As of today, 335 titles of the approximately 1,500 books in the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection have been fully cataloged. I have enjoyed getting to know the collection by placing the cataloged items on the shelves in LC call number order. We are integrating these books into our general special collections shelving, rather than maintaining them as a physically separate collection, so it has been interesting seeing where they end up and what books are next to them on the shelves. Many of the books are ending up in the Library of Congress Call number range E51 through E99, as shown in the picture above. We are doing a lot of shifting to make room for these books in that range.
Other books receive call numbers that separate them from the bulk of the collection, but have resulted in some interesting juxtapositions, such as this copy of Vine Deloria, Jr.’s book We Talk, You Listen:
One of the Charles Eastman books that recently reached the shelves ended up in the SK 600s with other books on the subject of Hunting sports and wildlife-related recreation:
Amherst College already holds a substantial angling collection, which includes some general works on camping out, including the two shown here on either side of Eastman’s book.
I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for interesting cloth bindings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so a different Eastman book caught my eye. When I was searching for its place on our shelves, I spied a similarly bound item from about the same period:
Another example of book cover illustrations worthy of study are these two Canadian books shelved in the PR 9199.2 range:
In some cases, we are adding books classed in a part of the LC system for which we previously had nothing on our shelves, such as these volumes in the PM 101-2711 range: American Languages (Aboriginal)
One of the more scarce items in this range is the copy of New familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues by Joseph Laurent published in 1884 (PM 551 .L3 1884).
The PM range is for works specifically about Aboriginal languages, so an item like Genesis, or, The first book of Moses translated into Cherokee is classed into the BS range, which is the Library of Congress class for “The Bible”.
The special bonus with this copy of Genesis in Cherokee — which we purchased for the collection long before we acquired the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg collection — is that it is completely uncut. Shown here is one signature of the book resting on top of one of the other signatures completely unfolded. It’s a great tool for teaching book history.
Every time a truck of freshly cataloged Kim-Wait/Eisenberg books comes back from cataloging, I grab my digital camera and head for the stacks. I’m sure there will be many more blog posts like this one in the weeks ahead.
I’ll close with a couple of particularly interesting items from my latest shelving adventures:
Seeing this copy of Indian Melodies (1845) made me glad we still have a keyboard with headphones set up in our reading room.
This copy of Legends, Traditions and Laws, of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, and History of the Tuscarora Indians (1881) caught my eye with it’s gilt cover illustration. This book landed on the shelf in the middle of the E99 range.