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Marilyn Monroe lot numbers

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Sep 9, 2008, 9:01am Top

The auction catalog for Marilyn Monroe's estate is found here. There are over 70 lots with books in them so bear with me.

The following book lots all have 1 book in them: 17, 46, 500, 502 through 513, 515, 517, 519, 522, 523, 544.

The following book lots have 2 or more books. Actual number of books is noted in parentheses after the lot number. They are lots: 9 (2), 501 (3), 514 (6), 516 (3), 518 (4), 520 (4), 521 (2), 524 (3), 525 (2), 526 (2), 527 (5), 528 (2), 529 (6), 530 (9), 531 (5), 532 (14), 533 (8), 534 (9), 535 (2), 536 (10), 537 (4), 538 (6), 539 (10), 540 (5), 541 (7), 542 (9), 543 (2), 545 (13), 546 (15), 547 (13), 548 (8), 549 (10), 550 (9), 551 (4), 552 (16), 553 (12), 554 (17), 555 (12), 556 (18), 557 (3), 558 (6), 559 (19), 560 (6), 561 (10), 562 (6), 563 (912), 564 (5), 565 (11), 566 (6).

A little warning, though. Some lots, like number 536, tell how many books were in the lot and a few authors but no titles.

I'm not sure if people want to add scripts. If so, they are lot numbers 26, 43, 48, 49, 473, 477, 480, 484, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 497.

Sep 10, 2008, 1:15am Top

Wow. That was a lot of work to make. Have you started a user?

Sep 10, 2008, 9:51am Top

I've made an account - marilynmonroelibrary. I hope I did it right.

Sep 10, 2008, 9:55am Top


1. Member should know her password is "marilyn"
2. I made her paid and a legacy library
3. I changed her name to "Marilyn Monroe," not Norma Jean Baker, because that's the field that's used when displaying her name elsewhere. We go for the most known name there. The other can go in the "about me" section.

Sep 10, 2008, 10:02am Top

I left a note about coming *here* to claim a lot number.

Sep 10, 2008, 12:38pm Top

I'll go ahead and claim all of the 1-book lots. They shouldn't be too hard to knock out.

Sep 10, 2008, 12:50pm Top

I'm adding lot numbers in the "comments" section, fyi.

Sep 11, 2008, 4:13pm Top

I finished the 1-book lots, and I also finished the other lots through Lot 518.

Edited: Sep 29, 2008, 3:13pm Top

Lots with incomplete information:

Lots 529, 530 (some info for 5 of 9 books), 532, 533, 534, 536, 537 (some info for 1 of 4 books), 538, 539, 554 (info for 6 of 17 books), 555 (info for 5 of 12 books), 556 (info for 6 of 18 books), 559 (6 of 19 books), 562 (6 out of 8), 565, and 566.

Sep 29, 2008, 4:07pm Top

OK, Marilyn's library's done, except for the lots with incomplete information. Jeremy, can you help me draft a nice email / letter to Christie's asking for the rest of the information, if they have it?

Sep 29, 2008, 4:28pm Top

Sure. Give me a day or two, but sure!

Sep 29, 2008, 5:38pm Top

No rush, thanks!

Sep 30, 2008, 12:52am Top

May I make a wish? Change the name of the library to Marilyn_Monroe. Looks better, I think.

Sep 30, 2008, 1:01am Top

Same idea, different library:

Could basilhenryliddellhar be changed to BasilLiddellHart? It just bugs me that the last letter of his name can't squeeze in, and his real name is given as Basil Liddell Hart on his profile page.

Oct 7, 2008, 9:54am Top

Are the lots listed in #9 the only ones we need more info for? Or should we ask for any bibliographic data they have on all book-lots?

Oct 7, 2008, 10:38am Top

Those are the only ones we need info for. All other lots had at least title, author, publication place and publication date for each volume. (And even on the lots where information was available for some volumes -- lot 556, for example -- it's probably simpler to ask for information for all volumes from that lot.)

Oct 7, 2008, 11:44am Top

Cool, thanks. I've emailed them for info on these, and will report back as soon as I can.

Oct 8, 2008, 3:16pm Top

I just heard back from Christie's (that was speedy!), but unfortunately it's not good news: "Thank you for your inquiry. Our Popular Cultures Department has confirmed that apart from the catalogued information, we do not have further details on the lots."

Sorry guys!

Oct 8, 2008, 8:11pm Top

Nooooo! Do you think that'll be the case for most of the auctions?

Oct 8, 2008, 8:14pm Top

I'm guessing probably yes (for the more recent ones we may have a better shot though).

Oct 8, 2008, 8:34pm Top

OK. But if I find a Sotheby's catalog, I think we should still email them separately, just in case they keep more information around than Christie's does.

Oct 8, 2008, 8:35pm Top

Oh, and I guess this also means the library can be marked "complete," unless you think the scripts should be added.

Oct 8, 2008, 8:42pm Top

Yes, that's true, other auction houses may/will be different.

If it's to be marked complete, there should be a note added to the profile noting that some of the lot descriptions do not contain sufficient information to be cataloged completely.

To a larger point, this is the trouble with catalogs that don't give us enough information. There are so many out there that provide full data, I really think we need to focus our time and energies on those. People are of course free to work on whatever they want, but I remain leery of this sort of library (just for the record).

Oct 8, 2008, 11:38pm Top

I hear where you're coming from, and I don't think there's need for a debate about it, but I think we need to do things that interest us. Marilyn Monroe is cake, I think, like Tupac. It makes the list so much more diverse and inviting. IMHO.

Oct 9, 2008, 7:09am Top

The important thing is to make absolutely clear, whether in the profile or in individual records, exactly how these libraries are being done. If there are "holes," those should be noted. If there are "inferences," those should be noted too (and, probably, justified, as we do for the older collections - i.e. we know x had a three-volume edition of y, and the only three-volume edition of y was printed at London in 1763, so that's probably the edition x had, &c.).

I entirely agree that people ought to do what they're interested in, but because these libraries are increasingly seen (as they should be) as opportunities for scholarship and serious comparison, we need to make sure that they are the best we can make them.

Oct 10, 2008, 1:07am Top

I agree, and well put. For the sake of not undermining libraries done to more exacting standards—or anyway with more complete data—it's necessary the methods and sources are explained very clearly.


Oct 10, 2008, 1:50pm Top

#23 - You do realize I'm still toiling away on Benjamin Franklin, right? Let me have my dessert, too! ;) (And, come on, who would have guessed that Marilyn Monroe liked Thomas Mann?)

>If it's to be marked complete, there should be a note added to the profile noting that some of the lot descriptions do not contain sufficient information to be cataloged completely.

Agreed. I'm out of town right now, but I'll get to that when I'm back home.

Oct 10, 2008, 2:28pm Top

Yes, no worries!

Oct 17, 2008, 10:44am Top

OK, I've updated the profile to explain why only ~250/400 books have been entered.

>To a larger point, this is the trouble with catalogs that don't give us enough information.

Do you mean this on a book by book case (i.e., where the edition isn't exact) or in terms of the library as a whole (i.e., where only part of the library can be reconstructed)?

Oct 17, 2008, 10:57am Top

Cool - I'll switch her over.

Nov 19, 2008, 3:01pm Top

In the interest of following the "no data is better than bad data" Legacy Library policy, I went through and deleted all of the publication info for all records which I'd marked "edition not exact." I left the class numbers, since I didn't see anything there that was edition specific. Also, all of the books were pre-ISBN, so I don't think I've screwed anything up globally in terms of adding "bad data" to the system. (If I have, let me know, and I'll delete the entries and re-enter them manually.)

Nov 19, 2008, 4:14pm Top

Cool. No worries at all on the global level (at least none that I can think of). Thanks for doing that. I did it with Tupac's the other day too since people blogging or writing about the Legacies often brought up that there were books in there from after his death.

Oct 12, 2010, 11:18am Top

Book Tryst, a fantastic biblioblog by the way, has a nice entry on Marilyn Monroe's reading. Included are books owned by MM based on the auction, but also includes information found in her biographies: http://www.booktryst.com/2010/10/marilyn-monroe-avid-reader-writer-book.html

More work and discussion here: http://www.everlasting-star.net/boards/?showtopic=11195

Jun 1, 2011, 12:50pm Top

and all your hard work has been recognized in this article from the LA Times, complete with picture of Marilyn and her books.


Jun 1, 2011, 12:56pm Top

No way!

Jun 1, 2011, 1:01pm Top

Cool! Carolyn Kellogg has mentioned our projects in several previous posts - we like her ;-)

Oct 7, 2014, 11:09am Top

Here's an article on Marilyn's library that might interest you folks. http://www.openculture.com/2014/10/the-430-books-in-marilyn-monroes-library.html

Oct 10, 2014, 12:43pm Top

I love this photo, taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt:

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