Thursday, October 30, 2014
October marks the fifth anniversary of my first post to My Sentimental Library blog. And to celebrate the occasion, I am posting the individual page views of all My Sentimental Library blog posts for you to view. Some posts have been more popular than others. But I have enjoyed writing every one of them.
Oct 2009: An Unexpected Find in Umatilla, Florida 504 page views
Oct 2009: Snapshots of Mary Hyde 113
Jan 2010: A Cornerstone in American History 110
Jan 2011: Always Be On Time 289
Jan 2011: Arthur Schlesinger's Bookplate: The Whole Picture 963
Feb 2011: Changing Bookplates: Multiple Bookplates of Famous People 2555
Mar 2011: Two Hurt Books And Their Former Owners 438
Apr 2011: My William Targ Collection 487
May 2011: My Many Lives of Samuel Johnson 1304
Jun 2011: Ten Books From Texas and Two Reminiscences 801
Jul 2011: Blog Posts From Two of My Other Blogs 96
Aug 2011: Grand Moments 443
Sep 2011: My Autograph Letter Collection 2454
Oct 2011: In And About Foley 269
Nov 2011: J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, Bibliophile 457
Dec 2011: Biblio Researching, Biblio-Connecting, and Biblio Reviewing 92
Jan 2012: The Words of the Wise: My Periodical Collection 403
Feb 2012: My Samuel Johnson Collection: Odd Volumes, Association Copies, And
Other Interesting Items 276
Mar 2012: On Or About Moi's Books About Books 472
Apr 2012: Around the Dining Room Table: A View of My Shakespeare Collection 361
May 2012: My Sentimental Library Collection: Association Copies 325
Jun 2012: A Virtual Tour of My Mary Hyde Collection 1603
Jul 2012: My Philology Collection: Dictionaries 709
Aug 2012: Grammars, Spellers, and Writing Guides 542
Sep 2012: Eloquent Words Written and Spoken 912
Oct 2012: Books on Language: Part the Last 186
Nov 2012: Mostly Letters About Bookplates 639
Dec 2012: Twelve Blogs For Christmas: Contributions to Biblionotes: Ex-Libris 538
Jan 2103: Memories of Things Experienced and Things Missed 723
Feb 2013: RES JUDICATÆ: A HISTORY 630
Mar 2013: From G's Hand 584
Apr 2013: The Vanishing Breed: A History of Bookbinding Compiled by Don Brady 786
May 2013: His Dictionary? 719
June 2013: Cataloguing and Recataloguing the Boswell Library 467
July 2013: My Books About Libraries 949
Aug 2013: Elegant Extracts About Books, Booklovers, And Libraries 455
Sep 2013: The Collector and the Collected: Two Typophiles From New York 317
Oct 2013: A Splendid History of Ownership 809
Nov 2013: Andrew Lang and the Property of a Gentleman Who Has Given Up Collecting
Dec 2013: Twelve Blogs for Christmas: Contributions to Biblionotes: Chapbooks 189
Jan 2014: A Census of Ladies in My Library 881
Feb 2014: The Reference Library of a Bibliomaniac 891
Mar 2014: A Student of Catalogues 423
Apr 2014: A Virtual Tour of My Poetry Collection 667
May 2014: A Virtual Tour of My Collection of Essays 430
Jun 2014: My Books About the English Book Trade 307
Jul 2014: In Memoriam: Jamie Ryan DeJaynes 620
Aug 2014: The Monk, the Bookseller, and the Manuscript: Tracking Lydgate's Boke of
the Sege of Troy Through Bernard Quaritch's Catalogues 767
Sep 2014: The Last Book Sale Care Package 307
Oct 2014: The Second Beginning of the Chief End of Book Madness 240
Thursday, October 16, 2014
One day, in the waning months of 1945, Laurence R. Carton, Princeton '07, visited Julian P. Boyd, Librarian of Princeton University. In his hands, Carton held a copy of the following periodical:
Carton was so impressed with Lawrence C. Wroth's essay, "The Chief End of Book Madness," that he wanted Princeton to reprint it for all the Friends of the Princeton Library.
Lawrence C. Wroth was no stranger to Julian P. Boyd. They both served as consultants to the Library of Congress, along with Randolph G. Adams, Clarence S. Brigham, Bella de Costa Greene, Frank J. Hogan, Wilmarth S. Lewis, Lessing S. Rosenwald, and Thomas W. Streeter, just to name a few.
Wroth, Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, was the Library of Congress Consultant for the Acquisition of Rare Books. And his essay, "The Chief End of Book Madness," was not his first essay that was published in The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions.
Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress, refers to another essay by Wroth, "Toward a Rare Book Policy in the Library of Congress," in his Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress For the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 1944:
. . . a most compelling rationalization of the function and scope of a rare book collection to serve as the basis for a declaration of policy in that field. This document, originally submitted as a memorandum, was later published in the first number of The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions.Chauncey Brewster Tinker, Keeper of Rare Books, Yale University, at an event honoring Wroth and other librarians, called Wroth "the connecting link between the mad collector and the sane librarian." And Tinker referred to Wroth's essay, "The Chief End of Book Madness:"
The very title of his fine essay, The Chief End of Book Madness, is indicative of the service he renders, for it implies that the book-collector has an end and aim. Of that end and aim, the libraries of the country are the beneficiaries.
Wroth's essay presented a persuasive argument on why a book collector should donate his collection to a library rather than sell it at auction. And Laurence R. Carton knew that Princeton would benefit if it printed copies of "The Chief End of Book Madness" for all the Friends of the Princeton Library. Moreover, Carton practiced what he preached: a number of books in the Princeton Library had this bookplate pasted on their endpapers:
Julian P. Boyd thought Carton's suggestion to be a grand idea, and quickly obtained permission from both Wroth and the Library of Congress to reprint the essay. Several librarians in the local area got wind of Princeton's plan and wanted in on the project. Realizing he had a good thing going, Boyd notified librarians around the country, and soon, thirty librarians ordered more than eleven thousand copies of The Chief End of Book Madness.
The copies of the essay that were printed for The Friends of the Princeton Library were dispatched in time for the holidays in 1945. And accompanying the copy of the essay was a greeting card which told the story, in Boyd's own words, of "The Second Beginning of The Chief End of Book Madness."
For best viewing, here's a PDF File of the Greeting Card
The Chief End of Book Madness.
Postscript: It was pure serendipity that both The Chief End of Book Madness and the Princeton Greeting Card were reunited in The Last Book Sale Care Package.