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Karen Schneider notices group, wonder why no women?

Legacy Libraries

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Jan 16, 2008, 6:28am Top

Tim, thanks for pointing this out. I agree with her - I'd love to add some notable women - it's just a matter of finding their libraries. I'll do a little digging and see what catalogues I can find - anywhere - and then see if they're accessible online at all.

Jan 16, 2008, 10:01am Top

Actually, I was going to post that Edith Wharton's library was restored to her estate, The Mount, in 2005 (NY Times article). However, the only list of the contents that I could find was a book self-published by the gentleman who originally purchased the library then sold it back to The Mount: Edith Wharton's Library: A Catalogue. Compiled by George Ramsden. Settrington: Stone Trough Books, 1999. I couldn't find any other (free) source for a list of the books.

The book is available from my local University library, but I guess the question would be if it would be okay to copy the lists and have them available as PDF's for people who would like to enter them into LT. I think it's a great opportunity, but are there any legal issues associated with doing it that way?

Jan 16, 2008, 10:51am Top

The contents of library itself are not copyrightable, but the book itself is. So I think everyone would have to have a legitimate copy, rather than posting PDFs. Then again, I should try to avoid making definitive pronouncements about these things, since not addressing the issue and waiting for a take-down notice is less legally risky.

Edited: Jan 16, 2008, 10:56am Top

Does anyone want to take up the task of writing to the director of the Mount?

See http://www.edithwharton.org/about/4.php?record=23

I'll bet they'd be into the project. It would get some press, I bet.

Jan 16, 2008, 12:01pm Top

Jan 16, 2008, 12:11pm Top

Nice! Now we're on a roll. andyl also found Marie Antoinette's (here).

If anyone wants to take the lead on these, give a shout, start a thread and I'll add them to the front page as ongoing.

Jan 16, 2008, 12:57pm Top

How about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt? The Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute is the first presidential library, and contains documents from both of them. This site contains reading lists about the Roosevelts, but I couldn't find a list of books they owned.

Jan 16, 2008, 1:30pm Top

>5 timspalding: Tim and everyone: I'll write to the director of the Mount about posting Edith Wharton's library. I'll follow up as soon as I hear something.

Edited: Jan 16, 2008, 2:10pm Top

Jan 16, 2008, 2:11pm Top

I called the Librarian at The Mount, the holder of Edith Wharton's books. She is interested, but not prepared to put the library up on LT yet. According to her, the listing of Wharton's holdings in the book that I mentioned (message #3) was not very accurate, so she is in the process of cataloging them all herself. She wants to wait until she has an accurate catalog before posting anything.

However, she wants me to send an e-mail with links to LibraryThing and Thomas Jefferson's library so that she can see what has been done. I will copy in Tim and Abby on the e-mail, which I hope to write tonight or tomorrow.

Also, down the road they plan to scan all of Wharton's books and make them available online. I guess Wharton did a lot of annotating and marginalia which is very interesting to Wharton scholars.

Jan 16, 2008, 2:40pm Top

I just started Marie-Antoinette (http://www.librarything.com/profile/MarieAntoinette).

Edited: Jan 16, 2008, 9:23pm Top

> 6 (Woolfs)

WSU has a Z39.50 server (connection info).
Searching for "Library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf" for use 1003 gets the 4958 records. (In other words, they add that as an "author" role, specifically a 710 corporate name with a $5 of WaPS.)
I could easily write the MARC to a file, but it might be just as easy to do the bulk import entirely on the LT side.

Jan 17, 2008, 3:07am Top

Critical editions of libraries are commonly prepared for writers of history, philosophy, and science. The libraries of these figures often give a clue to the meaning of their writings (including their mistakes and omissions) and their intellectual development. The libraries of novelists are less obviously useful to scholars. E.g., how much can you make of the fact that George Eliot had a copy of The Pickwick Papers? Gist: women are underrepresented among writers of history, philosophy, and science, and one expects fewer libraries of women to appear.

Also, writers of the further past -- where books were harder to come by, lives more secluded -- have libraries of the greatest significance to scholars. Again, women are underrepresented among writers of the further past.

Jan 17, 2008, 3:16am Top

If the presence of a particular book in a scholar's library may occasionally suggest exposure to a fact, more interesting connections between ideas among philosophers, historians and scientists are not unlike connections between fiction writers. If Eliot's reading of Dicken's is a problem, Jefferson's reading of Machiavelli is not different. Few of either ideas or style are transmitted mechanically.

Jan 17, 2008, 7:15am Top

>15 timspalding:
Completely agree. I'm just trying to explain why scholars and bibliographers have, in the past, taken more trouble with some writers than others.

Jan 17, 2008, 7:19am Top

MMcM - I noticed that possible batch import route too for the Woolfs' library .... Tim, any thoughts on that?

Also, MMcM - excellent finds in Message 10 - I hope we'll get some takers for those. I think I may tackle Isabella Stewart Gardner (being a local, after all - if anyone else wants in on that, let me know).

Jan 17, 2008, 9:54pm Top

I think we use the JohnAdam's library as the test case for batch (MARC) import. Casey is on it—alas, not his only project...

Jan 17, 2008, 9:55pm Top

Sounds good. No worries, we've got plenty to keep us occupied :-)

Jan 17, 2008, 10:05pm Top

Ms. Gardner is now lifetime. I love her that much.

Edited: Jan 20, 2008, 8:35am Top

ISG's library is now complete. Fascinating collection: incunabula, Aldines, amazing association copies, nice first edition runs of Hawthorne, Lowell, &c. Very fitting, I thought, that I entered her copy of Poe yesterday on his 199th birthday.

Her profile page.

Jan 20, 2008, 10:12am Top

> 21

Very fitting, I thought, that I entered her copy of Poe yesterday on his 199th birthday.

Did you wait until yesterday on purpose? I know I would have been tempted to do so!

ISG was a heckuva woman, wasn't she? I think she knew everyone, and most of them painted her!

Jan 20, 2008, 10:47am Top

No, haha, I don't plan that well :-) I was just moving through it and happened upon the Poe.

I agree, she does seem to have known just about everyone. I'm going to have to dig a little more and find out more about her book collecting habits.

Jan 20, 2008, 11:20am Top

Nice work. What, four days from inspiration to completion?

Interesting comments, too. Surely the 1445 Xylographie is now the oldest book on LT.

Sep 30, 2008, 8:03pm Top

Is it possible that no one has suggested Jane Austen?

She has a group of devoted readers ("Janites"), but maybe there is no reliable list of her reading or book ownership.

Sep 30, 2008, 8:07pm Top

Only seven books are "known" to have been in Austen's library. A few more are "assumed" (about twenty total). I've collected all the available sources about her reading, but haven't done up the profile yet. I just wish we knew more ... obviously she read MANY more books than that ...

Sep 30, 2008, 8:11pm Top

Well, at least you answered my question... Agree that she must have read much more, but she lived a very quiet private life. Aside from her letters, I guess there's not much to go on.

Oct 11, 2008, 12:03am Top

How about Emily Dickinson?

I've begun a page for her:

If anyone would be interested in helping to enter the books let me know (I was told I could ask for assistance).

The list is spelled out in the "Replenishing the Shelves" project at:

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