New Exhibit!

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David Copperfield: Dickens’ Favorite Child is now open on the 3rd floor of the Montante Family Library through March 31, 2013.  The D’Youville College Archives holds a rare, first edition David Copperfield, complete in its original paper wrappers.  As Dickens called Copperfield his favorite of all his works, the exhibit explores the experiences that influenced its writing and publication.

“An Energy of the Fieriest Description”

David Copperfield was first published as a serial in 19 monthly parts from May 1849 to November 1850.  This was Dickens’ eighth novel and marked a significant change from his earlier works.  First, Copperfield is written in the first person.  Second, experiences from his life feature prominently.  His father’s term in debtors’ prison (and even his speech patterns) take the form of Mr. Micawber.  Dickens’ own time working at a blacking factory as a child is reflected in David’s brutal experience at Murdstone and Grinby’s warehouse.  In July 1849, Dickens wrote to his friend John Forster, “I really think I have done it ingeniously, and with a very complicated interweaving of truth and fiction.”

Dickens began writing Copperfield in February 1849, only three months before the first installment was published.  For the duration of this work, he stuck to a fairly rigid writing schedule, and wrote each number in the first 2 weeks of the month with “an energy of the fieriest description.”  In the summer of 1849 while on holiday with his family, he expressed his wish to be left alone from waking until 2pm, referring to this time as his “hard Copperfieldian mornings.”

Copperfield was well-received and has become Dickens best known work.  Biographer and historian Claire Tomalin describes the sense of realism and the depiction of childhood Dickens captured: “…the voice of childhood was truly rendered by Dickens out of his own experience – and out of his imagination….His descriptions are so finely accurate that he seems to be watching something taking place before his eyes as he writes….”

In the Preface of the 1850 edition, Dickens reflected on Copperfield:

My interest in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret—pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions….

Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green leaves once a month, and with a faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David Copperfield, and made me happy.

The exhibit is on display until March 31, 2013 during regular library hours.  Directions to the Montante Family Library can be found here.


 

 

Exhibit Sneak Peek

The College Archives has a new exhibit space located on the 3rd floor of the Montante Family Library.  The first exhibit, David Copperfield: Dickens’ Favorite Child will open in a few weeks.  Below are a few sneak peek images of the space renovation and items featured in the exhibit.

Dickens at the time of Copperfield publication, 1850.

Dickens at the time of Copperfield publication, 1850.

Uriah Heep, from Frederick Barnard's Character Sketches from Dickens.

Uriah Heep, from Frederick Barnard's Character Sketches from Dickens.

Exhibit area, 3rd floor of Montante Family Library

Exhibit area, 3rd floor of Montante Family Library

Map and engraving of Covent Garden and Drury Lane theater district, London.  From London Illustrata.

Map and engraving of Covent Garden and Drury Lane theater district, London. From London Illustrata.

David Copperfield 1st edition, in original wrappers

David Copperfield 1st edition, in original wrappers

Dr. Henry Lappin, D'Youville College professor.  Lappin recommended the library purchase David Copperfield in 1927.

Dr. Henry Lappin, D'Youville College professor. Lappin recommended the library purchase David Copperfield in 1927.

Dickens at the time of Copperfield publication, 1850.Uriah Heep, from Frederick Barnard's Character Sketches from Dickens.Exhibit area, 3rd floor of Montante Family LibraryMap and engraving of Covent Garden and Drury Lane theater district, London.  From London Illustrata.David Copperfield 1st edition, in original wrappersDr. Henry Lappin, D'Youville College professor.  Lappin recommended the library purchase David Copperfield in 1927.


 

What makes a book rare?

Many factors are used, often in combination, to determine if a book is “rare.”  Below is a primer describing several factors that can be used in this regard:

Edition

Edition

First edition, in original wrappers of Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, 1849.

Age

Age

Divi Gregorii theologi episcopi Nazanzeni, De Theologia libri quinque (On Vs Ecclesie), published 1523. [Translation: The First Theological Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus, translated by Petrus Mosellanus]

Age

Age

Divi Gregorii theologi episcopi Nazanzeni, De Theologia libri quinque (On Vs Ecclesie), published 1523. [Translation: The First Theological Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus, translated by Petrus Mosellanus]

Binding

Binding

Dante nelle memorie dei poeti italiani. Bound by Vida Benedict.

Author Signatures and Inscriptions

Author Signatures and Inscriptions

Alfred Noyes' Some Aspects of Modern Poetry, inscribed to D'Youville College. Noyes is best known for his 1906 poem "The Highwayman."

Illustrations

Illustrations

Chromolithograph illuminations by Owen Jones and Henry Warren. The Paradise and the Peri, 1860.

Illustrations

Illustrations

Chromolithograph illuminations by Owen Jones and Henry Warren. The Paradise and the Peri, 1860.

Printer

Printer

History of Helyas, Knight of the Swan. Printed by the Grolier Club, 1901.

Printer

Printer

History of Helyas, Knight of the Swan. Printed by the Grolier Club, 1901.

Annotations

Annotations

Praelectiones in Summam theologicam : divi Thomae Aquinatis. Annotations by Buffalo Bishop William Turner.

Annotations

Annotations

Praelectiones in Summam theologicam : divi Thomae Aquinatis. Annotations by Buffalo Bishop William Turner.

EditionAgeAgeBindingAuthor Signatures and InscriptionsIllustrationsIllustrationsPrinterPrinterAnnotationsAnnotations


 

Niagara Falls – Buffalo’s Wonder Neighbor

Top: Charles Blondin crossing the Niagara Gorge (while carrying his manager); Bottom: Whirlpool Aero Car.

Top: Charles Blondin crossing the Niagara Gorge (while carrying his manager); Bottom: Whirlpool Aero Car.

The Falls in winter.

The Falls in winter.

Map of Historic Niagara, made for Peter A. Porter, 1891.

Map of Historic Niagara, made for Peter A. Porter, 1891.

Top: Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls, 1697; Middle: Artist conception of beavers buiding dams below the Falls, 1702; Bottom: Early view, 1700-1750.

Top: Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls, 1697; Middle: Artist conception of beavers buiding dams below the Falls, 1702; Bottom: Early view, 1700-1750.

Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls.

The Falls in winter.

The Falls in winter.

Top: Charles Blondin crossing the Niagara Gorge (while carrying his manager); Bottom: Whirlpool Aero Car.The Falls in winter.Map of Historic Niagara, made for Peter A. Porter, 1891.Top: Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls, 1697; Middle: Artist conception of beavers buiding dams below the Falls, 1702; Bottom: Early view, 1700-1750.Horseshoe Falls.The Falls in winter.

Source: This is the Story – in Pictures and Words – of Buffalo, One of America’s Truly Great Cities, published by Otto Retter, 1932.


 

Anxious to please, as well as instruct…

A Dictionary of the English Language was published by Samuel Johnson in 1755.  Johnson’s Dictionary, as it is also known, was the preeminent English dictionary for some 173 years until the Oxford English Dictionary was published.  The work took some 9 years to produce, and established a standard for creating and presenting entries.  The D’Youville College Archives holds a miniature edition from 1796, Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language in Miniature to which are added, an alphabetical account of the heathen deities; a list of the cities, boroughs, and market towns in England and Wales; a copious chronology; and a concise Epitome of the most remarkable Events during the French Revolution.  In the introduction, editor Joseph Hamilton wrote:

Anxious to please, as well as instruct, the Editor has procured a Type of unequalled Symmetry and Beauty; the Paper is of the finest Quality and Texture, and the typographical Execution unrivalled.

Endpapers.

Endpapers.

Endpapers.

Title page.

Title page.

Title page.

An alphabetical account of the heathen deities.

An alphabetical account of the heathen deities.

An alphabetical account of the heathen deities.

The

The "copious chronology."

The "copious chronology."

Sample page of entries.

Sample page of entries.

Sample page of entries.

Endpapers.Title page.An alphabetical account of the heathen deities.The "copious chronology."Sample page of entries.


 

Cover Story

In addition to institutional records, the D’Youville College Archives holds rare books, mainly from the late 19th century.  Book publishing expanded rapidly during the 1800s, with books becoming more affordable for the general public.  Most were printed with cloth book covers and often embellished with gold stamping, illustrations, or other ornament.  Although these books were mass-produced, the charm of the illustrative cover art deserves notice.  Below are examples from the rare books collection.

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bookcovers007

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bookcovers008

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A Mirror of Fair Women

There was a group of painters who became identified specifically with the painting of beautiful women rather than the general concept of beauty in art….  It is in this spirit, the masculine appreciation of feminine appearance, that the 1890s and the turn of the century witnessed the publication of several books dedicated to the beauty of women in art….

Among these books was Theodore Child’s A Mirror of Fair Women: Studies in Beauty and Elegance, published by Harper and Brothers in 1892.  The D’Youville College Archives holds a selection of engravings and etchings from this work, some of which can be viewed here:

Spring, from The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli

Picture 1 of 5

*Quote taken from Bailey Van Hook’s Angels of Art: Women and Art in American Society, 1876-1914.  Published by Penn State Press, 2004, pp.165.


 

Endpapers

end – papers n.

the blank leaves at the beginning and end of a book, pasted to the inside front and back covers and first and last pages.

Before books were mass-produced, it was common for endpapers to include maps, marbling, or other ornament.  Endpapers are functional and serve to help support and strenthen the book, but they can also be quite beautiful.  These examples are from books held in the D’Youville College Archives:

 

Although today most endpapers are blank, children’s books, in particular picture books, often still contain ornamented endpapers:


 

Start the Year with Dickens

Although the D’Youville College Archives mainly consist of the institutional records of the college, we also hold scores of rare and special books in the collection.  One is a 1909 copy of Through the Year with Dickens.  The book contains quotations from Dickens works, one for each day of the year, illustrated with six color plates of scenes from his works.  The passage for January 1 (taken from Little Dorrit) follows:

And thus ever by day and night, under the sun and under the stars, climbing the dusty hills and toiling along the weary plains, journeying by land and journeying by sea, coming and going so strangely, to meet and to act and react on one another, move all we restless travellers through the pilgrimage of life.

Through the Year… was compiled by Dickens’ eldest daughter, Mary.  Mary was born in 1838 and was the closest to Dickens of his ten children, even siding with him in his sensational 1858 separation from his wife, Catherine.  After that time, Mary lived with her father, and did not see her mother again until after his death in 1870.  This was not Mary’s sole published work: she co-edited a collection of Charles Dickens’ letters with her aunt Georgina Hogarth (1880) and wrote My Father as I Recall Him (1886).