logbook and a journal kept during this voyage (out of New Bedford, 1865-69, to the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans), which came to the Library in the 1950s. 

Gift of Fred A. Zalokar

Wall, William S.  History and description of the skeleton of a new Sperm Whale, lately set up in the Australian Museum.  Together with some account of a new genus of Sperm Whales called Euphysetes.  (Sydney: [Australian Museum], 1887). 

Nuggets Fund.

Hodgkinson, R.  Eber Bunker of Liverpool: the father of Australian whaling.  (Canberra: Roebuck Society, 1975). 

Nuggets Fund.

Kerr, Margaret and Colin. Australia's early whalemen.  (Adelaide:  Rigby, 1980). 

Nuggets Fund.

Jones, A.G.E.  Ships employed in South Seas trade 1775-1861 (parts I and II) and Registrar general of shipping and seamen transcripts of registers of shipping 1787-1862 (Part III).  (Canberra: Roebuck Society, 1986). 

Nuggets Fund.

Estes, James A. et al., editors. Whales, whaling, and ocean ecosystems.  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). 

Nuggets Fund.

Lund, Judith N., Elizabeth A. Josephson, Randall R. Reeves, & Tim D. Smith (editors).  American Offshore Whaling Voyages, 1667–1927.  (New Bedford: Old Dartmouth Historical Society & The New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2010).  Two Volumes (“Voyages by Master”; “Voyages by Vessel”).

Gift of Judith N. Lund.

Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World’s Largest Animal, by Dan Bortolotti.  (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008). 

Duplicate Fund.

Collection on Irish Culture

In 1896, Alfred M. Williams, editor of the Providence Journal, bequeathed to the PPL a collection of books on Irish literature and folklore; in the 1940s and 50s another editor of the Providence Journal, George W. Potter, assisted the PPL in adding a great number of books and pamphlets to the collection, and even endowed a Center for Irish Studies, which was active for many years. Its official designation is The George W. Potter an Alfred M. Williams Memorial Collection on Irish Culture.

Ware, James.  The antiquities and history of Ireland.  (London: Awnsham & John Churchill and Jonathan Robinson, 1704-05).  First English edition of Sir James Ware’s landmark compendium of Irish history, originally published in Latin in 1654 as De Hibernia antiquitatibus ejus disquisitions.  Often compared to the great English historian William Camden (PPL has the first English edition of Camden’s Britannia, 1610), the Irish-born Ware produced the most inclusive and authoritative work to date on the origins of Ireland and her people.

Duplicate Fund.

The great charter of the liberties of the city of Waterford, with explanatory notes. To which is added a list of the mayors, bailiffs, & sheriffs of the city of Waterford, from the year 1377, to the year 1803, inclusive.  (Kilkenny: J. Reynolds, 1806 [-1831]).  Waterford’s original charter, granted in 1711 and expanded by King John in 1210, was revoked on more than one occasion over the city’s ongoing resistance to Protestantism.  It was first printed in 1752 in two editions, one in the original Latin and the other in an English translation.  The present printing of the charter (issued by Charles I) is only the second edition in English, and covers the legalities of the rights of mayors, sheriffs, and citizens, as well as those of trade issues including the making and selling of usquebaugh (Gaelic for “water of life,” or scotch whiskey).  The list of city officials extends to 1831 instead of 1803, but these leaves were almost certainly added to later remainder copies, as the paper is different.

Duplicate Fund.

Tottenham, G. L.  Terence McGowan, the Irish Tenant.  (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1870).  First edition of a novel about the land struggles of the 1860’s between Irish tenant farmers and their landlords.  This bleak novel, set against the background of the Fenian movement, traces faults on both sides.  With a lease tenants could do almost as they liked—divide, improve, or even exhaust the land, and covenants were frequently ignored.  Without a lease they had few rights at law, and if evicted they could not claim compensation for improvements.  The title character, Terence McGowan, is the industrious son of a tenant of the kindly but feckless Alan Rochfort who manages his estate in a state of semi-feudal insolvency.  His friend Lord Shirley is also a benevolent landlord, but an efficient and improving one, and there is considerable discussion of the rights and wrongs of tenants between the two.  Terence, engaged to Kathleen O’Hara—their love and sad fate is feelingly told—is promised a lease, but his hopes are dashed when Rochfort is shot and killed, the first of two agrarian murders.  The new landlord tries to impose English estate management, but the proffered lease comes with an unaffordable rent, and Terence’s brother Larry shoots the landlord (Majoribanks), who survives.  Majoribanks leaves Ireland and appoints an unjust overseer named Puller, who Terence kills in a fit of rage.  McGowan then flees to America, leaving his wife and daughter in the care of Rochfort’s daughter, now Lord Shirley’s wife.

Deery Fund & Nuggets Fund.

Devyr, Thomas Ainge.  The Odd book of the nineteenth century, or, “Chivalry” in modern days, a personal record of reform—chiefly land reform, for the last fifty years.  (Greenpoint, NY: the author, 1882).  A scarce first edition of this work by Devyr (1805-1887), a fiery Irish radical author and journalist who served the London Metropolitan Police force (1830s) and later organized an armed band of Chartist guerillas.  He became a wanted man after the abortive revolt of the Chartist radicals in Newcastle, and fled to New York in 1940.  He organized the Anti-Rent Party in upstate New York, edited several radical periodicals, and allied himself with Dr. Smith Boughton against patroons of the Hudson Valley—when thousands of farmers organized into Anti-Rent associations to prevent landlords from evicting, some dressed in calico Indian costumes, a symbol of the Boston Tea Pary.

Duplicate Fund.

Children’s Book Collection

In 1955 Miss Edith Wetmore of Newport gave the library her collection of 1,850 children’s books in 20 languages.  Although many books were added to the collection over the years, at present we only acquire authors or illustrators that Miss Wetmore collected.

Siegfried & the Twilight of the Gods by Richard Wagner.  Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.  (London and New York: Heinemann & Doubleday, 1911).  This is the first edition, with the scarce dustjacket, and 31 magnificent colored plates (including the title-page).

Rackham Fund.

History of Printing Collection

In 1910 the library purchased (with money raised by a public subscription) over 1,100 duplicate books on printing from the St. Bride Library in London, and in 1942 the library received by bequest the great private collection of books on printing formed by Daniel Berkeley Updike, the noted Boston printer who founded the Merrymount Press and native of Rhode Island.  The collection now numbers over 7,500 volumes and is particularly strong in early type specimen books and printer’s manuals, books designed by Bruce Rogers, books printed at the Merrymount Press, and in engraved portraits of printers, publishers, booksellers and type founders. 

The Invention of Lithography, by Alois Senefelder (trans. By J. W. Muller).  (New York:  Fuchs & Lang, 1911).  A detailed history of the discovery (in 1796) and improvement of the art of lithography by the inventor of the process. 

Nuggets Fund.

Printing History: The Journal of the American Printing History Association.  (New York: APHA, 1979- ).  The first 39 issues, 1979­–1999. 

Nuggets Fund.

Personal Impressions: The Small Printing Press in Nineteenth-Century America, by Elizabeth M. Harris.  (Jaffrey, NH: David R. Godine, 2004).  Printing was the most widespread and competitive businesses of nineteenth-century America. Major cities had not only large presses for printing catalogues, books, and newspapers but also many smaller operations for printing pamphlets, posters, handbills, stationery cards, and tickets.  Several publishing giants today—Doubleday, Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, and Knopf —began as small job printers. This richly illustrated survey of small printing presses is the first of its kind to cover the nineteenth century, describing and illustrating over 100 presses (including makers, specifications, and patent information).

Nuggets Fund.

A Field Guide to North American Hand Presses and their Manufacturers, by Robert Oldham. (Doswell, VA: Ad Lib Press, 2006).

Gift of Robert Oldham.

100 GPO Years, 1861–1961, by James L. Harrison.  (Washington, DC: GPO, 2010).  A re-issue of the 1961 edition.

Gift (anonymous).

Especimenes tipograficos espanoles: Catalogación y estudio de las muestras de letras impresas hasta el año 1833, by Albert Corbeto. (Madrid: Calambur, 2010).

Gift of Emilio Torné.

Optimum Vix Satis: An Exhibition to Celebrate the 150th Birthday of Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941), Founder of the Merrymount Press, by Martin Hutner.  (New York: The Grolier Club, 2010).  “This exhibition contains some of the rarest material issued by the Merrymount Press in its fifty-six year history (1893-1949).  The standard bibliography of the Merrymount Press by Julian Pearce Smith lists 762 books printed from 1893 to 1933. Considerably more were subsequently discovered and recorded in the bibliography’s second and last edition of 1975, which ended in 1949 with a total of 1,037 titles.  The Merrymount Press printed 112 titles in 100 copies or less, and of these, only forty-two titles—four percent of the Press’s entire œuvre—were printed in fewer than twenty-five copies.  The bulk of these works were printed between 1897 and 1925.  The epitomize the Updike family motto Optimum Vix Satis: “The Best is Hardly Good Enough.”

Gift of Martin Hutner.

The Three Books, by Agata Michalowska.  (Providence, 2010).  An artist book in three elements, based on artifacts in the special collections of the Providence Public Library.  The “Book of Time” is based on Edmund Halley’s Astronomical Tables (1752); the “Book of Senses” is based on Sébastien Guillié’s Notice Historique sur l’Instruction des Jeunes Aveugles (1819); and the “Book of Passing” is based on glass plate negatives (portraits) in the collection.  This book was produced with support of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Gift of Agata Michalowska.

[Three (3) broadsides from DWI Letterpress].  (Providence, 2010).  Two versions of “Print 4640-01” featuring images relating to printing from well-known sources of printing and printing history, and one advertisement poster: “Sweet Hot Action / RISD PRINTMAKING LETTERPRESS / Opening Friday, March 12th 2010. 5-7 pm”

Gift of Dan Wood.

[Collection of books, many designed by Bruce Rogers, by publication date]

Memoires de Phillippe de Commynes. 3 volumes. (Paris: Chez Jules Renouard et cie, 1840).

Bill Pratt:  The Saw-Buck Philosopher. Talcott Miner Banks. (Williamstown,  1895). Thanksgivings: After the Communion of the Body of Christ. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1896). Gondola Days, by F. Hopkinson Smith. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press 1897). What is Worth While?, by Anne Robertson Brown. ( Boston: Thomas Y. Cromwell & Company, 1897). The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Maude and Genevieve Cowles, illustrators.  2 volumes.(Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899). Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Edward Fitzgerald, translator. (Boston: L.C. Page and Company, Inc. 1899). Under the Beech Tree, by Arlo Bates. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, 1899). Olde Love and Lavender, by Roy L. McCardell. (New York: Godfrey A.S. Wieners 1900). A Memoir of the Life of John Codman Ropes, L.L.D. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1901). Mistress Nell, by George C. Hazelton, Jr. (New York: Charles Scribner's Son's, 1901). Letters of Hugh Earl Percy, Charles Knowles Bolton, ed. (Boston: Charles E. Godspeed, 1902). Raliegh in Guiana, Rosamond and A Christmas Masque, by Barrett Wendell. (New York: Carles Scribner's Sons, 1902). Alice Freeman Palmer: In Memoriam. (Association of Collegiate Alumnae,  1903). Boston Common In Colonial and Provincial Days, by Mary Farwell Ayer. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1903). Fifteen Sonnets of Petrarch. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, translator. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1903). Parsifal, by Oliver Huckel. (New York, Thomas Y. Cromwell & Co., 1903). Poems of Tennyson. (Boston, U.S.A.:  Ginn & Company, Publishers, 1903). Ponkapog Papers, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1903). Lohengrin: A Drama by Wagner. Oliver Huckel, translator. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1905). Historie of the Life and Death of Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange, Knight, by Harlod Murdock. (Boston:The Merrymount Press 1906). Thoughts on the Art and Life, by Leonardo Da Vinci, Maurice Baring, trans. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1906). Earl Percy's Dinner-Table. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin & Company, 1907). A Tenderfoot Abroad, by Justine Grayson. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1907). Friendship's Offering, by A. E. F. (Boston: W.B. Clarke Company, 1908). E. W. Dennison: A Memorial. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1909). Haremlik, by Demetra Vaka. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,  1910). John Chipman Gray. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1917). Venetian Life, by William Dean Howells. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Company, 1917). Pierrot's Verses, by Maria de Acosta Sargent. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1917). Aboard With Jane, by Edward Sandford Martin . (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1918). The Felicities of Sixty, by Isaac H. Lionberger. (Boston: The Club of Odd Volumes, 1922). The Relation of Art to Nature, by John W. Beatty. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1922). The City's Voice, by Morris Gray. (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1923).Doctor Johnson, A Play, by A. Edward Newton. (Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1923). Fairfax, by Carl Sternheim, Alfred B. Kuttner, translator. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923). One Thing and Another by Charles Forrest Moore. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1924). South County Studies, by Ester Bernon Carpenter. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1924). Bruce Rogers: Designer of Books, by Frederic Warde. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925). Christmas Epithalamium, by Henry Allen. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1925). The Poems of Bishop Henry King. John Sparrow, editor. (London: the Nonesuch Press,  1925). Roderigo of Bivar, by T. Sturge Moore. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1925). Skallagrim: An operetta in three acts, by Richard West Saunders. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1925). A Sentimental Journey through France & Italy by Laurence Sterne. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1925). The Gospel According to St. Luke. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1926). The History of the Translation of the Blessed Martyrs of Christ, Macellinus and Peter, by Barrett Wendell. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926). Peronnik the Fool, by George Moore. (Mount Vernon, New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1926). Printing Types: Their History, Forms, and Use, by Daniel Berkeley Updike. 2 volumes. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1927). Thoughts on Religion and Mortality, by James Eddy. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1927). Certain Letters of James Howell. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1928). The Sisters, by Joseph Conrad. (New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928). American Taste, by Lewis Mumford. (San Francisco: The Westgate Press, 1929). The Christmas Dinner, by Washington Irving. (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1929). The Limited Editions Club. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1929). Punch and Judy. George Cruikshank, illustrator. (New York: Rimington & Hooper, 1929). The Boston Society of Natural History, 1830-1930. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1930). Turning Point, by John V.A. Weaver. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930).The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum: Catalog of Paintings, by Philip Hendy. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1931). A Century of Scholars: Rhode Island Alpha of Phi Beta Kappa, William T. Hastings, ed. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1932). Her Recollections. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1935). Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain & Perfect Pronunciation. (Brooklyn, New York: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1936). Lantern Slides, by Mary Caldwalader Jones. (Boston: D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1937). Chester Noyes Greenough, by Ruth Hornblower Greenough. (Cambridge: The Merrymount Press, 1940). Collected Studies, by Chester Noyes Greenough. (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1940).

Bombed but Unbeaten: Excerpts From the War Commentary of Beatrice L. Warde. (New York: Paul A. Bennett, 1941). The Tremolino, by Joseph Conrad. (New York: Philip C. Duschnes, 1942). Plato's The Republic. 2 volumes. (New York: Limited Editions Club, 1944). Poems of Alcman, Sappho and Ibycus, Olga Marx and Ernst Morwitz, translators. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945). Nathaniel Stevens, 1786-1865, by Horace Nathaniel Stevens. (North Andover, Massachusetts: The Merrymount Press,  1946). Daniel Updike and the Merrymount Press, by George Park Winship. (Rochester, New York: Printing House of Leo Hart,  1947). Updike: American Printer, by Daniel Berkeley Updike. (New York: The American Institute of Graphic Arts,  1947). The Twelve Moneths from 'Fantastickes' by Nicholas Breton. (New York: Clarke & Way, 1951). The Ward Ritchie Press and Anderson, Ritchie & Simon. (Los Angeles: Anderson, Ritchie & Simon, 1961). Elmer Adler in the World of Books. Paul A. Bennett, editor.(The Princeton University Library, 1964). Notes on the Merrymount Press & its Work, by Daniel Berkeley Updike. (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1975). Paragraphs on Printing, by Bruce Rogers (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1979). Bruce Rogers: A Life in Letters, by Joseph Blumenthal (Austin: W. Thomas Taylor, 1989). The Kingsport Book of Types for Linotype. (Kingsport, Tennessee: Kinsport Press, Inc.). The Kingsport Supplement of Type Faces. (Kingsport, Tennessee: Kinsport Press, Inc.).

Gift of Clifton Gaskill