18th century

Potato: friend of man and beast

I’m pretty fond of potato-based foods. However, if I’d been alive in late 18th century France, chances are good that I would have needed some coaxing to eat a potato. In fact, the Commission d’agriculture et des arts published a…

Notaries and the book trade

When 18th-century booksellers and publishers in France planned to publish a new title, it was not uncommon for them to request in prospectuses or advertisements for the proposed work that subscribers mail their subscription fee to a notary, who acted…

What is a book prospectus?

The Collection of publishers’ prospectuses, catalogs, and other materials at the Newberry Library contains, not unsurprisingly, a large number of book prospectuses.  A book prospectus is a description or advertisement with which a bookseller or publisher hopes to generate interest…

Time to get ephemeral

This month I joined the French pamphlet project, where I will be principally responsible for cataloging the Newberry‘s Collection of publishers’ prospectuses, catalogs, and other materials.  I have worked as a Cataloging Project Librarian at the Newberry Library since 2008. …

Descriptive cataloging

To begin to develop basic descriptive cataloging skills, the Project Cataloging Assistants will work at cataloging more recently published English-language books using standard cataloging rules and taking into account local practice.  They will learn how to transcribe title, author, and…

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