PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 15, April 13, 2008, Article 26

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS RECREATES THOMAS JEFFERSON'S LIBRARY

[This week the Library of Congress celebrates an
astounding feat - the recreation of Thomas Jefferson's
library. -Editor]

In Thomas Jefferson's day, the books he lovingly collected
were almost as famous as he was.

Leather-bound tomes on topics as varied as whist, beekeeping
and philosophy were gathered from across Europe and colonial
America, then brought to Monticello to help fulfill Jefferson's
vow to amass the whole of human knowledge. They eventually
became the foundation for the Library of Congress, although
two-thirds were lost in a fire in 1851.

For the past decade, a small group of rare book experts has
sought to re-create Jefferson's library, scouring antiquarian
book collections on two continents to acquire thousands of
volumes. The entire collection of more than 6,000 volumes --
some originals and some replacements -- will go on display
tomorrow at the Library of Congress, looking much as it would
have 200 years ago.

Re-creating such a famous library is a book collector's dream,
Dimunation said, and it has not been easy. The search took
Dimunation and his staff near and far, from their own stacks
to the basements of French booksellers as they hunted down
the same editions and obscure pamphlets from the early 1800s.

They have found books in France, the Netherlands, Italy and
England. Books came from private collections and universities.

The library has replicated not only Jefferson's collection
but also the manner in which he displayed it. He arranged his
bookshelves in a conch shell pattern, so that a person could
walk into the middle and be surrounded by books.

Even Jefferson's system of organizing the books reflected
an enlightened thought process, Dimunation said. Every book
fell into one of three categories: memory, reason or imagination.
An updated version of that system is used by the Library of
Congress.

"You are seeing the library pretty much how Thomas Jefferson
would have seen it," Dimunation said.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V11 2008 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster