Saturday, November 19, 2011


The Personal Libraries Library is two years old! Over the past two years, the Library has had 118 members and has accrued over 200 books. Much printed matter has been created and sent out to the members and friends of the Library. To celebrate the two year anniversary, I have sent out another package of posters and printed ephemera.

Included is the poster of a spread of mine shafts from Jay Ellis Ransom's A Range Guide to Mines and Minerals from the Robert Smithson Personal Library Collection.

Also included is a new Pocket Wishlist that details some of the books needed for the Library. The wishlist is specially-made to fit in your wallet. Please carry this with you for those moments when browsing at a bookstore.

A commemorative poster celebrating the two years of the Library is also included. The poster was printed by letterpress in the PLL Press. Above is the poster in progress, while below shows the poster in process.

Please contact the Library at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com if you have any questions or want to join.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall 2011 Acquisitions: From 'Cryptanalysis' to 'Pleasure of Ruins'

New acquisitions include:

Cryptanalysis: A Study of Ciphers and Their Solutions by Helen Fouche Gaines (Smithson Personal Library)
Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner & James Newman (Smithson and Borges Personal Libraries)
Four Short Novels: Benito Cereno, Billy Budd, Bartleby the Scrivener, The Encantadas by Herman Melville (Borges Personal Library)

Also new to the Personal Libraries Library is John Stacks' Stripping. This volume is one out of the Sierra Club Battlebook series, that also includes Oilspill, Clearcut, Oil on Ice, and Mercury. The title page image is directly related to Robert Smithson's work.

More new acquisitions include:

Italo Calvino Personal Library:
Joan of Arc and The English Mail-Coach by Thomas De Quincey
Tristam Shandy, Gentleman. by Laurence Sterne

Jorge Luis Borges Personal Library:
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
Above the Dark Circus by Hugh Walpole

Robert Smithson's Personal Library:
The Story of Maps by Lloyd Brown
Pleasure of Ruins by Rose Macaulay
The Age of Energy: Varieties of American Experience 1865-1915 by Howard Mumford Jones

A ruin-cum-living tower in Macaulay's influential Pleasure of Ruins.

Engravings of Abraham Ortelius of Antwerp (1527-1598), who "compiled and edited the first general atlas of the world in modern times," and Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), whose eponymous mercator projection is the primary way that we understand the world in maps. It distorts the shape and size of many landmasses and countries, particularly towards the poles.

Please contact the Personal Libraries Library Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com if you want to check out any of the books or for inquiries about membership.