The 2,000,000th Volume

By Rita S. Patteson, Director of the Armstrong Browning Library

When Jennifer Borderud and I chatted with University of Houston librarians Pat Bozeman and Julie Grob at the annual Rare Books and Manuscripts Preconference in Las Vegas in June, we learned a very interesting fact. In 1998, a special edition of Robert Browning’s Men and Women (Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1908) was the two-millionth volume added to the M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston.

And what a volume!  It is one of only thirteen copies printed on vellum, hand-decorated and signed by Edward Johnston, and specially bound in 1914 at Doves Press by T.J. Cobden-Sanderson. This two-volume edition contains the bookplates of three noted former owners: “The Doves Press. Ex Libris. Alfred Fowler”; “Ex Libris Cortland Field Bishop”; and “John S. Saks.”  It was sold at Christie’s New York auction house as part of Mr. Saks’ Doves Press collection and presented to the Anderson Library by the current and former University of Houston Libraries staff, with assistance from Detering Book Gallery, Inc.

Excuse me for being jealous!

Page 184, volume 2, of Doves Press Men and Women

Page from Baylor’s Doves Press edition (one of 250 printed on paper), alas, not one of the 13 on vellum!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.