Shelf Fulfillment

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association…

Month: July, 2012

Peering Into the Exquisite Life of Rare Books

by bibliodeviant


  • On a steamy morning last week Mark Dimunation, the chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, was in a windowless basement room here at the University of Virginia, leading a dozen people in a bibliophile’s version of the wave. He lined up the group and handed each person a sheet of copier paper with a syllable written on it. After a few halting practice runs — “Hip-na-rah-toe …” — the group successfully shouted out, “ ‘Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,’ 1499!”

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British Armorial Bindings: Heraldry Online

by bibliodeviant

The Special Collections Handbook

Delighted to see the British Armorial Bindings database online, thanks to the Bibliographical Society of London and the University of Toronto.

Building on the work of the late John Morris, continued by Philip Oldfield, the database aims to offer a “comprehensive catalogue of all the coats of arms, crests, and other heraldic devices that have been stamped by British owners on the outer covers of their books, together with the bibliographical sources of the stamps”.

Heraldry offers vital clues when studying provenance.  The database will make it much easier for librarians, academics and the antiquarian trade to trace owners from their heraldic devices on bindings, bookplates etc.  It is freely available and will continue to be updated as new discoveries are made.

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John Gould’s hummingbirds – a Victorian obsession

by bibliodeviant

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

John Gould (1804-1881) was a prolific bird artist and the most celebrated ornithologist of Victorian Britain. He published more than forty folio volumes on birds of the world, beautifully illustrated with nearly 3,000 hand-coloured lithographic plates.

Considered a pioneer of ornithology, Gould’s identification of the birds now known as “Darwin’s finches” helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution by natural selection and Gould’s work is referenced in On the Origin of Species. We are very lucky to have in the Cardiff Rare Books Collection complete sets of some of John Gould’s greatest works, including The Birds of Europe, The Birds of Great Britain, and Gould’s masterpiece, A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming-birds.

Hummingbirds were Gould’s great obsession and he accumulated a collection of 320 species, which he exhibited during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Victorians were greatly attracted to the fleeting beauty of the tiny creatures…

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The Aertex Years

by bibliodeviant

The Bookhunter on Safari

Caught a glimpse of the Olympic Torch as it passed by earlier today – only by dint of some minor civil disobedience.  When did people start simply ignoring policemen?

The Torch rests tonight on Tooting Common – which is just at the end of our road.  Nothing simpler then, than to wander down and pay our respects.  Except for one thing – the functionaries of the local council, who have decreed that a swathe of this common land – not theirs, ours – should be screened off to prevent anyone without a ticket seeing anything.  What?  Why?  The entire population of Tooting would fit very comfortably on the Common without it becoming particularly crowded.  There’s no need for this.  No need at all – the area could be securely cordoned without rendering it invisible.  No need, that is, except for the functionaries to make themselves seem busy and important.


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New Acquisition: the first printed edition of Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum (1554)

by bibliodeviant

Ooh! Aah! and similar firework related noises of awe…

Echoes from the Vault

The summer is a busy time of year for new acquisitions here at St Andrews. As our fiscal year winds down and extra money is found and needed to be spent, some items on our wish-lists can be ticked off. We’ll be highlighting some of our newest purchases and gifts in the next few months, and hope that these items get the attention and use they deserve!

The Rare Book Collection recently added the first edition of Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum to its shelves.  The text is one of the few surviving works collecting surveying techniques of the Roman gromatics. It survives in one 5th or 6th century illuminated manuscript, held at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel). This 16th century printing, the first of this collected work, was edited by Pierre Galland and Adrien Turnèbe (also the printer), and contains tracts by Siculus Flaccus,

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Timeline: History of the Preservation and Conservation of Books and Manuscripts

by bibliodeviant

Fascinating from a number of different perspectives:

Oink! JT Dogg: The Artwork Archive of Malcolm Douglas.

by maggscounterculture

Malcolm Douglas: A Truly Rude Briton.


We have recently listed the remarkable graphic art archive, consisting of some 200 sheets of artwork, of Malcolm Douglas, including his work for Oink! on Maggs website.
Malcolm Douglas was primarily a comic artist, illustrator and inker who lived a double life as a scholar of English folksongs. He was an adoptive Northerner who started drawing comics under the nom-de-plume ‘J.T. Dogg’ when he attended Sheffield University in the ‘70s for the ‘National Student’ magazine and the University’s own rag.
In a radio interview with his good friend Ron Day, he mentioned that his father was a commercial draughtsman, but still insisted that illustration came to him completely by chance when he filled in for someone as a student. There only seem to be two fragments of his published work from the student days, in the form of 20 or so strips for the story ‘Norman Density’ and the original drawing/print ready copy for ‘The Neurosis Game’, a satire on the student life. The board moves include typical
student scenarios of the late twentieth century such as “Pick up girl at Intro Disco but find she is a 3rd year women’s libber. Do not score (next two throws)” and “House burgled. Miss one throw while hiding dope before police arrive!”.
Douglas had serendipitously found his vocation in life and for the next few decades or so he worked as a freelance illustrator, penciller, inker and colourist for a range of comics, fan magazines, porno maggs, football and underground comix such as ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Zit’ and most importantly as contributor to ‘Oink!’. This artful, tasteless and anarchic children’s comic, in the mold of ‘Viz!’, ran for only 68 issues from May 1986 to October 1988.
Douglas was a meticulous, neat and masterful comix draughtsman whose work at times matches the proto-grunge realism of Robert Crumb pen stroke for pen stroke. The American pioneers of underground comix such as Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and S. Clay Wilson embraced obscenity, toilet humour and bad taste and he followed suit. Like Robert Crumb also, he had a great passion for the collecting, researching and performance of traditional and folk music. Similarly, Crumb collected and illustrated the impoverished black master musicians of Blues and Jazz. Likewise, Douglas collected, discussed and published the English folk song and went on to revise the seminal ‘’Penguin Book of English Folk Songs’ that Vaughan Willliams and A.L. Lloyd had originally edited in the fifties (Guardian Obituary). He also contributed thousands of messages to the Mudcat Café’s online folkie disccussion lists. If he had been born in America and lived in the Chelsea Hotel he might have been lauded and celebrated like the great poylymath-artist and folklorist Harry Smith. ‘Oink!’ was a rough and tumble publication in the style of ‘Viz’, it depicted a porcine world that satirized and parodied politics, other comics, children’s illustrators, the entertainment and Pop worlds and televisual reality.The Orwellian conceit in ‘Animal Farm’ an alternate world of pigs walking on their hind legs was taken to to absurd lengths in Oink!. As J.T.
Dogg’, he developed ‘Streethogs’, ‘Ham Dare, Pig of the Future’, with dialogue by Mark Rodgers and Lew Stringer respectively. He also explored the comic legacy of Dan Dare in other comix, parodying Frank Hampson’s masterly creation for ‘Eagle’ with ‘Dan Dross: Pillock of The Future’ published in ‘Gas’ (many boards for this are included herein).
A series of very intense and formative experiences with Oink! are described on his personal website. He noted its roughness and “unpredictability” but loved the “ rein to experiment..”, even working “50 hours straight” on the last episode of the first ‘Street Hogs’, and was “..more or less hallucinating by the time it was finished”.The archive has a substantial portion of Douglas’s work for ‘Oink!’, arguably his meisterwerke. These include boards with overlays and holograph annotations, for six of the ‘Oink! Superstar Poster Series’ namely ‘Hambo’, ‘Bacon Stevens’, ‘FrankenSwine’, ‘Sty Wars’, ‘Peter Swillton’ and ‘The P-Team’. Thinly piggish satires on Rambo, ‘80s retro rock and roller Shakin’ Stevens, Frankenstein, Star Wars, footballer Peter Shilton and the A-Team respectively but all with stunning artwork by Douglas. There were others that went missing or, as with the ‘Draculard’ poster artwork were kept by Fleetway, a very few variants of ‘Hambo’ were also given away by Douglas to friends.There are also a number of minor stories from the series of Oink! Books such as a ‘Bad Santa’ style satire on Raymond Briggs’ ‘Father Christmas, entitled ‘Farver Chrissmuss’ by ‘Raymond Piggs’.
Douglas also did a great deal of cartoon work for British ‘adult’ magazine that, putting aside their plebeian nature and crappy plots, he applied his same masterly line and dedication to. There are a considerable quantity of these line drawings of great elegance. Douglas seemed to excel when given the task of illustrating the coarse and profane. He was a truly Rude Briton in the tradition of Gillray, Steadman and Scarfe.


See here for more:!/