Highlights from the van Otterloo Collection

Kate Clayborne

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.

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Cataloging the Lynn Museum and Historical Society Collection

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

Recent Discoveries Among Our Japanese Books

So many Japanese books ready for refinement

I’ve been working on our woodblock-printed Japanese books for several months now, refining their bibliographic records to be more accurate and complete. I thought I would share some of the recent discoveries of books (and more!) we didn’t realize we had. I have let the choice of materials to review be dictated mostly by happenstance, and that has led to a pleasant variety of time periods, sizes, subjects, and creators. Our early Japanese acquisitions were never collected with a narrow focus, and this post shows some of the fascinating objects that made their way into our hands. Each one is a new challenge and each one taught me something about these materials and their bibliographic description.

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