Friday, December 6, 2013

First Books in the Anne Spencer Collection!

The Library is so happy to announce the newest Personal Libraries Library Collection, that of poet, civil-rights activist and gardener Anne Spencer. The first book of the Spencer Collection is Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, pictured above, and also found in the Borges Collection.

The first acquisitions to the Anne Spencer Personal Library reflect her varied interests and place within American literature:

Star-Land by Sir Robert Stawell Ball
Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know by Frederic William Stack
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Magic Portholes by Helen Follett
House Plants: Their Care & Culture by Hugh Findlay

Pictured above are the endpapers to Follett's Magic Portholes; incredible woodcuts pepper the novel.

Below is the title page spread for The Story of Light by Jeanette Eaton:

Eaton's The Story of Light is joined by,
United States Postal Policy by Clyde Kelly
The White Stag by Kate Seredy
Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker
Birds in Town & Village by W.H. Hudson

Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves
Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes, by Washington Irving
Geology, Physical & Historical by H. Cleland
Bird Neighbors by Neltje Blanchan
The Story of Language by Mario Pei

Bird Neighbors includes countless images of birds; these birds are obviously stuffed and are strangely arranged on branches and foliage in front of painted backdrops.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books (including the new Anne Spencer Collection!), please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Anne Spencer Personal Library Catalogue

Blanchan, Neltje, Bird Neighbors - AS 5.7 2013
Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring - AS 5.18 2013
De La Mare, Garden Guide: The Amateur Gardener's Book - AS 5.27 2015****
Findlay, Hugh, House Plants: Their Care and Culture - AS 5.17 2013
Hudson, W.H., Birds in Town and Village - AS 5.3 2013
Rutherfurd Ely, Helena, A Woman's Hardy Garden - AS 5.20 2014
Stack, Frederic William, Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know - AS 5.16 2013

Follett, Helen, Magic Portholes - AS 5.12 2013
Miller, Arthur, Death of a Salesman - AS 5.6 2013
Parker, Dorothy, Enough Rope: Poems - AS 5.14 2013
Seredy, Kate, The White Stag - AS 5.4 2013
Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass - AS 5.1 2013 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Representative Men: Seven Lectures - AS 5.19 2013
Graves, Robert, Good-bye to All That - AS 5.10 2013
Smith, Allen, Life in a Putty Factory - AS 5.22 2014

Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle - AS 5.8 2013

Pei, Mario, The Story of Language - AS 5.9 2013

Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History - AS 5.23 2015
Ottley, Roi, New World A-Coming: Inside Black America  - AS 5.26 2015 

de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 1 - AS 5.24 2015
de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 2 - AS 5.25 2015
Eaton, Jeanette, The Story of Light - AS 5.13 2013
Irving, Washington, Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes - AS 5.11 2013
Kelly, Clyde, United States Postal Policy - AS 5.5 2013

Cleland, Hermand, Geology, Physical and Historical - AS 5.2 2013
Stawell, Sir Robert, Star-Land - AS 5.15 2013
Watson, James, Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of DNA - AS 5.21 2014

Please contact the Library at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com to check out a book from the Robert Smithson Personal Library. ** latest book / accession number

Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List

This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.


-De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


-(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
-(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
-(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
-Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
-Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
-Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
-Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
-McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
-Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
-Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
-Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


-Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
-Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
-National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


-(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
-(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
-Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
-Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
-Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
-Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
-Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
-Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
-Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
-Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
-Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
-Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
-Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
-Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
-Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
-Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
-O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story (Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
-Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
-Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
-Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
-Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
-Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


-(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
-Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
-Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
-Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
-De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
-Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
-Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
-Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
-Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
-Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


-Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
-Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


-Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
-Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
-Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Please visit the latest edition of Art Practical, the entire issue is dedicated to the practice of Readership. Vanessa Kauffman wrote an article about the PLL, taking into account the intersection of private and public readership within the Library. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Finally! The Fall/Winter 2013 packet of printed matter has been produced and folded, envelopes have been addressed, stuffed and stamped, and all has been sent out by post!

This edition of matter includes the latest PLL Anniversary Poster (4 Years!), an astronomical/astrological letterpress piece:

A postcard commemorating the addition of the newest Collection to the PLL, that of Anne Spencer. Her first book is the amazing Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. More information very soon regarding the Anne Spencer Collection.

Entering the Robert Smithson Personal Library #5: The Geology of New York City and Environs, by Christopher Schuberth is folded and stacked above, and seen fully below:

 And lastly, When Looking Down is Looking Up (2.1):

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.  Every member of the PLL receives bi-annual packets of printed matter.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

March 8 - April 27
Portland, Oregon

Very excited to have the Personal Libraries Library included in the upcoming Portland 2014, a Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Amanda Hunt and presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. Following are the participating artists / artist collaborations:

Zachary Davis
Modoe Dieng & Devon A. Vanhouten-Maldonado
Alex Mackin Dolan
Travis Fitzgerald
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Evan La Londe
Ellen Lesperance
D.E. May
Christopher Michlig & John Zerzan
Personal Libraries Library
Publication Studio
Ralph Pugay
Kelly Rauer
Blair Saxon-Hill
Richard Thompson

**more information upcoming

Monday, September 23, 2013

Late September Acquisitions / From Discover the Circle to Astrology

The newest batch of acquisitions all belong to the Robert Smithson Personal Library. The latest books to join the Library are (clockwise from the top):

Discovery of the Circle by Bruno Munari
The Hopi Indians by Ruth DeEtte Simpson
The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America by Leo Marx
Principles of Geomorphology by Don J. Easterbrook
The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Astrology by Louis MacNeice

The beautifully designed and printed Astrology's contents page hints the treasures inside, from (Chapter 1) The art of the stars to (Chapter 6) The loss of respectability and (Chapter 9) Predictions and Pronouncements. The above spread shows a woodcut from a 1527 edition of The Kalendar of Shepherds and the heliocentric universe from Copernicus' De Revolutionibus.

Copernicus' revolutionary idea of a heliocentric universe leads us perfectly to the lovely Discovery of the Circle by Bruno Munari. The above spread is discussing optical effects of circles, while the spread below is centered on rings.

Below is a spread from Easterbrook's Principles of Geomorphology, with topographical maps and photographs.

Last is a highlighted spread from The Machine in the Garden. Highlighted on the left-hand page:

(What perplexes us here is) Emerson's ability to join enthusiasm for technological progress with a "romantic" love of nature and contempt for cities.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

PLL Open Again + New Acquisitions

The Canadian Rockies were amazing (and many thanks to The Banff Centre and everyone involved with Always Lift Inking Rollers) but I am very happy to be back at the Library.

Here are the latest acquisitions that were waiting for me upon my return:
Concepts of Space: The History of the Theories of Space in Physics by Max Jammer, and
Masked Gods: Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism by Frank Waters,
both from the Robert Smithson Collection.

And from the Italo Calvino Collection:
Pensieri by Giacomo Leopardi

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Light Summer Hiatus!

The Personal Libraries Library is taking a summer hiatus, so that the Librarian can spend some time up in the Canadian Rockies! That said, you can still contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.

Have a great summer!

Friday, June 28, 2013


FINALLY! The Spring/Summer 2013 edition of printed matter is ready to be shipped!  Members and Friends of the Library can look forward to finding some or all of the printed matter in their mailbox.

Included in the packet is the first-ever PLL screenprinted work, featuring books from the collections, including Italo Calvino's t zero, The Moon by Isaac Asimov and Robert Heizer's Man's Discovery of His Past: Literary Landmarks in Archaeology:

 Also included is this letterpress print, SALT, using a paratextual illustration from L.W. Marrison's Crystals, Diamonds and Transistors (also seen above in the screenprint):

Lastly, is the fourth poster in the Entering the Robert Smithson Library series, Mazes & Labyrinths, by William Henry Matthews:

If you are interested in joining the Personal Libraries Library please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. Every member of the PLL receives bi-annual packets of printed matter.

Friday, June 14, 2013


ASTRONOMY, GEOLOGY, and DINOSAURS make up the bulk of this spring's acquisitions.
Seen above are Stars: A Guide to the Constellations, Sun, Moon, Planets, and Other Features of the Heavens by Herbert Zim & Robert Baker and The Sun by K.O. Kiepenheuer, both from the Smithson collection.

Below are two spreads from these beautiful books:

Also from the Robert Smithson Collection, you will now be able to check out the cleverly designed The Ambidextrous Universe: Left, Right, and the Fall of Parity by Martin Gardner, and

The World of the Dinosaurs by David Dunkle,
Introducing Astronomy by J.B. Sidgwick,
CRYPTOZOIC! by Brian Aldiss,
¿Aguila o Sol? / Eagle or Sun? by Octavio Paz.

The Geology of New York City and Environs by Christopher J. Schuberth is exhaustive in detailing the geological history and current state of New York.

It also contains a fold-out poster, The Physiographic Diagram of the New York Region, pictured below.

And, finally, I am so excited to be accessioning WORD RAIN, or A Discursive Introduction to the Philosophical Investigations of G,R,E,T,A, G,A,R,B,O, It Says by Madeline Gins.

Within this piece of fiction (and concrete poetry,) Gins lays bare the production of texts and books by explicity marking sentences to be deleted and referring to the materiality of the book itself.  As the dust jacket states: 

In WORD RAIN, an unnamed narrator sits at a desk in a friend's apartment reading a manuscript. Surrounding the undefined character is a birthday party taking place in the next room, a glass of pineapple-grapefruit juice that is supposed to be pure grapefruit juice, the loose leaves of the manuscript, and the variable weather conditions.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

ALTERNATIVE LIBRARIES TALK / NYU Fales Library / March 27, 2013 / 6-8PM

I will be in New York City to participate in a panel on Alternative Libraries on Wednesday, March 27 from 6-8 PM.

The event has been put together by the Organism for Poetic Research (OPR) and will also include Andrew Beccone of the Reanimation Library and Marvin Taylor of the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections.

If you are in New York, or know someone that might be interested, here are the complete details:

Wednesday, March 27, 6-8 PM
Berol Reading Room at Fales Library
New York University, 3rd floor, Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South