Norton, Massachusettes: Periwinkle Press, 1938-1939. Complete in eight duodecimo volumes, original colored paper boards, all volumes printed in red and black on handmade paper. Housed in a custom chemise and slipcase. Lighest fading, trivial shelfwear to paper boards; original errata slip tipped into Volume 8, correcting the date of Harry Widener's death. Item #10005
In the late 1930s, Katherine Burton, a young English professor at Wheaton College, and Louise Perry, a fine-press printer and manager of the Wheaton College bookstore, collaborated on eight short biographies of great book lovers throughout history. They called their project The Bibliolatrous Series. Volumes 1-4, dealing with English bibliophiles, were printed in runs of 150 copies each; volumes 5-8, dealing with Americans, in runs of 200 copies. The first volume, St. Columba, recounts "how the first British copyright decision produced a saint." The second is devoted to Bishop de Bury, author of the first book on book collecting by an Englishman. The third tells the story of Sir John Cotton, whose library (including the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf) forms the nucleus of the British Library, and the fourth deals with Reverend T.F. Dibdin, author of The Bibliomania and founder of the Roxburghe Club. The fifth volume is devoted to Andrew Carnegie, who gave sixty million dollars for the building of public libraries in the United States, and the sixth and seventh to Henry E. Huntington and Henry Clay Folger, founders of two of America's greatest research libraries. The final volume, Harry Widener, tells the story of the promising young book collector whose death on the Titanic led to the endowment of Harvard's modern library. A beautifully produced, thoughtfully designed series, very scarce complete.