Just About Everything You Need to Know About Watermarks

A beautiful Japanese light-and-shade watermark made by the hand-rubbing method. (Collection of the author.)

Hold a piece of paper up to the light and what do you see?  Are there words or pictures or numbers showing through where the paper is thin?  You are looking at a watermark.

Well, it’s not quite that simple.  It could be a countermark.  It could be a regular “wire” watermark or one of the other kinds.  Here’s a little blog about these fascinating things. Read more

Miniature Books at PEM/PM

Ask any librarian and they will tell you that every book has something that makes it “special.”  Here at the Phillips Library our shelves are filled with books that are rare and unique in myriad ways.  Some are signed by the author or a notable owner.  Some are centuries old and have survived unknown trials.  Some are the only known copy in the United States, or even the world.  And some are special in part because of their size.  This post will look at some of our smallest books. Read more

Treasures of Charles Frederick Gammon’s Photographs of China Recently Discovered in Phillips Library’s Ward Collection

Tingting Xu

Gammon holding his camera at Shan-hai-kwan, the eastern end of the Great Wall. Sept 1908.

Thirty-nine boxes of photographs of China in the Phillips Library’s Ward Collection, with a total of 1,475 black-and-white silver gelatin prints (3.25 x 5 inches) are now identified as the work of Charles Frederick Gammon (1870-1926), the Superintendent of Colportage for the American Bible Society, in northern China at the beginning of the twentieth century. When I was assigned the work of providing an inventory of the photographs in these boxes, that were basically untouched materials buried in the huge Ward Collection of Chinese books and photographs, I had no idea that they were the work of one person. Nor would I imagine that I would be able find Hannah Warren, the great-grand daughter of Gammon at the end of my research work.

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