Archive for September, 2010

Just a reminder…

September 30, 2010

Are you planning on attending the opening reception for “California Publishing and the Fine Press Tradition, 1910-1970” on Tuesday, October 5, 2010? If so, plan to come a bit earlier.

The librarians at the Clark will be showing some items from the library’s Press Collection that didn’t make it into the exhibition and discuss searching strategies to find even more treasures on our shelves. The show-&-tell begins at 3:30pm.

Space is limited to 15!

Please RSVP to nschneider@humnet.ucla.edu

To RSVP for the “California Publishing” exhibit opening, call the Center for 17th- and 18th-century Studies:

(310) 206-5078

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Item of the Week: Photographing Gill

September 23, 2010

As a part of her job as Eric Gill Artwork Project Archivist at the Clark, Jennifer Bastian has been photographing and describing each piece in our somewhat unwieldy collection.  When she’s done, her hard work will form the basis for a new online finding aid linked to the digital images, which will be enormously helpful to us here at the library, and hopefully to researchers around the world.

While some pieces are easily photographed with the equipment we have here at the library, there are some artworks that are just too large for Jennifer to try photographing here onsite.  Thankfully, our friends in the UCLA Library Conservation Lab had a solution for us, in the form of the floor in their documentation studio, some lovely lights, and a giant library ladder.  When our big items are on the floor and Jennifer stands on the 6-feet-plus ladder, photographing these beauties is now possible!

This is a two person job, so those are Jennifer’s feet you see above, while Manuscripts & Archives Librarian Becky Fenning is on the ground with the artwork.

The works in these two images are posters from the workshop of Eric Gill and Rene Hague, who later became one of Gill’s sons-in-law.

Item of the Week: Boehme and van Luyken mystery volume

September 16, 2010

An interesting item crossed our desks today…


Blagochestivago i vysokoprosvi︠e︡shchennago Iakoba Bema, tevtonicheskago filosofa, vsi︠e︡ teosoficheskiaï pisaniaï = Des Gottseligen Hocherleuchteten Iacob Böhmen Teutonici Philosophi alle Theosophische Schrifften.

This is an interleaved collection of Jan van Luyken’s engravings, with their printed explanations, from the 1682 edition of Jakob Boehme’s Theosophische Schriften. The Clark Library purchased this made-up volume in 1961 and it was recently discovered in a small group of books awaiting description. We don’t know the previous owner who added the title page in Russian, but it was designed to accommodate extensive notes and annotations. There is an average of 4 to 6 blank leaves between the engravings and explanations – a perfect place to jot down thoughts inspired by van Luyken’s illustrations. Unfortunately, the previous owners had nothing to say.

According to the bookseller, whom we believe to be a certain Beauchamp, van Luyken was a disciple of Boehme.  “… [the] most interesting aspect is that they were without doubt a source of inspiration to William Blake, himself a student of Boehme’s works. It seems probable that Blake knew this edition of 1682 and found inspiration in the engravings by van Luyken. Indeed his debt to Boehme may have been more to the illustrations that to the text.”

It’s been compared with the bibliography and the images are out of order.  See Buddecke, Werner. Die Jakob Boehme-Ausgaben, ein beschreibendes Verzichnis. Vadiz: Topos Verlag, 1981. Volume 1, no. 1.

Press Collection show-and-tell

September 15, 2010

Are you planning on attending the opening reception for “California Publishing and the Fine Press Tradition, 1910-1970” on Tuesday, October 5, 2010? If so, plan to come a bit earlier.

The librarians at the Clark will be showing some items from the library’s Press Collection that didn’t make it into the exhibition and discuss searching strategies to find even more treasures on our shelves. The show-&-tell begins at 3:30pm.

Space is limited to 15!

Please RSVP to nschneider@humnet.ucla.edu

Exhibition Opening! California Publishing & the Fine Press Tradition!

September 13, 2010
Exhibition Opening: California Publishing and the Fine Press Tradition 1910-1970
Tuesday, October 5, 2010,
4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Clark Library

The relation between publishing and literary activity, visual art, and modern book design is showcased in an exhibition of fine press works from the rich holdings of the Clark Library. Publishing and limited edition presses in Southern California developed varied approaches to book design, influenced by European and American designers and illustrators. Printer and publisher, book designer, dealer, and patron intersected in local communities where regional and personal identities were formed—and where major collections were established. Included in the exhibition are notable examples that emulated the “ideal book” of the British Arts and Crafts movement and the venerated humanistic European printers of the 15th century, as well as many works that drew inspiration from developments in the modern art of printing and graphic arts.

This exhibit was organized by Professor Johanna Drucker and a graduate class in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies.  Please join us at the Clark Library for the opening and reception on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

RSVP to the Center
(310) 206-5078

Paul Landacre’s Press, part one

September 7, 2010

The Clark Library’s Head Cataloger was at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA to celebrate 100 Years of Wood Type with the Southern California chapter of the American Printing History Association. If you’ve never been there, you should know that there are literally hundreds of printing presses, a few linotype machine, monotype casters, acres of moveable type and other typographic goodies. They have classes, demonstrations, a small yet impressive reference library, and an army of knowledgeable volunteers. What’s even better? Most of the presses on display to the public are in working order.

On this particular Saturday in August, the Washington hand-press (no. 473) manufactured by the Cincinnati firm, C. Foster & Bro., was set up for attendees to try their hand at the pull. During the time it took to ink up the forme, it was revealed that this particular press was once owned by the “famous Los Angeles-based wood engraver, Paul Landacre.”

When asked about the chain on one support, the docent explained that Mr. Landacre had put this press out in his yard one afternoon in anticipation of its move to a new studio. Surely, a large iron hand-press was too much for someone to steal, but, as a precaution, he secured it to a fence with this chain and a padlock.

Apparently, Mr. Landacre did not spend the night at the old place (or perhaps he was a heavy sleeper), but when he awoke the next morning, the press was gone.

But how did it find its way to the IPM? Stay tuned…

Item of the Week: The Undead

September 3, 2010

From Library Assistant, Derek Quezada:

As part of the Heritage Book Shop donation, the Clark received quite a few boxes of dealer catalogues. Most of these catalogues were quite simple, useful more as bibliographic reference than as collectible objects. However buried within a few of the boxes were some exceptionally extravagant items that merit at least a nod to their peculiarity. ‘The Undead’, the 16th anniversary catalogue for The Book Sail is exactly such an item. A product of the rare book dealer John Kevin McLaughlin, The Undead is the culmination of his years selling vintage comics, pulp fiction and rare Science Fiction/Fantasy titles from his (now closed) museum-like store, ‘The Book Sail’ in Orange, California.

Described as “most unusual rare book catalogue ever presented, pulling out all the stops for maximum creepiness” ‘The Undead’ catalogue is  “[…] bound in full decorated cloth with a 3-D insert on the front cover showing horror film hostess Elvira – Mistress of the Dark, reaching out and showing lots of cleavage. Signed by the authors Ray Bradbury (the foreword), Robert Bloch (printing a specially commissioned horror short story “The Undead” about the original manuscript of ‘Dracula), William F. Nolan (in a separate first printing of his work ‘The Dandelion Chronicles tucked into a special pocket at the rear pastedown), and fantasy artist Rowena”.

The particular edition the Clark now owns is one of only fifty specially bound copies reserved for contributors that contains an original Hannes Bok drawing as well as an edition number signed in ink mixed with human blood.

Although the book is arguably outside the range of the Clark collection it is perhaps a delightfully strange example of the extremes that the book dealer’s catalogue can be taken, and the diversity of material collected.