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We join Helen O’Neill for the last time before Christmas as she opens the final window on the Library’s archive advent calendar.

I reserved the last window on our archive advent calendar for one of the greatest poets of the English language: T.S. Eliot. A London Library member from 1918 and the Library’s President between 1952 and 1965 T.S. Eliot exerted a towering influence on the literary landscape during his lifetime and left a lasting legacy to Literature and to the Library after his death.

Eliot joined the Library a year after the publication of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and four years before The Waste Land first appeared.  T.S. Eliot’s joining form dates from 1918 when he was still working at Lloyd’s Bank before he made the move to Faber and Faber.  He lists his occupation as “Lecturer and journalist” though the Lloyds Bank address at 17 Cornhill is given on his form.

The Waste Land appeared in The Criterion in October 1922 and in The Dial (in America) the following month. It is regarded as the most influential poem of the 20th century. Virginia Woolf handset the poem and published a limited run of 500 copies at the Hogarth Press in 1923.

In 1948 T.S. Eliot was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature for Four Quartets. Comprised of four poems: Burnt NortonEast CokerThe Dry Salvages and Little Gidding, Four Quartets is an undisputed poetic masterpiece.

Delivering his inaugural address as the Library’s President four years after the Nobel award T.S. Eliot made what he called “a testament of faith” in the Library:

“I am convinced that if this library disappeared, it would be a disaster to the world of letters, and would leave a vacancy that no other form of Library could fill”.

Over the last two weeks we have opened small windows onto the Library’s literary past and it is against this historical backdrop that T.S. Eliot’s “testament” should be seen.  I hope you will come with me next year as my PhD journey through the archive and the Library’s 172 years of extraordinary institutional history continues.

© Helen O’Neill

Criterion Oct 1922

The Wasteland appeared in The Criterion in October 1922 and in The Dial in America the following month

TS Eliot

T.S. Eliot joined the Library in 1918 four years before the publication of the most influential poem of the 20th century – The Waste Land.

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By Michael Schmalholz, London Library German Language Collection Specialist, and Anna Vlasova, Retrospective Cataloguer.

From its foundation in 1841, the London Library has aimed to maintain a representative collection of literature in all major European languages and German language books have been extensively collected from the beginning. Thomas Carlyle, the founder of the London Library, who had a personal interest in German literature and history, admired Goethe, corresponded with him and promoted interest in him in Britain. Already at the Library’s founding several German books were donated by Prince Albert. In fact, the 1842 London Library catalogue mentions “a valuable selection of the best German authors from his Royal Highness Prince Albert, the Patron of the Institution”. Also, this catalogue already includes Goethe’s, Schiller’s and Jean-Paul’s collected works.

At present the London Library holds a remarkably extensive collection of German language books, with an especially rich collection of German literature. Indeed, the German literature section is now the largest of the foreign language sections in the collections. The German literature collection includes all major works and authors that span from ca. 800 (e.g. Hildebrandslied) to the present day. Alongside the latest publications, in the open-access stacks members can find borrowable copies of a wide range of 19th and 20th century editions of German novels and short stories, as well as poetry, drama and essays. The Library has maintained its holdings of the writings of established authors from the late 19th-early 20th centuries, many of whom are not easily available elsewhere.

There is an active acquisitions policy for contemporary German literature and fiction. When possible, collected works are acquired, and the most well-known and well-established authors are covered by several editions. The Library is rich in German classical literature, and the best represented author is Goethe. The Library possesses numerous editions of his collected works, from Goethes Werke : vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1827-1842) to Hamburger Ausgabe (Hamburg: Christian Wegner Verlag, 1949-1960) and Münchner Ausgabe (München: Hanser, c1985-c1998). Schiller is also represented by several editions of collected works, from Sämmtliche Werke (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1812-1815) to Schillers Werke: Nationalausgabe. Other important 18th and 19th century authors, such as Novalis, Wackenroder, Wieland, Auerbach, Heyse and many others, are also represented in contemporary and modern editions. Same stands true for the 20th century authors, and the Library possesses, for example, Brecht’s Werke: grosse kommentierte Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe and Kafka’s Schriften, Tagebücher, Briefe : kritische Ausgabe, and is subscribing to the literary works of Thomas Mann in Grosse kommentierte Frankfurter Ausgabe. Although the emphasis is on literature from the 18th century onwards, the Library holds editions of the most important medieval and early modern German works, and subscribes to Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters.

The London Library holds several especially treasured editions of German literature, among which there is a copy of Randzeichnungen zu Goethe’s Balladen und Romanzen (1829-1830) that was sent as a gift from Goethe to Thomas Carlyle. The copy is beautifully illustrated by Eugen Napoleon Neureuther, of whose talent Carlyle had a high opinion. Notable first editions include the 1773 edition of Goethe’s Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand, as well as the 1795 edition of his Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. An example of a modern first edition possessed by the Library is Herman Hesse’s 1927 edition Steppenwolf.

As part of the Retrospective Cataloguing Project, pre-1950 German literature editions are currently in the process of being transferred to the Library’s online catalogue. All German works of fiction (e.g. individual novels and short stories), as well as post-1950 editions of German literature (e.g. collected works, individual works of poetry) are searchable on the Library’s online catalogue.

Seit ihrer Gründung im Jahre 1841 hat es sich die London Library zur Aufgabe gemacht, eine repräsentative Sammlung von Literatur in allen wichtigen europäischen Sprachen aufzubauen und deutsche Bücher wurden von Anfang an gesammelt. Thomas Carlyle, der Gründer der London Library, der ein persönliches Interesse an deutscher Literatur und Geschichte hatte, bewunderte Goethe, korrespondierte mit ihm und förderte das Interesse an ihm in Großbritannien. Bereits bei der Gründung der London Library wurden mehrere deutsche Bücher von Prince Albert gespendet. Bereits der Katalog der London Library aus dem Jahre 1842 erwähnt “eine wertvolle Auswahl der besten deutschen Autoren von seiner Königlichen Hoheit Prinz Albert, dem Schirmherrn der Institution“.  Auch die gesammelten Werke von Goethe, Schiller und Jean-Paul beinhaltet dieser Katalog bereits.

Heute enthält die London Library eine bemerkenswerte und umfangreiche Sammlung von Büchern in deutscher Sprache, mit besonders reichhaltigen Beständen auf dem Gebiet der deutschen Literatur. Tatsächlich ist die Abteilung Deutsche Literatur heute das größte aller nicht-englischsprachigen Sachgebiete in der gesamten Sammlung. Die Sammlung umfasst alle wichtigen Werke und Autoren, von ca. 800 (z.B. Hildebrandslied) bis zum heutigen Tag. Neben den neuesten Veröffentlichungen können Nutzer der Bibliothek auf einen umfangreichen Bestand von Ausgaben deutscher Prosa und Lyrik des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts zugreifen und ausleihen. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit hat die Bibliothek ihrem Bestand an Schriften von bekannten und weniger bekannten Autoren aus dem späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert gepflegt, und viele dieser Werke sind mittlerweile Raritäten, die sich in dieser Dichte selten finden.

Die London Library unterhält einen umfangreichen Akquisitionsplan für zeitgenössische deutsche Literatur und Belletristik. Wenn möglich, werden in erster Linie Werkausgaben erworben, und die bekanntesten und etablierten Autoren werden von mehreren Ausgaben abgedeckt. Die Bibliothek ist reich an klassischer deutscher Literatur, und der am prominentesten vertretene Autor ist Goethe. Die Bibliothek hat zahlreiche Ausgaben seiner gesammelten Werke,  von Goethes Werke: Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1827-1842) zuHamburger Ausgabe (Hamburg: Christian Wegner Verlag, 1949-1960) und Münchner Ausgabe (München: Hanser, c1985 -c1998). Auch Schiller ist mit einigen Ausgaben der Gesammelten Werke vertreten, von Sämmtliche Werke (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1812-1815) zu Schillers Werke: Nationalausgabe. Weitere wichtige Autoren des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts wie Novalis, Wackenroder, Wieland, Auerbach, Heyse und viele andere, sind auch in der zeitgenössischen und modernen Ausgaben vertreten. Dies gilt auch für die Autoren des 20. Jahrhunderts, und die Bibliothek besitzt besispielsweise Brechts Werke: grosse Kommentierte Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe und KafkasSchriften, Tagebücher, Briefe: Kritische Ausgabe, und abonniert die literarischen Werke von Thomas Mann in der Grossen kommentierten Frankfurter Ausgabe. Obwohl der Schwerpunkt der Sammlung auf der Literatur ab dem 18. Jahrhundert liegt, enthält die Bibliothek auch Ausgaben der wichtigsten mittelalterlichen und frühneuzeitlichen deutschen Werke und abonniert die Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters.

Die London Library enthält mehrere besonders wertvolle Ausgaben der deutschen Literatur, unter ihnen eine Kopie der Randzeichnungen zu Goethe’s Balladen und Romanzen (1829-1830), ein persönliches Geschenk Goethes an Thomas Carlyle, den ‚Vater‘ der London Library. Das Exemplar wurde wunderschön von Eugen Napoleon Neureuther illustriert, von dessen Talent Carlyle eine hohe Meinung hatte. Zu den bemerkenswertesten Erstausgaben im Bestand gehören die Ausgabe von Goethes Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand aus dem Jahre 1773 sowie die Auflage seines Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre von 1795. Ein Beispiel für eine moderne Erstausgabe im Besitz der Bibliothek ist Herman Hesses Steppenwolf aus dem Jahre 1927.

Als Teil des Projekts zur retrospektiven Katalogisierung der London Library werden die vor 1950 erschienenen deutsche Literaturwerke gegenwärtig in den Online Katalog übertragen. Alle deutschen belletristischen Werke (z.B. einzelne Romane und Kurzgeschichten), sowie generell sämtliche Ausgaben der deutschen Literatur seit 1950 (z.B. Gesammelte Werke, einzelne Werke der Poesie) sind bereits jetzt zeit- und ortsunabhängig im Online Katalog der London Library recherchier- und bestellbar.

Randzeichnungen zu Goethe’s Balladen und Romanzen, 1829-1830

Joseph Viktor von Scheffel. Gaudeamus: Lieder aus dem Engeren und Weiteren (Stuttgart : Adolf Bonz, 1877)

Robert Hamerling. Amor und Psyche: eine Dichtung in Sechs Gesängen (Leipzig: Adolf Titze [1883])

Eugen Napoleon Neureuther’s illustration from Randzeichnungen zu Goethe’s Balladen und Romanzen

Hermann Hesse. Der Steppenwolf (Berlin: Fischer, 1927)

Ludwig Uhland. Uhlands Gedichte (Stuttgart : J.G. Cotta, 1867)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre: ein Roman (Berlin: Bei Johann Friedrich Unger, 1795)

Karl Gerok. Palmblätter (Stuttgart: E. Greiner , 1865)

Joseph Viktor von Scheffel . Der Trompeter von Säkkingen: ein Sang vom Oberrhein (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1873)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand: ein Schauspiel ([S.l. : s.n.], 1773)

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As we all get into the swing of the new year, our Acquisitions Assistant has been hard at work ordering new titles to fascinate and inspire members in 2013.  In the latest installment of her regular blog, Rhiannon tells us about the fascinating titles crossing her desk.

I hope this won’t be an indication of things to come in world affairs this year, but we have ordered quite a lot of titles recently with a warfare or military theme. These titles vary hugely, spanning from the Fifteenth Century to now; they also cover a large variety of subjects, from torture and nuclear weapons, to photography and bird watching. They may not be especially cheering, but they are fascinating:

“Burke + Norfolk: photographs from the war in Afghanistan” Norfolk, Simon & Burke, John (Dewi Lewis Publishing: 2012)

“Sabres on the steppes: danger, diplomacy and adventure in the great game” Ure, John (Constable: 2012)

“The Finish: killing Osama Bin Laden” Bowden, Mark (Grove Press: 2012)

“Cruel Britannia: a secret history of torture” Cobain, Ian (Portobello: 2012)

“Nuclear Iran” Patrikarakos, David (I.B. Tauris: 2012)

“Power tends to corrupt: Lord Acton’s study of liberty” Lazarski, Christopher (NIU Press: 2012)

“Alexander I: the Tsar who defeated Napoleon” Rey, Marie-Pierre (NIU Press: 2012)

“War/Photography: images of armed conflict and its aftermath” Tucker, Anne Wilkes (Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Yale University Press: 2012)

“Magnum Revolution: 65 years of fighting for freedom” Watson, Paul (Prestel: 2012) – This is a photographic record of revolutions, from the Algerian uprising of 1954 to the “Arab Spring” of 2011

“Reading and war in fifteenth-century England” Nall, Catherine (D.S. Brewer: 2012)

“Birds in a cage: the remarkable story of how four prisoners of war survived captivity” Niemann, Derek (Short Books: 2012) – this is about bird-watching in a POW camp during WW2

“Iron man Rudolf Berthold: Germany’s indomitable fighter ace of World War I” Kilduff, Peter (Grub Street: 2012)

A number of other titles have caught my eye recently, mostly because I liked their titles. These ones are especially noteworthy:

“When pigs could fly and bears could dance” Neirick, Miriam (University of Wisconsin Press: 2012) – this is a history of the Soviet circus

“The Legend of Spring-heeled Jack: Victorian urban folklore and popular fiction” Bell, Karl (Boydell Press: 2012)

“From Gabriel to Lucifer: a cultural history of angels” Rees, Valery (I.B. Tauris, 2012)

“Angels and demons in art” Giorgi, Rosa (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005)

And my favourite title, which has landed on my desk this very moment.

“Walking sideways: the remarkable world of crabs” Weis, Judith S. (Cornell University Press, 2012)

I have a large stack of publisher catalogues to order from in 2013, so there will be plenty of new titles arriving in the library throughout the year. I look forward to keeping you informed!

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Our industrious Acquisitions Assistant, Rhiannon highlights some of the new books that now grace the Library shelves, including approximately 900 volumes donated by generous members, authors and publishers and some of the numerous titles that have been added to the rapidly growing Art collection…

It’s been a while since my last blog entry, during which time the Acquisitions Department has been as busy as ever. We have ordered many new titles from recent publisher catalogues and newspaper reviews, as well as receiving many book donations (approximately 900 volumes in 6 months) from Library members, authors and publishers. Amongst the Publisher donations received are a copy of the recently reviewed “Wine Grapes: a complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours” ed. Robinson, Jancis; Harding, Julia and Vouillamoz, Jose (Allen Lane, 2012) from Penguin, and “A History of Opera: the last 400 years” ed. Abbate, Carolyn and Parker, Roger (Allen Lane, 2012) also from Penguin.

I have been keeping an eye on the huge variety of items that we are adding to the Library’s literature and fiction holdings. The series The Oxford History of Historical Writing” has just been completed with the publication of volume 2. (The 5 volumes were, rather confusingly, not published in volume order.) Recently arrived titles also include:

  • “Four Byzantine Novels” translated and introduced by Jeffreys, Elizabeth (Liverpool University Press, 2012)
  • “The Girl with the Golden Eyes” de Balzac, Honore. Translated by Collier, Peter (Oxford World Classics, 2012)
  • “Sylvia Plath: poems chosen by Carol Ann Duffy” (Faber, 2012)
  • “<c> Odes” O’Donnell-Smith, Daniel (Open House Editions, 2012) – this is a debut publication and is housed in the Pamphlet collection
  •  “Stag’s Leap” Olds, Sharon (Cape Poetry, 2012) – donated by the publisher

Titles currently on order and due to arrive shortly are:

  • “May we be Forgiven” Homes, A. M. (Granta, 2012)
  • “The Testament of Mary” Toibin, Colm (Viking, 2012)
  • “Self-Control” Saeterbakken, Stig. Translated by Kinsella, Sean (Dalkey Archive Press, 2012)

We have also ordered quite a few art books recently, the most recent of which to arrive are:

  • “Discourse on Sacred and Profane Images” Paleotti, Grabriele (Getty Research Institute, 2012)
  • “Fish in Art” Jackson, Christine E. (Reaktion, 2012)
  • “The Book of Kells” Meehan, Bernard (Thames & Hudson, 2012)
  • “The Company of Artists: the origins of the Royal Academy of Arts in London” Saumarez Smith, Charles (Modern Art Press, 2012)
  • “William Klein: ABC” Klein, William (Tate, 2012)
  • “The Naked Nude” Borzello, Frances (Thames & Hudson, 2012)
  • “Art as Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena” ed. Smith, Timothy B. and Steinhoff, Judith B. (Ashgate, 2012)
  • “Graphic Design before Graphic Designers: the printer as designer and craftsman 1700-1914” Jury, David (Thames & Hudson, 2012)
  • “The Black Hole of the Camera: the films of Andy Warhol” Murphy, J.J. (University of California Press, 2012)
  • “Daido Moriyama” Ed. Baker, Simon (Tate, 2012)

If we are missing any titles that you would like to read, please email your suggestion to the Acquisitions Department – You can also browse a full list of new books added to The London Library catalogue via our website.

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Our busy Acquisitions Assistant, Rhiannon highlights some new books on sport and the city of London arriving on The London Library shelves this month, just in time for the Olympic celebrations…

There has been a huge amount of book ordering recently, including 225 new English titles on order this week alone! I suspect that I may well be able to build a small fort with all of the books that I am expecting to arrive next week. The life of an Acquisitions Assistant is never dull, or quiet!

There are now fewer than 100 days until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, so I have been keeping an eye out for sporting and London based books in particular, as well as the usual smattering of more bizarre titles.
Recent sporting titles entering the library include:

  • “Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat: the science behind drugs in sport” Cooper, Chris (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • “CMJ: a cricketing life” Martin-Jenkins, Christopher (Simon & Schuster, 2012)
  • “The Palgrave handbook of Olympic Studies” Lenskyj, Helen Jefferson – editor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • “Sport under Communism: behind the East German ‘miracle’” Grix, Mike – editor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • “Five ring circus: myths and realities of the Olympic Games” Shaw, Christopher A. (New Society Publishers, 2007)

To combine with the sporting books, I have also been keeping an eye out for London titles. These are:

  • “London: a history in verse” Ford, Mark – editor (Harvard University Press, 2012) – this is on order, though is not due to be published until June
  • “Lusting for London: Australian expatriate writers at the hub of Empire, 1870-1950” Morton, Peter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) – this is currently on order
  • “Underground, Overground: a passenger’s history of the tube” Martin, Andrew (Profile, 2012) – this is on order, though not due to be published until May
  • “Royal River: power, pageantry and the Thames” Starkey, David (Scala, 2012)
  • “The London Square: gardens in the midst of town” Longstaffe-Gowan, David (Yale University Press, 2012)
  • “Edwardian London through Japanese eyes: the art and writings of Yoshio Markino, 1897-1915” Rodner, William (Brill, 2011) – this is currently on order.

The bizarre and amusing titles that I have spotted this month are:

  • “Bastards: politics, family, and law in Early Modern France” Gerber, Matthew (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • “The Ashgate research companion to monsters and the monstrous” Mittman, Asa Simon – editor (Ashgate, 2012)
  • “Shame and honor: a vulgar history of the order of the garter” Trigg, Stephanie (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012)
  • “Manure matters: historical, archaeological and ethnographic perspectives” Jones, Richard – editor (Ashgate, 2012) – this is currently on order
  • “Testicles: balls in cooking and culture” Blandie, Vie (Prospect Books, 2011) – This arrived this morning, and I can confirm that it does indeed contain some recipes!

Towers of books in the Acquisitions office

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