Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Sentimental Library Blog:
The First Five Years

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

The Second Beginning
The Chief End of Book Madness

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."

(Expanded below for easier viewing)

                          For best viewing, here's a PDF File of the Greeting Card

And courtesy of Archive.Org is a link to
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.