Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Delaware Bibliophiles

We held our first meeting in 2013 on February 24th at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. We met for a guided tour of "The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley" given by our DB member and librarian at the BRM, Gail Stanislow, and associate curator, Audrey Lewis. They co-curated this exhibit that enlightened us about the career of this pioneer 19th-century artist from Claymont, DE.  At least five of our members had items from their collections exhibited that they had loaned or donated to the museum.
Our 36th annual dinner was on Wednesday, March 20th, the same day as our founding. The guest speaker was Clarence Wolf, a prominent antiquarian bookseller whose shop is George S. MacManus Co. in Bryn Mawr, PA. He serves on the board of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan and is a trustee of The Library Company of Philadelphia. He spoke on "Collecting Franklin and Some Great Franklin Collectors" which included Samuel Pennypacker, Stuart Karu and Jay Snider. Clarence discussed Benjamin Franklin as a printer and said that blanks and forms permitted Franklin to survive. There are 850 items in C. William Miller's bibliography of Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia Printing but collectors, Wolf said, “tend to collect in special areas such as almanacks; newspapers; currency; forms and laws.”
On a beautiful April afternoon, members got together for a "Collector's Showcase" at the Brandywine Hundred Library. They discussed acquisitions as recent as the previous day at the Allentown Paper Show or earlier in the month at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Our past president described his final purchase of the day at Allentown of a mid 19th century broadside from Parkesburg, PA  "REWARD___STOP THIEF" to be filled in with appropriate information concerning the theft.  Two members spoke about their interest in the Arts and Crafts movement. One showed a pamphlet of 1887 for a memorial service for Alfred Linnell that included "A Death Song" by Mr. W. Morris with funds solicited for Linnell's orphans. The other had two Roycroft catalogs for Some Books for Sale at Our Shop for 1904-05 and 1905-06. A railroad poster of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad for a Confederate Soldier's Reunion to be held in 1907 at Richmond, VA was the fourth such poster in this member’s collection. Another displayed and discussed Truman Capote's first novel Other Voices, Other Rooms that he wrote at Yaddo. Two signed American bindings were found at Allentown: a J. Feely binding on Battles of the United States by Sea and Land of 1861 which was unknown until the discovery of the initials JF on the front panel. The second was an embossed leather binding from the Pantagraph Co. There is only one other listed in Edwin Wolf' 2nd book on American embossed leather bindings.
Congratulations to Paul Preston Davis, the recipient of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society Hall of Fame award honoring his researching and donating historical documents to the society.

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