The Rare Book Collection: recent additions

A collection of 500 pre-1800 books were recently relocated to a permanent location in Library and Archives Canada’s rare books vault. The vault is equipped with optimal environmental conditions to ensure this special collection is properly preserved for generations to come. Prior to being transferred to Library and Archives Canada, the books were owned by the Library of Parliament. Most of this collection consists of books published in England or France, and many are multi-volume sets. The subject matter ranges from geography and history to theatre and essays.

 

Colour photograph showing rows of books on a shelf. All the books are flagged with a slip of paper with a call number on it.

The permanent location in the rare books vault.

About the Collection

The majority of the books are 18th-century hand bindings bound in full or partial leather. The collection also comprises some books made of paper, cloth or parchment. The books are decorated with intricate gold titling and tooling and are often accented with unique and stunning marbled papers, commonly used as the endpapers.

Colour photograph of an open book showing a sumptuous marble paper used for the end paper.

Marble paper detail.

Colour photograph collage of four beaver-stamp images showing the different stamp styles on the books.

The Library of Parliament “beaver” stamp on the spine of many of the books. The style and intricate details of the beaver changes over the years, but the familiar trademark remains easily identifiable.

The condition of the books

Before being added to the Rare Book Collection, factors such as moisture, temperature, light and dust contributed to the deterioration of many of the books. Although some books are in excellent condition, with the binding structures and text blocks intact, many are damaged and show signs of damage. Some items have suffered from water and fire damage, or contain traces of a pest infestation, while others are weakened and damaged due to centuries of physical use.

Red rot and leather deterioration

A large percentage of the collection (approximately 90%) suffers from various levels of leather deterioration. In some extreme cases, the type of damage is referred to by conservators as red rot. The deterioration of leather is a common issue in leather from this period as the tannins used in the manufacturing process contain chemicals that, over time, and in the presence of oxygen, undergo a chemical change that breaks down the leather molecules. This causes the leather to weaken, flake and powder.

Colour photograph of a gloved hand holding a book with the telltale signs of red rot. The glove and sleeve are covered in a fine reddish-brown coloured dust.

An example of red rot—the term describes the red-coloured powder that appears on the surface of badly deteriorated leather.

Next steps for this collection

So much can be learned from this collection of historical and beautiful books. Check back with us for the next blog posts on the physical inventory of this collection , which includes a detailed inventory of the state of the collection, the levels of conservation treatment required, the material composition of the books, type of decorations, etc. Also have a look at the following post, detailing what steps will be taken to preserve this fine collection.

2 thoughts on “The Rare Book Collection: recent additions

    • Hello,
      Following is a list of the titles. Please note that the list is long, but only accounts for 200 titles or so. This is because many of these titles are multi-volume sets. These can also be searched for, and found through the Library search.

      Bibliotheca Chethamensis. Quanta potuit fide et diligentia edidit Joannes Radcliffe
      The true intellectual system of the universe : wherein all the reason and philosophy of atheism is confuted, and its impossibility demonstrated : with a discourse concerning the true nation of the Lord’s supper ; and two sermons, on 1 John II. 3, 4 and 1
      Gothofredi Guillelmi Leibnitii : Opera omnia
      Essays on the Characteristics
      Traduction du livre de S. Augustin : des moeurs de l’Eglise catholique, avec les sommaires de la doctrine contenue dans chaque chapitre
      Dictionnaire historique, critique, chronologique, géographique et littéral de la Bible …
      Histoire des ordres royaux, hospitaliers-militairs de Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel et de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem
      Apologie pour Monsieur Arnauld, docteur de Sorbonne, contre un libelle publié par les Jésuits, intitulé Remarques judicieuses sur le Livre de la fréquente communion
      De l’imitation de Jesus Christ
      A view of the principal deistical writers that have appeared in England in the last and present century. With observations upon them, and some account of the answers that have been published against them. In several letters to a friend
      The miscellaneous works of the late Reverend … Conyers Middleton … : containing all his writings, except the Life of Cicero : many of which were never before published : in four volumes
      Point de croix, point de couronne
      Preuves des libertez de l’Eglise gallicane
      Geographia hierarchica : Sive, Statvs ecclesiastici romano-catholici per orbem universum distributi succincta descriptio historico-geographica
      Codex juris ecclesiastici anglicani : or, The statutes, constitutions, canons, rubricks and articles of the Church of England, methodically digested under their proper heads. With a commentary, historical and juridical …
      The toleration of the Protestants, and the authority of the church : or, An answer to the libel of Monsieur Jurieu, which carries for title: A pastoral letter to the faithful of Paris, of Orleans, of Blois
      The history and philosophy of Judaism, or, A critical and philosophical analysis of the Jewish religion from which is offered a vindication of its genius, origin, and authority and of its connection with the Christian, against the objections and misrepres
      The Oceana and other works of Iames Harrington
      The letters of Junius: two volumes in one
      Lex parliamentaria: or, A treatise of the law and custom of the Parliaments of England[microform]
      [Bibliotheca politica; or, An enquiry into the ancient constituion of the English government … in thirteen dialogues. Collected out of the best authors, as well antient as modern. To which is added an alphabetical index to the whole work
      Institution au droit françois
      Systême universel de principes du droit maritime de l’Europe
      Oeuvres de M. Antoine D’espeisses, avocat et jurisconsulte de Montpellier
      The jurisdiction of the Lords house, or Parliament, considered according to antient records
      Code des seigneurs hauts-justiciers et féodaux, ou Maximes concernant les fiefs et droits féodaux
      Recueil chronologique des ordonnances : edits & arrêts de Réglement cités dans les nouveaux commentaires sur les Ordonnances des mois d’Avril 1667, Août 1669, Août 1670 & Mars 1673
      Traité des fonctions, droits et privileges des commissaires au Châtelet de Paris
      Instruction facile sur les conventions, ou Notions simples sur les divers engagements qu’on peut prendre dans la société, & sur leurs suites : ouvrage utile aux gens d’affaires, bourgeois, négociants, à tous chefs de famille, & aux jeunes gens qui se dest
      Instruction facile sur les conventions : ou Notions simples sur les divers engagements qu’on peut prendre dans la société, et sur leurs suites
      Nouveau commentaire portatif de la coutume de Normandie
      A collection of modern entries, or, select pleadings in the courts of King’s bench, Common pleas and Exchequer…With the method of suing to and reversing outlawries by writ of error or otherwise
      Traité du douaire
      Some considerations on the law of forfeiture for high-treason : occasioned by a clause, in the late Act, for making it treason to correspond with the pretender’s sons, or any of their agents, &c
      Nouveau traite de venerie contenant la chasse du cerf, celles du chevreuil, du sanglier, du loup, du lievre et du renard : avec la connoissance des chevaux propres à la chasse
      A catalogue of engraved British portraits, from Egbert the Great to the present time : consisting of the effigies of persons in every walk of human life … with an appendix containing the portraits of such foreigners as … may claim a place in the Briti
      Roman moderne : comédie en cinq actes sur l’histoire Universelle, & la Fable, avec des notes politiques sur les travaux d’Hercule
      L’Art de péter : essai théori-physique et méthodique, à l’usage des personnes constipées, des personnages graves & austères, des dames mélancoliques, & de tous ceux qui sont esclaves du préjugé
      Le comte de Warwick, par Madame Daulnoy
      Mémoires secrets pour servir à l’histoire de la republique des lettres en France, depuis MDCCLXII jusqu’à nos jours; ou, Journal d’un observateur … Par feu m. de Bachaumont
      Les tragedies et autres poésies de Mademoiselle M.A. Barbier
      British theatre
      Oeuvres complètes
      Bibliothèque du Théâtre françois, depuis son origine : contenant un extrait de tous les ouvrages composés pour ce théâtre depuis les mystères jusqu’aux pièces de Pierre Corneille, une liste chronologique de celles composées depuis cette dernière époque ju
      The school for fathers; or, Lionel & Clarissa, a comic opera. Adapted for theatrical representation
      Les Tragédies et histoires saintes de Jean Boissin de Gallardon
      Les entretiens d’Artiste et d’Eugène
      Thétre de feu monsieur Boursault
      Le marquis de Chavigny
      Lettres nouvelles de feu monsieur Boursault : accompagnées de fables, de contes, d’épigrammes, de remarques, de bons mots, & d’autres particularités aussi agréables qu’utiles : avec treize lettres amoureuses d’une dame à un cavalier
      The genuine remains in verse and prose of Mr. Samuel Butler, author of Hudibras. Published from the original manuscripts, formerly in the possession of W. Longueville; with notes by R. Thyer
      Hudibras : in three parts
      De l’art de la comédie; ou, Détail raisonné des diverses parties de la comédie, et de ses différents genres; suivi d’un traité de l’imitation où l’on compare à leurs originaux les imitations de Moliere & celles des modernes. Le tout appuyé d’exemples tir
      Les oeuvres de Monsieur de Crébillon
      Lettres – théâtre : le pédant joué – La mort d’Agrippine – Voyage dans la lune – Histoire des états du soleil
      Lettres sur les spectacles : avec une histoire des ouvrages pour & contre les théatres
      Lettres de M. Desp. de B*, sur les spectacles; avec une histoire des ouvrages pour & contre les théâtres. 4. éd., rev., corrigée & augm. par l’auteur
      Cymbalum mundi, ou, Dialogues satyriques sur différens sujets
      The miscellaneous works of John Dryden, esq; containing all his original poems, tales, and translations
      Lettres historiques et galantes de deux dames de condition, dont l’une était à Paris, & l’autre en Province : Ouvrage curieux
      Emilie et Alphonse : ou danger de se livreer à ses premières impressions
      Poësies diverses, du roi de Prusse
      La Gazette
      Pénélope, tragédie
      Miscellaneous works of Edward Gibbon, esquire. With memoirs of his life and writings, composed by himself: illustratedfrom his letters, with occasional notes and narrative by Lord Sheffield
      De l’éloquence du barreau
      Caleb Williams [or, Things as they are] Edited with an introd. by David McCracken
      Thomae Caii (Collegii Universitatis Regnante Elizabetha Magistri) Vindiciae Antiquitatis Academiae Oxoniensis contra Joannem Caium Cantabrigiensem
      Hemingi Chartularium Ecclesiae wigorniensis : E codice ms… descripsit ediditque Tho. Hearnius
      An account of a roman pavement : lately found at Stunsfield in Oxford-Shire, prov’d to be 1400 years old
      Adami de Domerham Historia de rebus gestis glastoniensibus. E codice ms. perantiquo, in bibliotheca collegii S. Trinitatis Cantabrigiæ, descripsit primusque in lucem protulit Tho. Hearnius. Qui & … Guilielmi Malmesburiensis librum de antiquitate ecclesi
      Henrici Dodwelli De parma equestri Woodwardiana dissertatio : Accedit Thomae Neli Dialogus inter reginan Elizabetham & Robertum Dudleium … academiae Oxoniensis cancellarium, in quo de academiae aedificiis praeclare agitur
      Ductor historicus : or, A short system of Universal History, and an introduction to the study of it
      A Collection of curious discourses
      Guilielmi Camdeni Annales rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum regnante Elizabetha : tribus voluminibus comprehensi
      Johannis de Trokelowe annales Edwardi II. Henrici de Blaneforde chronica, et Edwardi II. vita : A Monacho quodam Malmes burien si suse enarrata
      Guilielmi Neubrigensis historia sive Chronica rerum anglicarum, libris quinque. E codice ms. pervetusto, in bibliotheca praenobilis domini Dni. Thomae Sebright… studio atque industria Thomae Hearnii, qui & praeter Joannis Picardi annotationes
      Nicolai Triveti Annalium continuatio, ut et Adami Murimuthensis chronicon cum ejusdem continuatione
      The itinerary of John Leland the antiquary …/ published by Mr. Thomas Hearne
      Walteri Hemingford, Canonici de Gisseburne, Historia de rebus gestis Edvardi I. Edvardi II. & Edvardi III. : Accedunt, inter alia, Edvardi III. … : e codicibus MSS. nunc primus publicavit Tho. Hearnius
      Guilielmi Roperi vita D.T. Mori … : Accedunt, Mori Epistola de Scholasticis quibusdam Trojanos sese appellantibus … E. codicibus vetustics descripsit ediditque Tho. Hearnius … qui et notas subjecit
      The itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary. Published by Thomas Hearne
      A vindication of those who take the Oath of Allegiance to his present Majestie from perjurie, injustice and disloyaltie, charged upon them by such as are against it : in a letter to a Non-Juror
      Joannis Rossi antiquarii Warwicensis Historia regum Angliae
      Acta Apostolorum Graeco-Latine, litteris majusculis
      Historia vitae et regni Ricardi II. Angliae regis, a monacho quodam de Evesham consignata. Accesserunt, praeter alia, Joannis Rossi Historiola de comitibus warwicensibus; Joannis Berebloci Commentarii de rebus gestis Oxoniae, ibidem commorante Elizabetha
      The history and antiquities of Glastonbury : to which are added, (1.) The endownment and orders of Sherington’s chantry, founded in Saint Paul’s Church, London, (2.) Dr. Plot’s letter to the Earl of Arlington concerning Thetford
      An account of some Roman urns, and other antiquities lately digg’d up near Bishop S-Gate : with brief reflections upon the antient and prefent State of London : in a letter to Sir Christopher Wren
      Joannis Rossi antiquarii Warwicensis Historia regum Angliae
      Aluredi Beverlacensis Annales, sive Historia de gestis regum Britanniæ, libris IX
      Johannis, Confratris & Monachi, Glastoniensis, Chronica, sive historia de rebus Glastoniensibus
      Roberti de Avesbury Historia de mirabilibus gestis Edvardi III. Accedunt, (1.) Libri saxonici, qui ad manus Joannis Joscelini venerunt. (2.) Nomina eorum, qui scripserunt historiam gentis Anglorum, et ubi exstant; per Joannem Joscelinum. E codicibus mss.
      Peter Langtoft’s Chronicle, (as illustrated and improv’d by Robert of Brunne) from the death of Cadwalader to the end of K. Edward the First’s reign. Transcrib’d, and now first publish’d from a MS. in the Inner-Temple Library by Thomas Hearne. To which
      Impartial memorials of the life and writings of Thomas Hearne, M. A
      De vita & gestis Henrici II et Ricardi I
      Johannis de Fordun Scotichronicon genuinum : una cum ejusdem supplemento ac continuatione : e codicibus mss. eruit ediditque T. Hearnius, qui et appendicem subjunxit, totumque opus … praefatione atque indicibus adornavit
      Nicolai Triveti, Dominicani, Annales sex Regum Angliae
      Textus roffensis : accedunt, Professionum antiquorum Angliae episcoporum formulae, de canonica obedientia archiepiscopis cantuariensibus praestanda, et Leonardi Hutteni Dissertatio, anglice conscripta, de antiquitatibus oxoniensibus E codicibus mss. descr
      Thomae Sprotti Chronica. E codice antiquo MSto, in bibliotheca praenobilis adolescentis Dni. Edvardi Dering, de Surrenden Dering in agro cantiano, baronetti, descripsit ediditque Tho. Hearnius, qui et alia quaedam opuscula, e codicibus msstis. authenticis
      Appreciations of poetry. Selected and edited with an introd. by John Erskine
      A catalogue of the valuable library of that great antiquarian, Mr. Tho. Hearne, of Oxford: and of another gentleman of note. Consisting of a very great variety of uncommon books, and scarce ever to be met withal
      Chronicon; sive, Annales prioratus de Dunstaple, una cum excerptis e chartulario ejusdem prioratus. Thomas Hearnius e codicibus mss. in bibliotheca Harleiana descripsit, primusque vulgavit. Accedit appendix
      The life of Aelfred the Great
      Relique Bodleianae or, Some genuine remains of Sir Thomas Bodley : containing his life, the first draught of the statutes of the Public library of Oxford, (in English) and a collection of letters to Dr. James, &c.
      The gospel according to Gamaliel
      Joannis Lelandi antiqarii De rebus britannicis collectanea
      Voyage de Nicolas Klimius dans le monde souterrain, contenant une nouvelle téorie de la terre, et l’histoire d’une cinquième monarchie inconnue jusqu’à present
      Examen pacifique de la querelle de Madame Dacier et de Monsieur de La Motte sur Homère, avec un Traité sur le poëme epique et la Critique des deux Iliades, et de plusieurs autres poëmes
      Chrysal; or, The adventures of a guinea. Wherein are exhibited views of several striking scenes, with curious and interesting anecdotes of the most noted persons in every rank of life, whose hands it passed through, in America, England, Holland, Germany a
      Phalante[microform] : tragédie
      Cassandre : roman
      Oeuvres de Nivelle de LaChaussée
      Oeuvres
      Noei borguignon de Gui Barôzai
      Recueil de pieces galantes, en prose et en vers de madame la comtesse de La Suze et de monsieur Pelisson
      Recueil de pièces galantes, en prose et en vers de madame la comtesses de La Suze, et de monsieur Pelisson
      Theatre de M. De La Thuillerie. comedien de la troupe royale
      Oeuvres choisies de Le Sage : Avec figures. v.1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13
      The works of Nicholas Machiavel
      Recueil des oraisons funèbres prononcées par messire Jules Mascaron, évêque & comte d’Agen
      Anti-Menagiana où l’on cherches bons mots, cette morale, ces pensées judicieuses & tout ce que l’affiche du Menagiana nous a promis
      Menagians, ou Les bons mots et remarques critiques, historiques, morales & d’érudition, de monsieur Menage, recueillies par ses amis
      Menagiana; ou, Les bon mots et remarques critiques, historiques, morales [et] d’érudition, de Monsieur Menage, recueillies par ses amis
      Oeuvres complèttes de Palissot
      Oeuvres diverses de Monsieur Pellisson de l’Académie françoise
      Poetical recreations: consisting of original poems, songs, odes, etc. With several new translations. In two parts, Part I. Occasionally written by Mrs. Jane Barker. Part II. By several gentlemen of the universities and others
      Oeuvres complettes d’Alexandre Pope : traduites en français
      The poetical works of Alexander Pope
      [Recueils des énigmes les plus terribles de ce temps.]
      Oeuvres de Regnard
      De la manière d’enseigner et d’étudier les belles lettres par rapport à l’esprit & au coeur
      Theâtre italien, de MM. Romagnesi et Ricoboni
      Oeuvres de Jean-Baptiste Rousseau
      The dramatick writings of Will. Shakspere
      The works of Mr. William Shakespear. Volume the sixth
      The works in verse and prose of William Shenstone
      Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, in a series of letters from John, earl of Orrery, to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle
      Works
      La cassette verte de Monsieur de Sartine, trouvée chez Mademoiselle du Thé
      Valesiana, ou, Les pensées critiques, historiques et morales, et les poesies latines
      Oeuvres complètes de M. l’abbé de Voisenon
      Théâtre de Pierre Corneille : avec des commentraires, &c. &c. &c
      Théatre de P. Corneille : avec des commentaires, et autres morceaux intéressans
      Voyage en retour de l’Inde, par terre : suivi d’observations sur le passage dans l’Inde par l’Egypte et le grand désert par James Capper
      A tour through the Isle of Man : to which is subjoined a review of the Manks history
      Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce
      Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce
      Voyages en Guinée et dans les îles Caraïbes en Amérique : tirés de sa corrspondance avec ses amis
      Description topographique de la Virginie, de la Pensylvanie, du Maryland et de la Caroline septentrionale : contenant les rivières d’Ohio, Kenhawa, Sioto, Cherokee, Wabash, des Illinois, du Mississipi, &c. ; le climat, le sol, les productions, tant animal
      The journal of an excursion to the United States of North America in the summer of 1794 : embellished with the profile of General Washington, and an aqua-tinta view of the state house at Philadelphia
      Essai sur l’histoire naturelle du Chili
      Biographical memoirs of the French revolution
      Memoires secrets de Mylord Bolingbroke : sur les affaires d’Angleterre depuis 1710 jusqu’en 1716 et plusieurs intrigues à la cour de France
      The diary of the late George Bubb Dodington, Baron of Melcombe Regis: from March 8, 1749, to February 6, 1761. With an appendix containing some curious and interesting papers
      A short critical review of the political life of Oliver Cromwell, lord-protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland
      Vies de Jean d’Estrées, duc et pair, maréchal de France, vice-amiral et vice-roi de l’Amérique : et de Victor-Marie d’Estrées, son fils
      The life of Richard Nash, of Bath, esq; extracted principally from his original papers
      The history of the life of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham
      Memoires du sieur de Pontis, qui a servi dans les armées cinquante-six ans, …
      Mémoires du cardinal de Retz : contenant ce qui c’est passé de remarquable en France pendant les premières années du regne de Louis XIV
      La vie d’Armand Jean cardinal duc de Richelieu. Principal ministre d’Etat, sous Louis XIII, roi de France & Navarre
      Mémoires de Maximilien de Bethune, duc de Sully, principal ministre de Henry Le Grand
      Mémoires de Jean de Wit, grand pensionnaire de Hollande
      An antiquarian romance, endeavouring to make a line, by which the most ancient people and the processions of the earliest inhabitancy of Europe, may be investigated
      The history of Scotland from the accession of the House of Stuart to that of Mary. With appendixes of original papers
      A continuation of the Complete history of England: containing the lives and reigns of Edward I. II. & III. and Richard the Second
      The ladies history of England : from the descent of Julius Caesar, to the summer of 1780. Calculated for the use of the ladies of Great-Britain and Ireland : and likewise adapted to general use, entertainment, and instruction
      An historical and critical review of the civil wars in Ireland : from the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the settlement under King William. With the state of the Irish Catholics, from that settlement to the relaxation of the popery laws, in the year 1778. E
      The history of England … With a compleat index
      A view of the causes and consequences of the present war with France
      The history and antiquities of the county of Dorset, comp. from the best and most ancient historians, inquisitiones post mortem, and other valuable records and mss. in the public offices and libraries and in private hands, with a copy of domesday book and
      An account of the conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, from her first coming to court, to the year 1710. In a letter from herself to My Lord
      The history and antiquities of the county of Essex
      The history of England during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth : including the history of the reformation of the churches of England and Scotland
      The history of England during the reigns of the royal house of Stuart : wherein the errors of late histories are discover’d and corrected, with proper reflections, and several original letters from King Charles II, King James II, Oliver Cromwell
      The history of England during the reigns of King William and Queen Mary, Queen Anne, King George I : being the sequel of the reigns of the Stuarts ; the matter has been collected from many curious manuscripts …
      A letter to the Earl of Shelburne on the peace [microform]
      [Letters to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, occasioned by his Reflections on the Revolution in France
      Posthumous works of Frederic II, King of Prussia
      Table chronologique des diplomes chartes, titres et actes imprimés, concernant l’histoire de France
      Du gouvernement, des moeurs, et des conditions en France avant la révolution, avec le caractère des principaux personnages du règne de Louis XVI
      Les crimes des reines de France : depuis le commencement de la monarchie jusqu’à Marie Antoinette
      Letters written in France, to a friend in London : between the month of November 1794, and the month of May 1795
      Histoire chronologique de la Grande Chancelerie de France
      Histoire generale de Portugal
      Histoire de Dannemarc
      Treaties and grants from the country powers to the East India company
      A complete history of Algiers; to which is prefixed, an epitome of the general history of Barbary, from the earliest times: interspersed with many curious passages and remarks, not touched on by any writer whatever
      A Short account of the first settlement of the provinces of Virginia, Maryland, New-York, New-Jersey, and Pensylvania
      Lettre aux Espagnols-Américains
      Memoirs of the reign of George III. to the session of Parliament ending A.D. 1793

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s