Blog topic: Rare books

Stanford Libraries 2022 #ColorOurCollections

Attention all artists and coloring book enthusiasts! The Stanford Libraries 2022 #Color our Collections coloring book is here. Culled from digitized images from Stanford Digital Repository, the coloring book consists of 14 sheets that highlight an eclectic range of subjects and styles from our collection.

Book spine

Connecting to the 1594 English Geneva Bible

January 11, 2022
by Ray Heigemeir

Guest blogger : Daniel Koplitz

As I cradle the book in my hands, flecks of its leathered paper-board cover release into the free air. Carried affectionately like dandelion wisps in the summer breeze, the flecks disperse from the margins of their centuries-old home and, fearing nothing, return to the very dust of matter from which they were born. I’m reminded in this seeing and feeling of my own mortality, my impermanent nature. I recognize myself in these flecks, not knowing how or why but that we are undeniably connected.

Chinese rare book scanning

Digitization collaboration with National Central Library of Taiwan completed

January 5, 2022
by Hannah Frost

Chinese studies scholars and Stanford Libraries are celebrating the digitization of a selection of Chinese rare books in a collaboration with the National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL). As mentioned in a previous blog post introducing the 6 month long project, a selection of 210 volumes from 26 titles in the holdings of the East Asia Library and the Bowes Art & Architecture Library were digitized by Digital Production Group (DPG) and then delivered to NCL for its Rare Books Database in November to complete the project. This post is authored by Zhaohui Xue, Chinese Studies Librarian, and guest blogger Katharine Dimitruk, who coordinated the digitization project.

Image of stack of parchment with handwriting on top showing the opening lines of Beowulf

Scribe C: Rewriting the Beowulf Manuscript - a Seminar with Cheryl Jacobsen

October 18, 2021
by Benjamin L Albritton

For the latest event in an ongoing series co-sponsored with Stanford Text Technologies, the Libraries were delighted to host Cheryl jacobsen (University of Iowa, Center for the Book) on Oct. 14, 2021 for an online seminar where she presented her work copying the Old English poem, Beowulf, in a hand and layout matched to that of the original scribe, to produce a commission for a private collector.

Dante Canto 2 decoration

Stanford's 1481 'Divine Comedy' Online

September 2, 2021
by Benjamin L Albritton

In 1987, Stanford Libraries acquired a major collection of materials by, and about, Dante Alighieri. Among these materials were nine 15th-century editions of his Comedia (more familiarly, the Divine Comedy) - editions which are constant highlights in the teaching and learning programs in Special Collections and, because of the familiarity of the text to many students and visitors, in regular use by researchers.

Peter Whidden and John Mustain holding a rare book bound in medieval manuscript

In Appreciation of Peter Whidden on the Eve of His Retirement

August 30, 2021
by Benjamin L Albritton

John Mustain (left) and Peter Whidden (right) show off a treasure from the Rare Books Collection

 

“Peter’s work is exceptional”

-- Memo from Linda Long in 1994

Visitors to the basement of Green Library could easily overlook a series of small, blue arrows on the floor. They once directed colleagues toward a service elevator during a major move of materials from Green Library to the Stanford Auxiliary Library. They are the subtle reminders of the often unseen work that happens in an institution like ours: the thinking, logistics, measuring, planning, and communication that keeps things humming along smoothly and of which patrons and colleagues might not even be aware. While our colleague, Peter Holt Whidden, Rare Book Specialist in Special Collections, was not responsible for those particular arrows, he has left many similar signposts throughout the library and Special Collections when he retires on Aug. 31, 2021 after 31 years of service to Stanford Libraries. 

Chinese rare book text close-up

SUL joins international partnership to digitize and make available Chinese rare books

July 13, 2021
by Hannah Frost

Stanford Libraries is embarking on an exciting collaboration with the National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL) to digitize a selection of Chinese rare books in the holdings of the East Asia Library and the Bowes Art & Architecture Library. The scanned titles will be added to the NCL’s Rare Books and Special Collections online database, a significant research resource open to the world for the study of Chinese history and culture.

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