Always a bit affirming when news/media gives attention to significant rare book authors. This morning it gave us the following:
Today marks the day that in 1796 Edward Jenner successfully administered his small pox vaccine to 8-year-old James Phipps using captured discharge from an active cow pox lesion(see Stefan Riedel’s “Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination” article in the 2005 Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/ and Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac for May 14, 2015 at http://writersalmanac.org). This act of variolation stemmed the tide of the highly-contagious, sometimes-deadly and often-disfiguring disease that ravaged so many up to and through the 18th century. This library is a proud owner of a first edition Edward Jenner An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ in the Milestones of Science Collection (see http://milestones.buffalolib.org/booksBrowser/BookDetail.asp?item_id=112).
Also in the news this morning on NPR’s Morning Edition was a great story and book review entitled “A Fortune In Folios: One Man’s Hunt For Shakespeare’s First Editions “ (http://www.npr.org/2015/05/14/406470976/a-fortune-in-folios-one-man-s-hunt-for-shakespeare-s-first-editions). The new book The Millionaire and the Bard by Andrea Mays chronicles Henry Folger’s obsessive collecting of Shakespeare First Folios. The piece speaks to the lengths that Folger would go to obtain copies owned by others. The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s First Folio (#6 on the photo scroll at http://www.buffalolib.org/content/grosvenor/rare-book-room) was once owned by Folger and was the result of an exchange for the copy that Col. Charles Clifton, President of the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company, secured sometime before 1919. Folger coveted the copy Clifton had purchased because “Principall Actor” Samuel Gilburne’s name was written next to his printed name in the list of players but it was not verifiable that it was his signature. The Maggs catalogue price that Clifton presumably paid for the Gilburne copy was $3,000.After negotiating, Folger finally agreed to pay Clifton $8,800 and provide a more-perfect First Folio that this library now owns.
The final rare book and manuscript newsworthy item for today comes from Fine Books & Collections at http://www.finebooksmagazine.com/fine_books_blog/2015/05/scholars-discover-lost-twain-writings.phtml. Of course this library is always on the lookout for any news that concerns Mark Twain because it is no secret (at least we hope it is not a secret! See http://www.buffalolib.org/content/grosvenor/mark-twain-room if it is please) that it owns Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn manuscript. “Scholars Discover Lost Twain Writings” details recently discovered Twain’s pre-Innocents abroad newspaper writings.
…all the news that’s fit to [re]print!