Call for Entries: Student Book Collecting Contest, 2014

 Call for Entries:

University Libraries Student Book Collecting Contest, 2014

Submission deadline: May 1, 2014

 

Entries are invited from students currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina (all campuses) for the University Libraries Student Book Collecting Award, carrying a first prize of $250. The award is sponsored by the Thomas Cooper Society, which initiated it in 1993 to encourage beginning book collectors. A list of previous winners and the topics of their collections is available at: 
http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/bookcoll/winners.html.

A selection of items on display from Robert Smith's 2012 winning historical radio book collection

A selection of items on display from Robert Smith’s 2012 winning historical radio book collection

Student book collections may be in any field or may emphasize some particular area of interest within a subject. Collections may illustrate a certain bibliographical feature such as edition, illustration, typography, binding, &tc. Books and printed documents in all formats are acceptable for submission.
 Materials submitted by entrants must be owned and have been collected primarily by them. Entries should be submitted by May 1, 2014, and should include the following:

a) A brief essay (2-3 pages, double-spaced) describing how and why the collection was assembled, including plans for future growth and development.

b) An annotated bibliography of selected titles (about 25-40) from the collection.

c) A cover sheet listing the entrant’s name, address, phone and email contacts.

N.B.: The entrant’s name should not appear anywhere on the entry except on the cover sheet. If submitting electronically, please try to send as PDF files. Entrants may wish to look over a previous successful entry to get ideas on arranging their material: a folder of winning entries is on reserve in the Smith Reading Room in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.

A panel of judges will evaluate each anonymous entry. Each entrant’s essay and bibliography will be evaluated on how well they illustrate the concept of the collection. The winner will also be invited to exhibit selected items from their collection in the Hollings Library during Commencement Weekend and the month of May. The winning entry will also be submitted to the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, and the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies. The university’s 2007 winner was a runner-up in the national contest.

Entries should be submitted by midnight on Thursday, May 1, 2014, to:
 Jeffrey Makala, 
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,
 Hollings Special Collections Library,
 Columbia, SC 29208.
 (803) 777-0296. Or to: makalaj@mailbox.sc.edu.

 

 

 

Posted in book collecting, Book collections, Undergraduate research | Leave a comment

Medieval Manuscripts in North Carolina

This is a guest post by Maggie Johnson,
a student in “Reading the Medieval Book”
sss
On 14-15 November undergraduates in Dr. Scott Gwara’s course “Reading the Medieval Book” encountered more than forty medieval manuscripts at UNC’s Wilson Library and Ackland Art Museum, and at the Rubenstein Library on the Duke campus. Freshman Maggie Johnson wrote the following synopsis of the excursion.
South Carolina Honors College Students Arrive at their "sister" school, UNC

South Carolina Honors College Students Arrive at their “sister” school, UNC

Our class trip to UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University gave fascinating insight into the types of medieval manuscripts. Although the collection here at USC is informative, seeing unique books both sacred and secular introduced a new dimension to medieval literature.
USC Students Examining a Wycliffite New Testament in Middle English

USC Students Examining a Wycliffite New Testament in Middle English (MS 529)

UNC Chapel Hill has manuscripts in two locations: the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library and the Ackland Art Museum. The librarians of the Wilson Library were welcoming and are very much interested in the preservation of their collection, which includes a truly minuscule Middle English bible—perhaps three inches wide and four inches tall at the very most.
USC Undergraduate Neil Sauter Examines Fragments of a Tours Bible, ca. 825

USC Undergraduate Neil Sauter Examines Fragments of a Tours Bible, ca. 825 (MS 526)

Host Dr. Emily Kader Shows USC Undergraduate Kirkland Gray an Illuminated Psalter from St. Denis, ca. 1216

Host Dr. Emily Kader Shows USC Undergraduate Kirkland Gray an Illuminated
Psalter from St. Denis, ca. 1216 (MS 11)

Illumination of Jonah and the Whale from the St. Denis Psalter, ca. 1216

Illumination of Jonah and the Whale from the St. Denis Psalter, ca. 1216 (MS 11)

Also notable in the Wilson Library collection is a tome of monastic vows, beginning in the Middle Ages and spanning hundreds of years up to and beyond the Revolutionary War.
A Profession Dated 1777 from the Profession Book of Toussaints, Angers

A Profession Dated 1777 from the Profession Book of Toussaints, Angers (MS 534)

More focused on artwork than books themselves, the Ackland Art Museum has a collection of illuminations taken from various sources.
Examining Manuscripts in the Prints Room at the Ackland Art Museum, UNC

Examining Manuscripts in the Prints Room at the Ackland Art Museum, UNC

Although there were several beautifully painted manuscripts, the most elaborate and interesting was a leaf taken from a gradual (a large medieval book of music for the Mass). The music itself would be beautiful to translate and perform, but the illuminations along the borders are far more attention-grabbing. They show three scenes from the Adoration of the Magi: two of travel and one of the Adoration itself. The border contains intricate featherwork in yellow and blue, with small creatures hidden amongst the swirls.
The Magi Travel on Camels...

The Magi Travel on Camels…

...and on Elephants

…and on Elephants

Also in the Ackland Museum are two leaves from different manuscripts depicting David in Penance, a popular illumination from the “Seven Penitential Psalms” section of medieval books of hours.
David in Penance from the Chester Beatty Hours

David in Penance from the Chester Beatty Hours

Although the pieces from Chapel Hill were themselves beautiful, a more varied collection waited in Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The library itself is closed for renovations, but the collection was still available for viewing. Among the most notable of the manuscripts at Duke were an incomplete leaf from an Atlantic Bible (the largest type of Bible produced) and a seventeenth-century notebook containing information both mathematical and astronomical.

A Mid-Twelfth Century Atlantic Bible from Florence

A Mid-Twelfth Century Atlantic Bible from Florence

The notebook was perhaps the most interesting piece from the weekend, since it was a secular work as opposed to the sacred texts on display. It was a deeply personal book: whoever penned it may well have been a university student; he was clearly interested in the three theories of the solar system’s layout as well as different forms of geometry. It may have also been one of the more informative books available to the class, as it gave a new look into the secular side of medieval scholasticism.
Heliocentric vs. Geocentric Models of the Solar System

Heliocentric vs. Geocentric Models of the Solar System

Posted in manuscripts, Medieval manuscripts | Leave a comment

Our New Exhibition: Art in the Library

Art in the Library:

Original Artwork in the Collections of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Open now through early January, 2014.

     A special collections library is primarily a repository for printed and manuscript
materials. But collections (and collectors) grow and develop in diverse and occasionally
fascinating ways. As a result, items in our library’s collections include a wide array of
physical objects – or realia, as curators call them – along with a surprising amount of
original artwork. Together with significant collections of art prints and medals, theIrvin
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections also houses numerous paintings,
drawings, art photography, and sculpture.

Much of the artwork on display in this exhibition came to the library through the
collectors and collections of authors who we aim to acquire comprehensively, such as
John Milton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Other pieces were acquired
individually, either to supplement a collection or area of interest, or have come to us
as often unexpectedly generous gifts, such as the Koblenzer portraits of John and Sara
Milton and the O’Bryan Churchill landscape.

The main goal of this exhibition is to showcase the many works of original art in
our collections that are not frequently seen by the casual visitor. Indeed, an exhibition
with this focus has never before been mounted in the libraries. Because of the diversity
of subject matter, as you move through the gallery you may find some interesting
juxtapositions of materials spanning several centuries. We hope it will both surprise and
delight. It might be best to think of this exhibition as a “cabinet of artistic curiosities.” But
just as a rare printed book can be thought of as an object of material culture, something
created out of a very specific combination of historical, economic, and aesthetic forces,
so too can we consider these artworks as contributing to the larger literary and historical
archive that is our collection. The original artwork in this library will never rival that
found in McKissick Museum (nor should it), but it serves instead to add depth and
context to the rare and unique materials available here for study and research in the Irvin
Department.

So in this exhibition, you will find: watercolors by an English Poet Laureate; nineteenth-century book illustrations; doodles by famous authors; an early seventeenth-century
English portrait with an interesting provenance; and a landscape by Winston Churchill,
among many other surprises.

— Jeffrey Makala, Curator

Posted in Archival collections, artists books, artwork, book arts, Exhibitions, Medieval manuscripts | Leave a comment