Thursday, December 23, 2010

A John BeVier White Christmas

Back in August, Sara posted about an incoming donation of books belonging to John BeVier White, (UOMS MD, 1927). I'm now in the midst of reviewing some of these as possible additions to our collections.

One of the unusual challenges of selecting material from donations is that a donated book is rarely just a book. People annotate, doodle, stamp, bookplate, and mark up their books. Then there are those who bookmark pages with cards, notes, clippings and even cash. Occasionally these alterations and additions add to the historical interest of the book, and we jump through hoops to document that. But sometimes a grocery receipt used as a bookmark is just a grocery receipt.

Dr. White is one of those readers who loved to tuck family letters, notes, articles, and bits of ephemera into his books. I just picked up his copy of Cora Williams' A System of Ethics Founded on the Theory of Evolution (1893) , and this charming greeting card happened to fall out:

Other surprise gifts in this book are a circa 1960s birthday card to White from his family, and a business card from a local aluminum window supplier.