Blog topic: Rare books
February will be a busy month for booklovers and the book community in the Bay Area and beyond, with a delightful buffet of events and opportunities to enjoy:
A new online exhibit, Beautiful Books: A collection of some of Stanford's rare and antiquarian books, highlights Special Collections' efforts to digitize books with unique or noteworthy features. It includes fine examples of engraved and woodcut illustrations, astronomical diagrams, typographical innovation, fine bindings, and more. The books are artifacts of multiple points throughout history, from the earliest printing in the late 1400's to the 20th century.
We are pleased to announce that Brian Bethel has joined our Redwood City team as our Rare Books Copy Cataloger! Please join us in welcoming him to the department.
Brian will be familiar to some as he has been working as a Processing Assistant in Special Collections for about a year. He has been focusing on collections associated with Silicon Valley, and has written several blog articles about his work. He will continue that processing work, and on Nov. 19 he will add rare books cataloging to his repertoire.
The Archives is pleased to announce that the original copy of the Founding Grant is now available online: https://purl.stanford.edu/rb803rc6397. Although previously available in other formats, this is the first time that this one of a kind treasure, now preserved in the Archives, is available in all of its glory.
The Stanford Libraries have recently acquired a copy of Thomas Laird's Murals of Tibet, published by TASCHEN Books. This rare 498- paged item, measuring 19.7 x 27.6 inches and featuring a number of life-size reproductions of Tibetan Buddhist murals, is one of only a thousand copies produced.
The East Asia Library has recently purchased several important database collections of Western-language historical materials that are now available for Stanford users to access. These databases include documents digitized from collections held at the British Library, the Second Historical Archives of China, and a number of other libraries and archives.
I was very interested when recently a colleague from Green Library, David Jordan, alerted me to the existence of several Chinese and Japanese items within the Gunst Collection, also known as the Morgan A. and Aline D. Gunst Memorial Library of the Book Arts. As the name suggests, this collection, which was donated to Stanford Libaries in 1963 and contains over four thousand volumes, is devoted to works that showcase the role of books as artifacts. As I was browsing through the short list of East Asian materials belonging to this collection, I was intrigued by one item in particular, which was described as an eleventh-century print of a Chinese Buddhist scripture.