Knowledge is Power

Well, I’ve spent the last week or so doing some further reading about the collection at Derry and Raphoe and have been truly amazed at my lack of knowledge given that I’ve been working here for six months. The bulk of my reading came in the form of a conservation survey conducted by Caroline Bendix and a report written by Nicholas Pickwoad about the books in the collection.

Pickwoad gives a fantastic description of the collection in his report, saying, “The library is something of a Cinderella in the rare book world, in that many otherwise well-informed people in the library world know little or nothing of it.” While on the one hand it is sad that so few people have come to recognize the importance of this collection its obscurity has kept the majority of the bindings in an untouched state, something the conservator in me is quite happy about.

Over the next couple of posts I would like to highlight several of the books mentioned in these reports to give you a glimpse of some of the history, strangeness and intrigue that has come with learning more about the collection.

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