For a brief period Wednesday, normal activity came to a halt in the Special Collections Research Center. Our fabulous Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, Friedgard Cowan, brought down a cart packed with recently cataloged rare books from Technical Services. When a rare book is donated or acquired, it is first cataloged in Technical Services, so that it will be accessible to researchers through our online Catalog. After it’s cataloged, the rare books are brought to the Research Services Coordinator in the Special Collections Research Center, so that we may assess any preservation needs it may have before shelving it in the stacks. Books in more fragile condition require an enclosure, like a phase box or four flap folder, before being able to be shelf-ready. Once it is determined that the book is “shelf-ready,” it is shelved in our closed stacks–ready to be pulled for the researchers who need it!
Seeing the “new to us” rare books is always exciting. So here, making their Special Collections Research Center debut:
First, an addition to our Decorated Bindings Collection! Elizabethan Songs “In Honour of Love and Beautie” Collected and Illustrated by Edmund H. Garrett, published in 1891.
In fact, music seems to be the theme of these recently cataloged books. From 1935, we have a first edition vocal score, “Songs from Top Hat,” with words and music by Irving Berlin. Songs included in this piano-vocal score include classics like, “Cheek to Cheek,” “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,” and “No Strings (I’m Fancy Free).”
Finally, an early musical manuscript: plainsong!
Can you see the grotesque face in the initial below?
You can find these items and many more in our rare books collection. To search the rare books collection for interesting items from our collection, search the Mason Catalog, click on “Set Limit” and limit by the location “Fenwick Special Collections.”
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have any questions. Appointments are not necessary to view collections.