Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

How Einstein Signed Twice

img507Thanks to Judy Spencer Bolton for writing this piece in the summer newsletter of The American Historical Print Collectors Society (AHPCS), a non-profit group that encourages the collection, preservation, study, and exhibition of original historical American prints.

Besides this particularly interesting story about Princeton University’s Print Club, the AHPCS offers substantial scholarship on American prints in their journal: Imprint: Journal of the American Historical Print Collectors Society (Westport, Conn.: American Historical Print Collectors Society). Marquand Library (SA) NE505 .I48. Individuals should also consider joining the organization.

The scrapbooks of the Princeton Print Club can be viewed at:


Shin Moyô Hînagata, no. 2

japanese sketchbook4My thanks to Thomas Hare, William Sauter LaPorte ’28 Professor in Regional Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature; and to Eileen Reeves, Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature and an Associate Member of the Program in the History of Science at Princeton University.

Professor Hare has offered a bit more information on Shin Moyô Hînagata, which was posted a few days ago: He agreed to let me pass it on:

The charming little book you and Graphic Arts have discovered is a pattern book of sorts. The title means something like New Patterns in Miniature, and the writing seems, at least in some cases, to number individual drawings (the numbers 8 and 9 are clear to read on the second full spread, the one of, I think, magnolias and some kind of little red flower.) I can’t make out the second graph on these pages very well, although it could possibly be two graphs combined, the second of which might be the -ta from [Hina]-gata. That word, in the title, btw, could also be read Hiinagata (or Hînagata, with a macron rather than the circumflex I’ve typed in ignorance of how to type a macron in email) I think that would be better that way, purely for euphony (5/5 rather than 5/4 syllables).

The little words with repeat marks next to the little brown bird on the second (single) page read “chû, chû, chû, etc.” and are onomatopoeia for the bird’s chirping.

. . .  I particularly like the one with the brown bird, because in ancient Japanese texts, incomprehensible speech (such as that of peasants from the point of view of the lofty Genji) is said to sound like the chirping of birds. This is a purely random association, but it does gesture toward our many languages, and toward the old Japanese conceit that all sentient creatures are endowed with the capacity to produce poetry.

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Miller Brothers 101 Ranch

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A number of items have been rescued as we are packing for the move. The chromolithographed poster seen above was found in the back of a drawer and had to be conserved and repaired. It will soon be catalogued and available for research.
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I recommend this film about the rise and fall of Oklahoma’s 101 Ranch, posted by the Oklahoma Historical Society for the WKY KTVY KFOR Archives (published on Nov 25, 2013).

“The historical overview begins from the conception of the 101 in 1879 by George W. Miller and then traces the development and successes of the ranch by Miller’s three sons: George Miller, Jr., Joe Miller, and Zack Miller. As the Miller brothers found success in agricultural endeavors, they established the 101’s headquarters, the White House, in Ponca City, OK. There they established a self-efficient community with its own roads, bridges, power plant, meat-packing industry, telephone company, their own form of money (the Bronc), etc.

Footage covers the 101’s Apple Blossom Day events, the 1905 Convention of the National Editorial Association, The Wild West Show established in 1913, and Cherokee Strip Cowpunchers Association footage from the 1920s, and The Terapin Roundup and Derby which started in 1924. The relationship between the Ponca Indians and the Miller brothers, as well as the contributions the Ponca Tribe made to the 101 shows is discussed at length. Footage from the film Recreation of 1889 includes the original cast.

The memorial sites of Bill Pickett, one of the “greatest”, African American rodeo performers of all time and Chief White Eagle of the Ponca Indian Tribe are featured. Final footage covers Colonel Joe Miller’s traditional Ponca Memorial Service, George Miller’s funeral service, and the ruins of the White House and 101 Ranch.”

See also: Michael Wallis, The Real Wild West: the 101 Ranch and the creation of the American West (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999). Forrestal Annex F704.A15 W34 1999

Princeton acquires a back run of “Charlie Hebdo,” 1995-2016

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Thanks to Rubén Gallo, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., Professor in Language, Literature, and Civilization of Spain. Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, and Director, Program in Latin American Studies, who was traveling in France this summer, Princeton University Library acquired a back run of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Thanks also to our colleagues John Logan, Literature Bibliographer, and Fernando Acosta-Rodriguez, Librarian for Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, and Iberian Peninsular Studies for their assistance with this acquisition.

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It is surprising and instructive to see what we were laughing at ten or twenty years ago. Note the 9/11 issue at the top. These newspapers will be boxed by our conservation department and stored in Rare Books and Special Collections’ recap, making them available to all researchers.

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charlie hebdo5January 2003.
The next time I vote [Lionel] Jospin [Prime Minister of France from 1997 to 2002].

Massacre of the French King!

massacre of the french king2In this engraving, one man is already face down in the guillotine and a second, being tied to a board, will be next. Neither is Louis XVI.
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Massacre of the French King! View of La Guillotine; or the Modern Beheading Machine, at Paris. By which the unfortunate Louis XVI (late King of France) suffered on the Scaffold, January 21st, 1793. Engraving and letterpress broadside. London: printed at the Minerva Office, for William Lane, and retail by E[Lizabeth] Harlow, Pall-Mall; Edwards, Bond-Street; Shepherd and Reynolds, Oxford-Street; . . . and all other Booksellers. Where may be had an exact and authenticated copy of his Will, Prince One-Pence, 1793. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process

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“In London, the charismatic William Lane (ca. 1745-1814)) founded the Minerva Press in 1790, issuing remarkable numbers of sensational novels until he was succeeded upon his death by his partner A. K. Newman, who continued the business (although he gradually dropped the ‘Minerva Press’ name) through the 1820s. During the 1790s Minerva published fully a third of all the novels produced in London.” –Stuart Curran, The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 2010)


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“By 1791 Lane employed a workforce of thirty and had four printing presses . . . Most were formulaic Gothic ‘German’ romances, produced in editions of 500 or 750 and never reprinted. ‘Minerva press’ novel became a common term to describe a particular type of light society romance or thriller, much condemned in conduct literature.” –William St. Clair, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

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“When William Lane . . . published his broadside account of the execution on January 29, he priced it at sixpence, with a discount for bulk purchases of one hundred; a few days later he halved the original price, and offered a still more generous discount to those willing to act as agents to distribute the sheet, expressing the hope that it would be circulated ‘in every village throughout the three kingdoms.’

In a long advertisement announcing these reductions, Lane described his wish that ‘this horrid and unjust sacrifice . . . should be known to all classes of people, and in particular to the honest and industrious Artisan and manufacturer, who might be deluded by the false and specious pretences of artful and designing persons.’” –Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker, Refiguring Revolutions: Aesthetics and Politics from the English Revolution to the Romantic Revolution (University of California Press, 1998)


A New Hieroglyphical Bible

Within the various collections in Rare Books and Special Collection we hold 13 copies of A New Hieroglyphical Bible for the Amusement & Instruction of Children published from 1794 to 1849. This doesn’t make it any less exciting to receive another.

The recent donation had condition issues and so, Mick LeTourneaux, Rare Books Conservator in our Preservation Office worked on it. Here is a look at the before and

Since there is no title page, it is difficult to know which edition we have. The newspaper waste used in the back cover gives an account of congressional funding for cannons, dated March 3, 1809, so that is helpful in dating the binding.



bible2Each page has a key at the bottom in case you can’t figure out the sentence. Here is the right side:




Bound in with the Hieroglyphical bible is: The Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Apostles by Thomas Stackhouse (ca. 1680-1752). It is the first copy at Princeton that includes individual woodcuts and descriptions of all the apostles.

La vie et les mystères de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie

la vie3La vie et les mystères de la bienheureuse Vierge Marie, mère de Dieu (Paris, Nantes: Henri Carpentier, [Lemercier, Lithographic printer], 1859). Graphic Arts Collection RECAP-97154882
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The German printmaker Franz Kellerhoven (1814-1872) was living in Paris in 1859, the year he created the 97 chromolithographs for this pseudo medieval manuscript, titled La vie et les mystères de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie, mère de Dieu = Life and the mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The British Museum identifies them as oleographs, or chromolithographs printed with an oil-based ink to replicate the look of a painted illumination.

Although the text was written by Arthur Martin (1801-1856), it is usually the Nantes printer/publisher Pierre Henri Charpentier (1788-1854) who receives the most credit for the project. The lithographs were printed at the Paris shop of Lemercier and the text in Nantes, “tirage a la presse a bras” (printed on a hand-worked press).

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It is interesting that similar facsimiles were produced in installments over several years, not unlike a Dickens novel. Subscribers received a small section of the book as it was being produced. There is no documentation that Charpentier followed that process with La vie, but 97 lithographs from ten stones each (970 passes) would have taken a very long time to complete. Charles Wood III notes that binding directions are found on the final leaf.

Michael Twyman reminds us that Kellerhoven only undertook two major commissions with the French lithography firm of Lemercier & Cie., this being one. “In [this] book he put on stone work that Ledoux, Gsell, and Ciappori had drawn in the spirit of illuminated manuscripts of the seventh to seventeenth centuries . . . The amount of chromolithographic work needed for this publication in such a short period suggests that Kellerhoven must have employed several assistants . . . (A History of Chromolithography, pp. 352-3).
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[These digital images were taken under fluorescent lights and are much greener than the original, sorry]



veniceFine press book collectors around the world have been waiting many months for the new volume being produced at Whittington Press. This week, online comments have been springing up throughout social media sites as individuals finally received and opened their mail containing Venice.


John Craig, Venice; with 35 of his wood engravings (Risbury, Herefordshire: Whittington Press, 2016). Copy 44 of 150 in Pirate leather. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) in process

John Randle notes, “The 80 wood-engravings, and some linocuts, some with colour, have made the book a printer’s challenge. John Craig’s use of white space has, as with Britten’s Aldeburgh (2000) and The Locks of the Oxford Canal (1985), been critical, and the asymmetric imposition of type and images is based upon his precise layouts. The resulting double-page spreads can be seen almost as a series of stage sets, introducing us to the often undiscovered delights of a city which he has visited regularly for the past twenty years.

The French-fold binding style is a new departure for us. The pages are left folded at the top edge, enabling us to use a lightweight Zerkall mould-made paper, specially hot-pressed to give an extra sheen for the engravings, and allowing us to print throughout on the smooth side of the paper only.”




The book begins: “This collection of engraved illustrations is by, and for, a Venice amateur. I offer an apology; so much has been produced on the subject that one is wary of taking up yet more space on the shelf . . . and yet . . . there is some impulse that drives people to express, explain, pin down something that no other city possesses. With this in mind – (as Robert Graves puts it) ‘one still stands ready, with a boy’s presumption,/ To court the queen in her high silk pavilion’.

There is (or was) in Venice a bookshop as big as a small house that sells only ‘Venice’ books in which all the history, architecture, paintings, sculpture and topography are most expertly covered by the best authors—living and dead—the competition is enormous. For this reason I have chosen to ignore the better known set pieces and illustrated as an innocent holiday maker wandering—open mouthed—without plan or guide through the small and less known parts of the city.”


Ladies of Letterpress

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“Ladies of Letterpress” was founded in late 2007 and their website opened to the public in January of 2009. It states: “Ladies of Letterpress is an international trade organization for letterpress printers and print enthusiasts. Our mission is to promote the art and craft of letterpress printing and to encourage the voice and vision of women printers. We strive to maintain the cultural legacy of fine press printing while advancing it as a living, contemporary art form as well as a viable commercial printing method. Membership is open to both men and women. This is a community where you can read about our adventures in commercial, fine press, art and zine printing, ask for advice and learn from other printers, share resources, and get inspiration for your own business and work — all for the love of letterpress.”


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Last year the organization published a huge volume documenting each individual member and offering readers 86 removable posters to enjoy in the book or frame for the wall. This is an important addition to the informative already on the website, which includes videos, activities, jobs, discussions, and publications. A national conference will be held in September. Consider joining!


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Kseniya Thomas and Jessica White, Ladies of Letterpress (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2015). Graphic Arts GA2016- in process