Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 Acquisitions

Things have settled down at the Library, after returning to its usual space and shelves. Many new members joined the Library during the Portland Biennial; here are some of the resulting new acquisitions!

Included in this new batch of books:
Volumes I & II of Robert Graves' The Greek Myths (Jorge Luis Borges Personal Library)
Paolo Zellini's A Brief History of Infinity (Italo Calvino Personal Library)

Above is a spread from The Double Helix by James Watson, showing "Linus Pauling with his atomic models." The front cover elaborates on the title: Being a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, a major scientific advance which led to the award of a Nobel Prize. Watson's book is in the Anne Spencer Personal Library, as is Allen Smith's Life in a Putty Factory.

Space, Time, and New Mathematics, edited by Robert Marks, is a compilation of "writings by Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Gamow, Wiener, Poincaré, and others." This book, in the Robert Smithson Personal Library, is a great companion to related books by Gamow, Wiener, and more in his collection. The above cartoon likens Einstein to a magician.

Also new to the Smithson Library:
Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature by L. Sprague de Camp, and
Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer

This beautiful frontispiece and title page is from Robert Mudie's The Earth, from Maria Mitchell's Personal Library. The printing is really extraordinary, with debossed birds on very thick paper; about the printing is stated: Baxter's Oil Colour Printing - 3, Charter-house Square.

The Zodiac: A Life Epitome, by Walter H. Sampson, not only has a compelling ct ligature throughout the text, but a lovely frontispiece and fold-out at the end of the book. It is from the Robert Smithson Personal Library, along with the related Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac by John Jocelyn.

Lastly, is this remarkable book, Within the Circle: Portrait of the Arctic, by Evelyn Stefansson (Robert Smithson Personal Library), with fantastic photographs of land, flora and fauna.

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