With a patron's help, Zhaohui Xue, Chinese Studies Librarian at the East Asia Library, has discovered some particularly rare materials within the library's collections.
Blog topic: Rare books
2017 marks the 10th year of the Gustave Gimon Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Stanford Libraries, during which time 22 scholars outside of Stanford have had the opportunity to use the materials in the Gustave Gimon Collection of French Political Economy. The Gimon collection, acquired by the library in 1996 and named in honor of the donor's father, Gustave Gimon, a hero of the French Resistance, contains almost 1000 items documenting the development of political and economic ideas in France from the 16th-19th centuries.
Among the rare materials held in the East Asia Library's special collections, the Tao Pai-chuan papers are a unique resource for studying Taiwanese history and politics. Tao Pai-chuan 陶百川 (1901 - 2002) was a scholar and politician who served as an advisor to several prominent figures in the Republic of China government, including the presidents Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui. In 2010, his family donated a number of his personal documents and a set of his collected writings to the Stanford East Asia Library.
It was my distinct pleasure to offer a window into Stanford Libraries’ rare music collections to students in the “Why Music Matters” course from the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute, and performers in the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Chamber Music Course. We gathered in Special Collections for an up-close examination of manuscripts and early print materials, dating from 1942 (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) all the way back to the 12th century (a sacred chant fragment).
A recently cataloged item in our Rare Books Collection, a gift from Friend of the Library Frank J. Novak III, has an interesting provenance. The book in question is a 1533 Basel edition of humanist scholar Erasmus’s Adagia, an enormous collection of proverbs in Latin and Greek. It was issued in multiple editions from 1500-1536, each edition larger than the last as Erasmus found more entries culled from his reading of ancient literature. The Adagia is the source of many commonplace sayings in Western European languages, such as “the grass is greener over the fence,” “many hands make light work,” etc.
Carleton Watkins (1829-1916) photographed some amazing landscapes throughout California and the broader West Coast, especially in Yosemite. Originally from New York, the gold rush drew Watkins to California in 1851. While he failed to strike it rich in gold, Watkins became involed in photography and became a well known landscape photographer. Stanford has newly released some of these digitized landscapes from three works by Watkins: Photographs of the Pacific coast, Photographs of the Columbia river and Oregon, and Photographs of the Yosemite Valley. Find a sampling below and we hope you'll browse through the full works as well!
A Japanese book from the East Asia Library's collection of rare books is currently on display at the Cantor Arts Center as part of the exhibit entitled "A Mushroom Perspective on Sacred Geography," curated by Phoenix Yu-chuan Chen, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art and Art History.