NO.65 SUMMER 2004

The Library Associates

Join more than 6,000 other friends, book lovers, alumni, and faculty who recognize that the influence of a great research library reaches beyond the university it serves to the many communities of which it is a part.

Library Associates receive complimentary copies of the quarterly newsletter Bene Legere, as well as invitations to special occasions at the Library. For more information on the Library Associates program, please write or telephone: The Library Development Office, Room 131 Doe Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; telephone (510) 642-9377. Or, check our website.


The Bancroft Library and the 37th California International Antiquarian Book Fair


Maréchal, Sylvain, 1750-1803.
Dictionnaire d’Amour, par le Berger Sylvain. A Guide, et se Trouve a Paris, Chez Briand, 1788. 2 volumes published in 1.
Dictionaries are cultural works that define languages and linguistic authority, and express a broad range of views about history, literature, religion, and a host of other topics. Lexicographers are both reflections of and commentators upon the society represented by the languages of their texts. They are a rich source both of our fascination language and history.

A clear southern California sun greeted the many eager book collectors and dealers who gathered for the 37th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the crowded Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel from February 6-8, 2004. Among the throng were several members of The Bancroft Library staff who descended upon a bevy of book dealers ready to entice, inform, cajole, and persuade potential customers to buy their rare and unique materials. This Book Fair, one of the largest in North America, provides an opportunity to meet an international set of book and manuscript dealers, including many old and valued friends who have helped The Bancroft Library build one of the world's great collections of rare books, manuscripts, and pictorial materials.

Dealers often reserve some of their most valuable-historically and fiscally-materials for prominent fairs and this was no exception. The Bancroft Library collections have many diverse strengths, and the challenge of acquiring the most needed materials for the best prices-with limited resources-is one that Bancroft staff take most seriously. Many an item is declined because its intellectual value, while noteworthy, is not central to Bancroft's holdings. Others are left on the shelf for the price is simply too dear, the physical condition suspect, or the scholarly value circumspect.

China Punch

The China Punch, May 28,1867-January 9, 1868, Volume 1-16. Hongkong: The China Mail Office.
This volume contains the first 16 issues of a very rare periodical that may have existed for six years. Modeled after the famous Victorian magazine of British humor, Punch, The China Punch and its comic tone was likely aimed at English colonists living in Hong Kong. The satirical tone of this short-lived publication is expressed by articles and columns that skewer the native population as well as British magistrates and councilors.

There are, however, many important acquisitions to celebrate. Curators, armed with endowed funds established by donors whose foresight allows The Bancroft Library to spend a percentage of the annual interest produced by these accounts, scoured the exhibition hall in search of rare and unique materials. The items recently acquired and presented on these pages reflect the diversity and quality of Bancroft collections.

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