After cataloging a batch of community cookbooks several weeks ago, I immediately started to come up with ideas on how to feature them on our blog. Instead of just discussing the recipes on the page, or uncovering the histories of the organizations responsible for compiling the works themselves, however, I wanted to approach cookbooks in our collection differently than what’s been done before on the blog. This time, I wanted to use the books the way they were meant to be used. I decided to make the food instead of just reading recipes off the page, to show results instead of discussing recipes as I came across them, and most importantly, include my fellow librarians in my plan. It probably doesn’t come as a shock that I didn’t have to twist anyone’s arm too hard at the mention of a dinner party. The fact that we got to try out recipes from books in our collection was the special bonus once we were finally able to formalize a date for the event.
The van Otterloo Collection, currently on deposit at the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, is an extensive assemblage of books, serials, and articles about the art and history of the Low Countries. The collection was once owned by an art historian whose library was called “one of the most comprehensive personal libraries on Dutch and Flemish art in existence.” In October 2014, a team from Backstage Library Works began cataloging and processing each item. As of August 15, 2015, over 17,000 items have been processed for the collection, including nearly 2,000 art auction catalogs and 295 books published before 1800. Two months remain on the project. Here are a few gems chosen from the collection’s extensive holdings so far.
Kate Clayborne and Fevie Hernando
Victorian decorative bolt ends in the Lynn Museum and Historical Society collections.
In 2014, the Lynn Museum & Historical Society (LMHS) of Lynn, Massachusetts, chose to place their library and archival collections on deposit here at the Phillips Library. In order to provide better access to these collections, the Library brought in a team from Backstage Library Works to physically process and catalog the materials. As members of this team, we are excited for the opportunity to share a bit about our work with you. Read more