Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Black day

The History of Dentistry Collection, which was transferred to our control in 2003 after the consolidation of the Dental Library into the main OHSU Library collections, is currently housed in the History of Dentistry Room in the Library Administration area of the BICC. Because it is such a lovely conference room, and because it is located in Lib Admin, the HOD Room can be darn tough to schedule for patrons interested in using the dental books in that collection. So, I recently pulled about 15 titles for transport to the History of Medicine Room across the street--also a lovely room, but (blissfully) under our complete control for use as a researcher reading room.

Since I don't have a chance to get a lot of "face time" with these books, I took the opportunity to examine the requested titles for provenance information, copy-specific details, and other anomalies that would best be noted in the bibliographic record. I never really expect to find much when I do this with our existing collections, so I usually get a big charge out of it when I do come across something interesting. I am a librarian, after all.

Two items excited me in this batch of books. The first, which you can see in the accompanying image, is a presentation inscription from the great G.V. Black to Dr. F.B. Noyes. The inscription is scrawled on the front free endpaper of Operative dentistry, bacteriology, and pathology of dental caries (1903), which has unfortunately cracked and become detached from the binding (this paper is well below the single fold threshold). This is the first instance of Black's signature that I have seen in our collection.

The other exciting thing was finding that our copy of Black's Lectures on bacteriology, special pathology, and operative dentistry (1900) was bound with three other titles that had not been recorded in the bibliographic record. One of these three is unrecorded in OCLC's WorldCat: Lectures on general and local anesthesia delivered by D. Willard Craig, also from the 1899-1900 session at Northwestern's Dental School. Also discovered in this bound-with, A.H. Peck's A course of lectures on special pathology, materia medica and therapeutics is a new addition to our catalog, and this 1900 edition of Thomas Gilmer's Lectures on oral surgery joins the third edition already cataloged as part of the HOD Collection.

Isn't it great to be rewarded just for paging through old books?

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