Saturday, April 12, 2014

First Lines of New Acquisitions

There are many new acquisitions for Spring 2014, mostly from the Robert Smithson Collection. Each new book and their first sentence is listed below, and starting with:
1.  The Language of Magic and Gardening by Bronislaw Malinowski:
The linguistic problem before the ethnographer is to give as full a presentation of language as of any other aspect of culture.

2.  Seven Types of Ambiguity by William Empson:

An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful.

3.  Changing: Essays in Art Criticism by Lucy Lippard: (seen above)

AndrĂ© Ferminier writes: “What has perhaps been most damaging to the art critic is the prodigious gobbledygook that with him takes the place of vocabulary; and the prefaces to exhibition catalogs in particular would provide a classic anthology of the art of saying nothing.”

4.  The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society by Norbert Wiener:

The beginning of the twentieth century marked more than the end of one hundred-year period and the start of another.

5.  Logic Machines & Diagrams by Martin Gardner: (seen above)

A logic machine is a device, electrical or mechanical, designed specifically for solving problems in formal logic.

6.  Field Book of Ponds and Streams by Ann Haven Morgan: (seen above)

Minnows and frogs and brown water beetles, scurrying to cover as we approach the shore of a still clear pond, show us that the water has some very lively inhabitants.

7.  The Modern Technique of Rock Blasting by U. Langefors and B. Kihlström:

Within some thousandths of a second after the initiation of the explosive there occurs in a charged hole a series of events which, in drama and violence, have few equivalents in civil technology.

8.   The Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Heindel: (seen above, outside + next to its dust jacket)

It is a matter of common knowledge among mystics that the evolutionary career of mankind is indissolubly bound up with the divine hierarchies who rule the planets and the signs of the Zodiac, and that the passage of the Sun and the planets through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, marks man’s progress in time and in space.

9.  Field Book of Seashore Life by Roy Waldo Miner: (seen above and with Message of the Stars)

Protozoa are single-celled animals.

10.  Tropical Trees of Hawaii by Dorothy and Bob Hargreaves: (seen above)

High among the list of reasons people love to visit Hawaii is the lovely tropical foliage to be enjoyed everywhere and at all times of the year.
11.  Geography Made Easy by Jedidiah Morse: (from the Maria Mitchell Library)

Geography is a science, which describes the figure, motion, magnitude, and component parts of the earth; the situations, extent, and appearances of the various parts of its surface; its productions animal and vegetable; its natural and political divisions; and the history, manners, customs, and religion of its inhabitants.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Friday, April 4, 2014


As a part of the Portland2014 Biennial Saturday Series, the Library is very excited to present a double film feature of Robert Smithson's 1970 Spiral Jetty and Harry O. Hoyt's 1925 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Saturday, April 5 / 7-10 pm
The Best Art Gallery in Portland / 1468 NE Alberta St. / Portland 97211

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Personal Libraries Library + 2014 Portland Biennial

As a part of the 2014 Portland Biennial,* the Personal Libraries Library is installed as a reading room that you can come and visit.

Following are the details:
Where: The Best Art Gallery in Portland / 1468 NE Alberta, Portland, 97211
When: March + April 2014 / Tuesday - Saturday / 12-6
Librarian's Hours: Saturdays 12-6

The opening is this upcoming Saturday, March 8 from 12-6.

More information to come!

* The Portland2014 is curated by Amanda Hunt and presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.

** I would like to thank Claire Redman, Shiela Laufer, Larissa Hammond, Tom Prochaska, Diana Pembor, Louis Schalk, Rachel Ancliffe, Clayton Pledger, Antonia Pinter, Patricia No, Amanda Hunt, Kate Beaver, and all at Disjecta for their generous help and support in making the PLL Reading Room possible.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Asters, Spores & Silent Spring / January 2014 Acquisitions

The first books accessioned to the PLL in 2014 include:

The Earth and Man: Lectures on Comparative Physical Geography, in its Relation to the History of Mankind by Arnold Guyot (Maria Mitchell Personal Collection), and

Vasari's Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari (Robert Smithson Collection);

both seen below, with cartography on display.


Also new to the Robert Smithson Collection:

The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot,
The Invisible Pyramid by Loren Eiseley,
A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read

A lovely spread from The Invisible Pyramid, displaying a woodcut at the beginning of The Spore Bearers chapter:

Connected illustrations are seen from new books from the Anne Spencer Collection:

Helena Rutherfurd Ely's A Woman's Hardy Garden, and
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring:

Other new books:

Representative Men: Seven Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and

A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

PLL Membership - New Structure

In this new year, and for the foreseeable future, all PLL memberships will be at least two years in length. Additionally, fees will increase slightly.

As always, membership includes book check-out and receipt of printed matter from the Personal Libraries Library Press. All membership fees go to book acquisition and the production of printed matter.

BASIC: $15 / 2 years (book check-out)
ACQUISITION: $25 / 2 years (check-out & some printed matter)
CATALOGUE: $40 / 2 years (check-out & all printed matter)
CATALOGUE+: $60 / 3 years (check-out & all printed matter)

GIFT MEMBERSHIPS are available at all levels.

To join, or for more information, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.