Special Collections

From the Reading Room – Zerah Colburn

  [[DeM] Fr [Colbourn] t.p.-6082] William J. Reese from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was in the reading room a few months ago consulting a number of volumes regarding Zerah Colburn – a child prodigy in the field of arithmetic.  Most of the volumes were from the  De Morgan collection . I asked him about ‘A Memoir of Zerah Colburn…’ in particular: ‘why are you reading this book and how does it relate to your wider research interests?’
21 Oct 2014
Special Collections

University of London awards the inaugural Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize

The first Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize at the University of London has been awarded to Hazel Wilkinson, a PhD student in English Literature at University College London, for her collection ‘The everyday canon from Tonson to Penguin’. A runner’s up prize was also awarded to Kayleigh Betterton, an MA student at Birkbeck, for a collection of Oscar Wilde material.
6 Oct 2014
Special Collections

Conserving a botany book through BeFriend a Book

The conservation of Elizabeth Twining’s Illustrations of the Natural Orders of Plants, 1868  sponsored by Professor Michael Slater in memory of his friend, John Grigg has now been completed. The two volume set  was bound using caoutchouc, a natural rubber, also known as gutta percha.  An earlier blog explained how readily this adhesive breaks down and the problems these bindings pose for conservation. The quarter leather case of the binding was sound but the single leaves of the text block broke away every time the book was opened.
15 Sep 2014
Angela Craft

London Rare Books School 2014

The London Rare Books School is upon us, and once again we are busy delivering books and manuscripts to classes and witnessing the value of our holdings for teaching purposes, from the demonstration of press figures (numbers used by eighteenth-century English printers to keep a tally of their work) to samples of private press books and to various kinds of binding.
3 Jul 2014
Dr Karen Attar