Four recently-completed Legacy Libraries to report!
Frederick Douglass – working from a National Park Service inventory of the books at Douglass’ home, Cedar Hill, a small group of volunteers flash-mob-cataloged more than 1,300 books to Douglass’ LT catalog. Thanks to amandafrench, benjclark, Elizabelle, goddesspt2, JBD1, thornton37184, waitingtoderail, and wendellkate for their kind assistance! Douglass acquired an impressive collection of government documents, which make up a pretty hefty portion of his library. Member meburste holds the most books in common with Douglass so far, at 47.
Harry Houdini – A large portion of Harry Houdini’s library (which was huge!) is now at the Library of Congress, and we’ve now added that to LibraryThing, along with a few other books in the collections of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Other significant portions of Houdini’s library are not yet accounted for in LT, but we’re hopeful that other information might allow us to fill in some more segments of his very interesting and extensive collection. I’m sure we’ll never be able to add another library so heavily focused on magic and spiritualism! One of the top members with whom Houdini holds books in common? Jackie Gleason.
Carson McCullers – The library of Carson McCullers is now at the Harry Ransom Center, which also houses McCullers’ papers. While it’s not quite clear that McCullers herself collected all the different editions and translations of her own works included in her library at the HRC (check out the author cloud), and some of the books in the collection almost certainly belonged instead to other family members, we thought it was still very much worth adding. Not surprisingly, McCullers shares quite a few books with fellow Legacy subjects, including E.E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath, and Ernest Hemingway.
Douglass, Houdini, and McCullers don’t share a single book in common, but Douglass and Houdini share ten books, while Douglass and McCullers share two titles (the Bible and Les Misérables). Further combination work and additions could change this, of course.
Just as I was getting this blog post ready to go, I realized that I never blogged about the completion of Evelyn Waugh’s LT catalog back in December (shame on me!). This was accomplished by member jburlinson, who added the titles from July 2010 through the end of 2011.
I also added the small, three-book library of Godbert and Sarah Godbertson yesterday afternoon: this is the first joint husband/wife probate inventory in the Plymouth (MA) Colony records, taken in October 1633 after both Godbert and Sarah died in a smallpox epidemic.
Other projects continue chugging along! We were really hoping to be able to work on adding the Titanic libraries (there were two, one for first-class passengers and one for second-class passengers), but we’ve had no luck in finding a catalog of the books. If you can help us out there, we’d be very grateful.
I know for sure that there are more Houdini books out there, and it’s very likely that more Douglass and McCullers books remain to be added, so if anyone knows of others for these as for any of the Legacy Libraries, please do let me know.
NB: Both the Houdini and McCullers libraries were added through a new tool we’ve got that allows for the direct import of MARC records (once they’re in they still need some cleanup to make them display correctly, and often require the addition of copy-specific notes, &c., but this tool certainly speeds along the process). So, if you know of a possible Legacy Library that’s out there in some library catalog, let me know about it and if we can add it directly using this method, we’ll certainly do so! Some more from the Harry Ransom Center are already in the pipeline, for example.
Come chat about this Legacy Library update here.