Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just one step...

Step through the door of 188 Mill Road and you might be on your way to bigger things; one possible example being the Cambridge University Library Rose Book-Collecting Prize for Cambridge University Students.

The Rose Book-Collecting Prize was endowed in 2006 and is believed to be the first of its kind offered by any European university. As well as the £500 prize money, the winner will be offered 10 years’ free membership of the Friends of Cambridge University Library.
The contest is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students of the University registered for a Cambridge degree. To enter, students should submit a list of their collection together with a short essay, explaining the theme and significance of the collection, by the first day of the Lent full term. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to talk about their collection to the judges.

The judges will make their decision based on the intelligence and originality of the collection, its coherence as a collection, as well as the thought, creativity and persistence demonstrated by the collector and the condition of the books. The value of the collections will not be a factor in determining the winning entry – a coherent collection of paperbacks is a perfectly valid entry. Previous shortlisted entries include ‘Collecting the Gothic’, ‘Missionary travels in the South Seas’, ‘The handwritten record: manuscripts and annotated books’, and ‘German and Austrian travel and first hand experience in Asiatic dominions of the Ottoman Empire, 1871–1918’. In 2010, the prize was won by Ian Heames (Gonville & Caius) for his collection ‘Small press poetry, mostly British’. 

The prize will be awarded in the Easter Term. It has been funded by Professor James Marrow and Dr Emily Rose in honour of Dr Rose’s parents, Daniel and Joanna Rose.

Professor Marrow said: “By establishing a prize through the UL, we want to stress and call attention to the importance of a great central library, which is the focus of the research activities of the university, and which serves a much wider range of purposes than the college libraries.

“Book collecting brings people together and we hope that a prize administered through the UL will help collectors from different colleges in Cambridge to meet one another and enjoy the company of an enlarged group of similarly-minded individuals.”

There's a bit more about book-collecting competitions at Fine Books & Collections and you can read about some of the previous Rose Prize winners 2008-9 and 2009-10. The aim is to encourage students to collect around a theme that will represent a real addition to their knowledge: examples of the fascinating possibilities available at our shop might be  science books from the early 20th century or forgotten women novelists.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boys Own Paper!

Pat and I continued our foraging in the basement this Saturday and turned up a real gem: the 1884 Annual of the Boys Own Paper. Sadly the binding is in very poor condition - it looks as though at some point it was so damaged that someone completely rebound it. However the pages inside are clean and readable, making this a very interesting period piece.

£35 at the RSPCA bookshop 188 Mill Road, Cambridge.

Keep visiting the shop as we bring up lots more interesting things from the depths!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books

Another tremendous weight of words!

What we have is the Readex compact edition (extremely small print). "Compact" is not exactly the word which immediately springs to mind at the sight as this is 32 large and very heavy volumes. 

This is the catalogue to 1979, which was the second-to-last printed version before the British Museum put its catalogue online.

I would imagine this is something that might be of interest to scholars compiling bibliographies of particular authors (because the BM would be comprehensive and accurate).

It's not entirely true that online catalogues have made printed ones redundant; one of my work colleagues was startled to find his notes were the only record of some valuable books belonging to a library in France. This library had thrown away its card index but made errors in transcribing it to produce its online catalogue so that the books were there sitting on the shelves but impossible to locate.

For sale at 188 Mill Road for £100 for the set or £3.50 for a single volume.

Update: 30/10/2012
Now sold