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LibraryThing: Libraries of Early America

Dec - 15 - 2008
Nicole C. Engard

As someone who worked as a cataloger for special collections – and cataloged the entire library of an important figure in the college’s history – this new project from LibraryThing sounds pretty darn awesome!!

Have you ever wondered what books Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had in their personal libraries? How about 18th-century Virginia musician Cuthbert Ogle, or four generations of Mather family members? Or the most active female book collector in Virginia during the colonial/early national period, Lady Jean Skipwith?

A new project will make it possible to search, compare and study these and other Libraries of Early America. Using the book-cataloging website LibraryThing.com, scholars from institutions around the country (including Monticello, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Public Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society and others) have begun the process of creating digital catalogs of early American book collections – the project covers anyone who lived in America and collected primarily before 1825.

Make sure to share this announcement with your special collections catalogers! This sounds like an awesome project and I wish I was still cataloging so I could participate ;) (well … only a little)

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