A Bookseller’s Catalogue of Works By and About Dante

a-booksellers-catalogue-of-works-by-and-about-dante“[Chris Lowenstein] began acquiring antiquarian editions of Dante more seriously, with the idea of publishing her first catalogue entirely on the Italian poet. Since Dante’s work has a 700-year history, she narrowed her search by focusing on books published within the last 300 years, and only those that were illustrated, signed, or unusual in some way.
‘I wanted to show that you can build a really interesting and meaningful collection even if you couldn’t afford to buy the incunabula,’ Lowenstein said.
Book Hunter’s Holiday’s full-color catalogue containing 65 items was published last month. Lowenstein also provides a PDF version on her website [Book Hunter’s Holiday], as an invitation to young collectors.” [. . .]    –Rebecca Rago Berry, Fine Books & Collections, March, 2010

Herman Melville’s Copy of the Comedy

herman-melvilles-copy-of-the-comedy“. . . Associate professor of English Steven Olsen-Smith is a leader in that scholarly community. He is the primary researcher responsible for tracking the recovery of Melville’s dispersed personal library of around 1,000 books and serves as general editor of Melville’s Marginalia Online, a long-term project devoted to the editing and publication of markings and annotations in the books that survive from Melville’s library.
Olsen-Smith recently borrowed Melville’s copy of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ from collector William Reese as part of the Marginalia project’s pending transition to a new digital format that will display photographic images of marked and annotated books with commentary on their significance to Melville’s writings. The book will be on campus through March 31, and Olsen-Smith’s student interns currently are working to catalog notations and recover erasures. . .
‘Melville marked subject matter dealing with issues of free will and fate, original sin and divine justice, and aspects of subject matter and rhetoric that relate to the book’s epic character,’ Olsen-Smith said. ‘It is clear Melville read and marked the book at different points throughout his life, and the interns are identifying parallels between the marginalia to Dante and subject matter in his writings.'” [. . .]    –Erin Ryan, Boise State University Update, March 31, 2010

Contributed by Patrick Molloy