I’ve moved my blog over to http://www.daniellewesterhof.co.uk/behind-the-spines. This unfortunately means that you will no longer automatically receive notification of new posts and other bits of information I like to share. Make sure you visit the new site, sign up (either to an RSS feed or email), and continue to learn more about the fascinating world behind the spines!
You can also follow me on Twitter @behindthespines
My blog that is. Up to now, I’ve been using two different platforms for my website and my blog, which was not the most practical. I’m finally getting around to doing some more imaginative things with my website; being ever so slightly technophobic and techno-illiterate, I’ve been putting this off for ages! Using wordpress.org, I hope to have everything in the one place. It could all go horribly wrong and I loose everything, including your good selves following my tales of antiquarian books. But if not, it will be great!
So, from today, I will be writing my blog posts at http://www.daniellewesterhof.co.uk. Looking forward to seeing you there!
‘Temple of the Muses’, Finsbury Square, London, from Rudolph Ackermann’s ‘Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce [etc.]’, vol. 9 (1809), plate 17.
Although Calke Abbey had closed to visitors, there was plenty of behind the scenes conservation activity at the beginning of November. Caroline Bendix, the National Trust’s advisor on historic libraries, and her team of book conservators were back in Derbyshire for two weeks and yours truly was allowed to volunteer with them. Continue reading
The Book Fool. From Sebastian Brant’s “Ship of Fools” (1494). Copyright: Wikimedia Commons
Quick post again, while I am trying to get my images together for more snippets from the Erddig collections. Also in the offing: another round of volunteering with the book team at Calke Abbey and, finally, a little bit more on the research I’m still trying to undertake with regard to a vanity publication in the Library at Kedleston. But, this week, I’d like to draw your attention to this wonderful online exhibition
of incunabula in Cambridge University Library. It focuses on a topic close to my own interests: the physical signs of the use and abuse of books. Enjoy! And do visit the actual exhibition as well if you happen to be near Cambridge (which I’m not really unfortunately…)
In this post, we return once again to Hatfield for a further selection of highlights from Lord Salisbury’s splendid book collection. This gilt-stamped image of Queen Elizabeth I is a poignant reminder of her close connections with Hatfield and the Cecil family. Continue reading
Clip art (copyright unknown)
The survival of children’s books is sometimes one of the great strengths of country house libraries. How many of us still have the books we read as kids? How many books survive the rather unpractised handling skills of young children (my favourite book certainly didn’t make it unscathed…) or the pens, pencils, paint, food, bath water to which these books might be subjected?
Chances are that if a historic children’s book hasn’t become part of a museum or library collection, the odds are much against it. In the past, I’ve catalogued small numbers of nineteenth-century children’s books at Calke Abbey and I was really pleased to find some at Erddig. Continue reading
Nice to see NT libraries being singled out on the DRBSC blog. I’ll be posting a few more images from Erddig’s collections in the next few days!
Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland
Generally preserved in the places where they were originally assembled and read, the historic libraries of the National Trust provide an unparalleled resource for the study of private book ownership in Britain and Ireland from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. Together the libraries contain well in excess of 250,000 titles in c. 400,000 volumes, held in over 160 properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They range from the grandiose collections of aristocratic bibliophiles, through to more humble libraries assembled by ordinary gentry families. The earliest collections have their roots in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but most were assembled between about 1660 and the middle of the nineteenth century. More recent collections include the personal libraries of literary figures as diverse as Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Carlyle and Agatha Christie; and of public figures, notably Churchill and Disraeli. Some of the libraries are quite modest in size, but the…
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