Thursday, December 6, 2012

Contemplations of MoiBibliomaniac

If this title sounds familiar, it is the title of a blog I created on Saturday, April 03, 2004.

It was the first blog I ever created.

In March 2004, my friend, Bill Klimon,  posted this notice to the rec.collecting.books newsgroup:

And I replied:

And here is what I posted to rec.collecting.books a month later, on April 03, 2004:

                                           I finally got around to following Bill Klimon's lead, and got my own
                                           Blogger account to write my thoughts in.  
                                           Here's my first effort:
                                           Jerry Morris

But my first effort at blogging was my last post to this blog!  I couldn't remember my password!  To make matters worse, I couldn't remember which email address I used to create the blog.  In 2004, I had five webtv email addresses (one for each book website), and at least one hotmail address.

Down through the years, I've used Google's frustrating Blogger Help troubleshooter to try to regain access to the blog, but to no avail.   Yesterday, I actually got to talk to a Goggle representative about my Blogger problem–– after paying two bucks.  To make a long story short,  one that made my blood pressure rise, I still can't get access to my old blog.

So I recreated the blog myself today.  But instead of, the url is

And why, you might ask, do I need another blog when I already have five book-related blogs, including one, Biblio-Connecting, that is in the form of a diary?   Good question! No good answer.  Except to say it was frustrating to see my old blog on the web, and not have access to it.  Google "moibibliomaniac" and my old blog usually is in the top five of about 5,290 results.

And for my first post, I will repost my April 03, 2004 post on Book Collection Offshoots.

Contemplations of MoiBibliomaniac


My thoughts about my book collections and books in general.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Book Collection Offshoots.

I remember when all I collected were books by my favorite authors. Now, in the advanced stages of book collecting, I collect books by and about my favorite authors, books from their libraries, catalogues of their libraries, Shakespeare books and articles they wrote, and autographed letters they signed.

Sometimes I am at a loss as to where to catalogue them on my website,, and where to shelve them on my bookcases. Should I sort everything by author or by subject?

Take, for instance, my Samuel Johnson Collection, and its new offshoot, the books of Mary Hyde (Lady Eccles). She wrote books about Samuel Johnson. I have her books shelved with my other Johnson books; however, I have her sorted in a different area on my website than where I have my other Johnson books. I need to find a way to link them together.

As for books from the libraries of my favorite authors, I have designated shelves for them as well as several photo albums to display them on the web: I call these photo albums "My Sentimental Library," after the library that Harry B. Smith created.

I have yet to acquire the catalogue of the Sentimental Library that Harry B. Smith sold to A.S.W. Rosenbach, but I do have the auction catalogue of his "second" Sentimental Library.

My most recent acquisition in this book collection offshoot, is the auction catalogue of P.K. Foley, author of the bibliography, American Authors, 1795-1895. Other auction catalogues I possess include catalogues of the libraries of Barton W. Currie, A. Edward Newton, Theodore De Vinne, Robert Blackwell, Robert Hoe, and Wilberforce Eames. Heading my way is the auction catalogue of Lady Eccles, listing her Shakespeare quartos which are up for auction in New York this month.

Currently, I shelve these catalogues with my other auction catalogues, but I am seriously considering shelving them with the works of the authors instead.

Not all author libraries show up at auction; some libraries are donated to universities, or sold by booksellers. The Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson went to the Houghton Library. I will acquire that catalogue when it is published in the next two years. Who knows? They may publish it as a book, similar to the Bookshelf of Brander Matthews. Columbia University published this book listing all the books from the Brander Matthews Library that were donated to Columbia University.
Booksellers play a part in this particular offshoot as well. John Hart sold books from the library of Austin Dobson, while Lee David Feldman, of the House of El Dieff, sold books from the library of Siegfried Sassoon.

My newest offshoot is collecting Shakespeare books written by my favorite authors. William Strunk, author of the Elements of Style, is also the author of Topics and Questions on Shakespeare. Brander Matthews wrote a hefty book called Shakespearian Studies. Tonight, on ebay, I saw a Shakespeare book that William Osler wrote! I'll have to acquire that one too!

Finally, there are the autographed letters signed by my favorite authors. I have ALS's from Harry B. Smith, Austin Dobson, Christopher Morley and Wilberforce Eames. My most recent acquisition, one that my friend, Sandy Malcolm, pointed out on abebooks, is an ALS from S.Austin Allibone, author of Allibone's Dictionary of Authors, one of my favorite bibliographies, which is another offshoot; but one that I will not get into tonight!



 In 2004, was one of my five webtv  websites I created to display my book collections.  Today, contains my Picture Trail photo albums. And today, you can view all of my books on Library Thing.

Sometimes I can retrieve my old  webtv websites via the Wayback Machine.   But the only one I can retrieve today is my Moi's  Books About Books website.   You'll have to highlight the text in order to read it (webtv was designed to be viewed on a  tv and not a computer screen).  The bottom of the second page has an index to the rest of my library, and some, but not all, of the links still work.

In December 2004, I acquired a copy of Smith's  catalogue, A Sentimental Library,  a Christmas present for myself  from the tips of my 700+ postal customers.

Harvard never published a catalogue of the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson in book form; but the collection was catalogued online in the Hollis Classic Catalogue.   In 2009, however,  Harvard published an online exhibition of the collection,  A Monument More Durable Than Brass:  The Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson.   It was published in book form in 2010. Harvard also sent the MARC records of the Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson to Library Thing, saving us many man-hours of cataloguing.    Beginning in 2009, we catalogued all the other book collections of the Hydes on Library Thing as well.

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