Coming Soon! KUED’s VERVE, Season 6 — “It’s All About the Book”


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Inspired by PBS’s The Great American Read, beginning May 22, season six of KUED’s VERVE was produced by Ashley Swansong, Digital Media Producer. While working toward her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Film, Cinema, and Video Studies from the University of Utah, Ashley worked in Special Collections.

We recommend — The Book Restructured: Wire-Edge Binding


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“Everything corresponds. Sweet is easy: happiness. Tanginess is trickier: people going the wrong way and calling it right; the tendency not to complain while harboring envious and covetous feelings. Sourness is things you like and don’t like — woven together. Smokiness is slow vision, seeing gradually the good things in life. What we find distasteful? That’s bitterness.”

Tea: Time in Korea
Greta Sibley
Easthampton, MA: Small Offering Press, 1994
DS904 S53 1994

Text and photographs based on three trips to Sonam Temple, South Cholla Province, Korea. Binding and box designed and produced by Daniel Kelm, Wide Awake Garage. Edition of twenty-five copies. Rare Books copy no. 14, signed by the author and the binder.

“The Book Restructured: Wire-Edge Binding”
A Book Arts Program workshop by Daniel Kelm

June 1 & 2, 2018
Friday & Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00
Book Arts Studio, J. Willard Marriott Library, Level 4

$215, register here

Wire-edge binding utilizes a thin metal wire along the hinging edge of each page. The metal wire is exposed at regular intervals, creating knotting stations where thread attaches one page to the next. The result is a binding that opens exceptionally well and provides the option of producing unusual shapes. This workshop presents various wire-edge structures useful for books, enclosures, and articulated sculpture. Participants produce both a simple codex and an accordion model that forms a tetrahedron. All levels of experience are welcome.

Daniel E. Kelm is a book artist who enjoys expanding the concept of the book. He is known for his innovative structures as well as his traditional work. In the mid-1980s, Daniel invented a style of bookbinding called wire-edge binding in order to explore the nature of the book as articulated sculpture. His expression as an artist emerges from the integration of work in science and the arts. Alchemy is a common theme in his bookwork. Daniel received formal training in chemistry and taught at the University of Minnesota and is known for his extensive knowledge of materials. Daniel teaches widely, and founded the Garage Annex School for Book Arts (GAS) in 1990. Most recently, with long-time collaborator Timothy Ely, Daniel co-delivered a lecture on The Alchemy of the Handmade Book at the Getty Center as a complement to the exhibition The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts.

Rare Books is pleased to support the Book Arts Program with its collections.

“Decadence is sophistication severed from genuine feeling.”

Terence K. McKenna (1946-2000)
New York City: Granary Books, 1992
N7433.4 M4285 S95 1992

Drawn and painted images by Timothy Ely. Typography and printing by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press. Paper is Rives BFK. Bookbinding by Daniel Kelm and staff, Wide Awake Garage. Edition of seventy five copies, twenty hors commerce. Rare Books copy is no. 47, signed by the author, printer and binder.

“I decide to go down the mountain to get a jar of fig sugar. The houses below feel very flimsy. I am greeted in one, by a cat that chases me barking like a dog back up the hill with an empty peanut butter jar.”

Venus Unbound
Jane Sherry
New York City: Granary Books, 1993
N7433.4 S418 V46 1993

The writer dreams. From the colophon: “The images were printed from metal plates made from the artist’s original paintings then treated with extensive hand-work: gouache, pen & ink, rubber stamps and collage…” Typography and printing by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press. Binding designed by Daniel Kelm. Box made by Jill Jevne. Edition of forty-one copies, eleven lettered. Rare Books copy is “A/P 2/2, signed by the author.

“The moon empties of light and is called new.”

Four Chambers, Five Nights
Greta Sibley
Easthampton, MA: Small Offerings Press, 1999
N7433.4 S5453 F68 1999

Text designed and composed by the author. Imagery created by Joseph A. Osina. Letterpress printed by Arthur Larson of Horton Tank Graphics. Binding and folders designed by Daniel E. Kelm at The Wide Awake Garage. Edition of twenty copies. Rare Books copy is no. 14.

— Photographs by Scott Beadles


Book of the Week — Opuscula mathematica


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“…the function of our Art is to put before our eyes…representation of anything which the human mind can split up and divide into a definite number of different parts, not infinitesimally small, which frequently recur in exactly the same form to play a part in that representation.” — Giambattista Bodoni, Manuale tipographica (1818)

Opuscula mathematica
Pietro Giannini (1740-1810)
Parma: Ex Typographia Regia, 1773
First edition
QA3 G43 1773

This scarce mathematical work on hydraulics and geometry was printed by Giambattista Bodoni. Bodoni was born in Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy in 1740. He died in Parma, Italy in 1813. An engraver, type designer, printer and publisher, Bodoni was invited by the Duke of Parma to set up and run a printshop. In 1779, Bodoni opened his own type foundry. In 1782 Charles II of Spain named Bodoni his court typographer.

Bodoni is still recognized for his roman, Greek, Gothic, Asian and Russian fonts, and lines, borders, symbols, numbers and musical notation. He was the most prolific punchcutter in the history of printing: an inventory of his shop, compiled by his widow, revealed 25,491 punches and 50,283 matrices, each cut by hand. He was friend to kings, ministers and others in power, dubbed by them as “Re dei tipografi, tipografo dei re” (king of typographers, typographer of kings). He basked in popularity, receiving numerous high honors.

This plain edition, with simple yet gracious chapter-heading ornamental devices, is a great example of the beginnings of Bodoni’s signature style: wide margins; clear, solid type; and exquisitely designed and printed mathematical figures all point to Bodoni’s typographical genius.

Oh, yeah. And then there’s the math. Pietro Giannini was a student of Vincenzo Riccati (1707-1775) who urged Giannini to publish Opuscula Mathematica (1773). Opuscula is divided into three parts. In the first part, Giannini studied water falling through a hole. Isaac Newton had addressed this in his Principia, but Giannini’s work is less experimental, more mathematical. Giannini was appointed a professor of mathematics in Seville, Spain.

This edition contains ten engraved folding copper-engraved plates, each with multiple diagrams. It is illustrated with a woodcut device on title-page. Our copy is bound in original wrappers with an old manuscript spine label.

We recommend — Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo Venture

“Between 1906 and 1909 he designed more than one hundred buildings…But after he initiated an affair with one of his clients, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, he ended up abandoning his family and his practice in 1909. Cheney and Wright traveled to Europe, where the architect produced in 1910 a large portfolio of lithographs entitled Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright [Executed Buildings and Studies by Frank Lloyd Wright] for the German publisher Ernst Wasmuth. That elegant summation of his early architectural production significantly influenced the course of European Modernism…”

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo Venture: From the Larkin Building to Broadacre City, A Catalogue of Buildings and Projects
Jack Quinan
San Francisco: Pomegranate Communications, Inc., 2012
NA737 W7 Q56 2012, General Collection, Level 2

Rare Books contributed several images to this book.

We invite you to Special Collections to look at:

Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe…
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1910
NA737 W7 A28

The Wasmuth Portfolio was a collaborative effort between Ernst Wasmuth, a Berlin publisher and Frank Lloyd Wright. It was Wasmuth’s idea to publish a complete folio of Wright’s work to date. The project was completed during Wright’s first trip to Europe in 1909 and published in 1910-11. The collection of Wright’s houses and commercial buildings received far more attention and praise in Europe than in the United States. Contemporary architects called it “the most important book of the century.” The portfolio consists of one hundred and thirty-one prints and overlays with accompanying text in English and German. A letter from Frank Lloyd Wright to Taylor Wooley, dated 1911, suggests that six hundred and fifty copies were produced for this edition.

View a digital copy of our portfolio here.

See an article using our portfolio here.

Book of the Week — Clavis Historia Thuanae


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Clavis historiae thuanae: id est, nomenclature…
Jacques Dupuy (1591-1656)
Ratisponae: Sumtibus J. Z. Seidelii, 1696
Editio altera
D228 T552

Originally published in Geneva in 1634, this revised edition includes the word “Clavis” as the beginning of its title. The title translated into English reads: Nomenclature of Proper Names in the Historical Work of Jacques Auguste de Thou. Thou (1553-1617) was a historian whose fame and acclaim lasted well into the nineteenth century. His “History of His Own Time” (Historiarum sui temporis libri CXXXVIII) was added to the Index of Prohibited Books in 1609 for its humanist bent.

In spite of the ban and the humanism, his work received praise across the Roman Catholic/Protestant spectrum from Spain and Portugal to England and Germany. It was read by the curia it condemned and was a favorite of the Philosophes of the French Enlightenment. Voltaire referred to the “truthful eloquence” of Thou several times in his works. William Pitt quoted Thou, “the great historian of France,” in the early years of the French Revolution, and historian Edward Gibbon referred to Thou as the “authority of my masters.”

Thou was a leading member of Parlement. A Roman Catholic, he nonetheless counted many Protestants as his friends and helped negotiate the Edict of Nantes. He was appointed the Keeper of the Royal Library. His own library contained nearly 6,000 volumes, vast even by the standards of a private library-owning upper class. His “History” appeared in parts between 1604 and 1610. But the work was considered heresy in that it failed to condemn all Protestants outright. For this he fell from royal and papal favor.

The other indexer of Thou’s history was Jacques Dupuy, one of the many archivists and librarians who organized meetings of scholars at Thou’s home and, here, organized his book.

Rare Books copy bound in vellum, using loose leaves from another work. Pages are in double column format.

Ocean of Joy


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“The nucleus of the Joy cell is buoyant and it can transfer invisibly into other cells without realization by the host. This is a most desirous outcome…The presence of other positive cells (Trust, Love, Curiosity, and Work) can greatly influence the production and hardiness of Joy. Exposure to nature is also imperative to the existence of Joy cells. Taking a daily walk is highly recommended.”

Made Up
Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, FL: Crooked Letter Press, 2015
N7433.4 K58 M43 2015

Written, designed, and letterpress printed by Ellen Knudson. Seventeen drum-leaf-bound spreads with eight gate folds in illustrated paper over boards with cloth spine. From the artist’s statement: “[A] non-scientific science book about the imaginary cellular composition of the human body. Fourteen cells are illustrated: Anger, Curiosity, Failure, Fear, Jealousy, Joy, Knowledge, Location, Love, The Past, Success, Talent, Trust, Work. The cell images are…multi-block and reduction linoleum prints with a diagram explaining how each cell operates…imaginary, emotional cellular structures…” Typefaces are Spectrum and Franklin Gothic Condensed. Printed from photopolymer plates onto Mohawk 100# text weight paper. Edition of fifty copies, signed. Rare Books copy is no. 18.

Joyful graduates! Keep on working! Keep on succeeding! Keep on walking!

Book of the Week — The Emigrant’s Guide to Oregon and California


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“Remember, never take no cutoffs and hurry along as fast as you can.” — Virginia Reed

The Emigrant’s Guide to Oregon and California
Lansford Warren Hastings (1819-1870?)
Cincinnati: G. Conclin, 1845
F864 H345

On April 29, 1847 the nearly three month-long rescue of survivors of the now-infamous Donner-Reed Party ended. The last surviving member arrived at Sutter’s Fort more than a year after the original party had departed from Springfield, Illinois. The first of the lost souls, located near Truckee Lake in the Sierra Nevada, had been found on February 18. Dan Rhoads, one of the rescuers wrote, “They were gaunt with famine and I never can forget the horrible ghastly sight they presented. The first woman spoke in a hollow voice very much agitated and said ‘are you men from California or do you come from heaven?'”

To get from Illinois to California, the Donner-Reed party had relied, in part, on a bestselling book called The Emigrant’s Guide to Oregon and California. The author was Lansford Warren Hastings, a young real-estate entrepreneur from Ohio who had financial and political interests in California. Hastings, at age twenty-three, had made a trip west in 1842.

The book had almost no practical advice, in spite of the crowing in its preface of providing “a description of the different routes; and all necessary information relative to the equipment, supplies, and the method of traveling” with the caveat that “all excrescences have been cautiously lopped off, leaving scarcely any thing more than a mere collection of interesting, important and practical facts.”

To make up for the lack of “excrescences,” Hastings regaled the reader with lengthy and snarky anecdotes regarding “Californians,” gamblers and drunks all. “How different are the priests of California from those of the same denomination of christians in our own country?”

In his “guide” he depicted Indians as lazy and Mexicans as dishonest, blaming much of the latter on the priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

“At times, I sympathize with these unfortunate beings, but again, I frequently think, that perhaps, are thus ridden and restrained and if they are thus priest ridden, it is, no doubt, preferable, that they should retain their present riders.

As for Indians, Hastings’ wrote, with no irony, that they “in numerous instances, abandoned their old haunts, and re-established in other portions of the country, but for what cause, it is difficult to ascertain, with any degree of certainty, for the sites which have been thus abandoned, appear in many instances, to possess advantages much superior, to those which have been subsequently selected.”

Hastings’ “little work,” as he called it, was inspirational to those wishing to escape the crowded conditions and poor economy of the east and Midwest. Hastings’ book promoted the land and climate of California as ideal companions for hardworking “Americans.” His book was read by one of the drivers of the Donner family wagons. A copy of the book, owned by Jacob Donner, much-handled, was found in the saddlebag of one of the travelers.

Hastings’ guidebook had bad information and good.

Good: In Chapter XV Hastings discussed “The Equipment, Supplies, and the Method of Traveling.” First, “All persons, designing to travel by this route, should, invariably, equip themselves with a good gun.” (Indians and/or buffalo.) Second, “It would, perhaps, be advisable for emigrants, not to encumber themselves with any other, than those just enumerated; as it is impracticable for them, to take all the luxuries, to which they have been accustomed; and as it is found, by experience, that, when upon this kind of expedition, they are not desired, even by the most devoted epicurean.”

The Reed family brought with them an invalid grandmother, a piano and an iron cookstove.

Bad: Hastings, eager to sell land in California, encouraged travelers to forget about Oregon and make their way to California, suggesting a cutoff through the Wasatch Mountains, passing to the south of the Great Salt Lake and then across the salt flats to rejoin the California Trail at the Humboldt River. Hastings, who had not, in fact, traveled this route, was sure the shortcut would save travelers valuable time. The passage in Hastings’ guidebook was short and carried no description: “The most direct route, for the California emigrants, would be to leave the Oregon route, about two hundred miles east from Fort Hall; thence bearing west southwest to the Salt Lake; and thence continuing down to the bay of San Francisco, by the route just described.”

The Donner-Reed Party, stopping at Fort Bernard, were warned not to take the route. Still, they had been delayed for one reason or another almost from the start and needed to make up time. The shortcut would enable them to do so. A meeting with an emissary of Hastings, on his way back to Ohio, convinced the Donner-Reed Party even more of this need. In a letter, Hastings warned of the war between the United States and Mexico and advised travelers to take his shortcut of about two hundred miles, promising to meet the emigrants at Fort Bridger and to guide them over the deserts and mountains of his new route, crossing what would become the states of Utah and Nevada. It was a convincing proposal. Hastings never met them. The party found another guide to take them as far as the salt plain west of the Great Salt Lake. Again, others warned against taking this route.

At the mouth of the Weber Canyon the Donner party found a note from Hastings, now guiding another group, advising them that the canyon was impassable with wagons and offering to provide them with yet another route. The company waited while James Reed rode ahead to meet Hastings, who refused to act as guide but showed Reed a potential route to follow. No one in the party saw Hastings again, although they heard from him one more time in the form of a wind-ripped note that warned of two days and nights of hard driving across the desert to reach water. The company plodded on, ignoring a sentence buried only pages away from the cutoff passage in the Hasting guide: “…for, unless you pass over the mountains early in the fall, you are very liable to be detained, by impassable mountains of snow, until the next spring, or, perhaps, forever.”

Thank you, Friends of the Library, for your many gifts to Rare Books over the years, including this historic guide.

Recommended reading:
Wallis, Michael. The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017
General Collection, Level 2
F868 N5 W36 2017

We recommend — Appendices Pulled from a Study on Light


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“a trace unnameable — place
holding the child
to the first frost,
the street lamp, the pasture — ”

Appendices Pulled from a Study on Light
Geoffrey Babbitt
New York City: Spuyten Duyvil, 2018
PS3602 A224 A6 2018 (General Collection, Level 2)

“This is Geoffrey Babbitt’s first book. His poems and essays have appeared in North American Review, Pleiades, Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, Notre Dame Review, TYPO, Tarpaulin Sky, The Collagist, Interim, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Raised in Boise, Idaho, he studied at Connecticut College and earned his Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Utah. Geoffrey currently coedits Seneca Review and teaches at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where he lives with poet Kathryn Cowles and their three daughters.”

Geoffrey acknowledges the help of many friends, colleagues and faculty from the University of Utah including Luise Poulton, Karen Brennan, Craig Dworkin, Julie Gonnering Lein, Cami Nelson, Paisley Rekdal, Jerry Root, Tom Stillinger, Shira Dentz, Elizabeth Peterson, and others.

Congratulations, Geoffrey!

MS Fragment: 4 — Date: ca. 1375 — Origin: France (possibly northeastern) — current location: Marriott Library, University of Utah, Special Collections, Rare Book Division — Materials: Ink, and burnished gold on vellum — Illustration: Detail — Size: 7 1/8 in. x 5 7/16 in. — Section: Anglo-Norman Litany of Saints — Script: littera gothica textualis formata

“vines scritched, chrysalis
onto vellum leaf–all
lost color, stolen thunder
–spiritual curl
of the vine tending
ultimately toward–tattered edge
curling from the gutters…”

MS Fragment: 8 — Date: ca. 1425-1450 — Origin: France (possibly Paris) — Current Location: Marriott Library, University of Utah, Special Collections, Rare Books Division — Materials: Ink, and burnished gold on vellum — Size: 7 1/4 in. x 5 3/16 in. — Illustration: Detail, border — section: Office of the Dead, Vespers — Script: littera gothica textualis

“lit border
buoys — acanthus
place setting
scribe sets — rinceaux
sprays, gilded ivy leaf,
bryony tendrils, gold pavé
fleur-de-lis — heliotropic
buoyancy — motor cells in
the pulvinus synthesize
bouncing light, con-
vert eye movement, displace
page’s gravitropic
polar auxin transport —
downwarding becomes lift”

April is National Poetry Month.

Book of the Week — Faster Than Birds Can Fly


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“But to go on from here
When it has all come back, bread
On the waters, for life is
This emptying and filling the

Rivers big at their head
Swollen as big as at the mouth,
Shall we begin earlier next time,
Push the seeds to the surface?”

Faster Than Birds Can Fly
John Ashbery (1927-2017)
New York City: Granary Books, 2009
PS3501 S475 F37 2009

This poem first appeared in The World #20 (1970). Illustrations by Trevor Winkfield. Typography by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press. Printing by Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints. Binding by Judith Ivry. Edition of forty copies. Rare Books copy is no. 40, signed by the poet and the artist.

April is National Poetry Month.

Book of the Week — Wrenching Times: Poems from Drum-Taps


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“When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d…and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.”

Wrenching Times: Poems from Drum-Taps
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Newton, Powys, Wales: Gwasg Gregynog, 1991
PS3211 A3 1991

From notes by M. Wynn Thomas: “Whitman was in New York, seeing Drum-Taps through the press, when Lincoln was assassinated on the evening of 14 April 1865, at the very time when he had finally secured victory for the Union. Whitman had come to identify very closely with the president, having supported him when others dismissed him as a mere country hick, and having seen him pass every day under Whitman’s window in Washington on his journey to and from the Capitol. Lincoln was, for the poet, the very epitome of Western, frontier qualities and his steadfast adherence, through the worst of times, to his principled belief in a democratic Union had won Whitman’s unqualified and undying admiration. Years later, in his old age, he would still endeavour, whenever his health allowed, to deliver an annual memorial lecture on the day of Lincoln’s death. On that occasion he always ensured that lilacs were placed on the table in front of him.

“The lilac was in flower near his Brooklyn home when Whitman heard of Lincoln’s murder.”


Wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec, made at Gregynog during a residency, supported by the North Wales Arts Association, and printed from the original wood-blocks. Designed and printed by David Esslemont with the assistance of Hugh Willmer on Zerkall mould-made paper. Typeface is Monotype Baskerville. Edition of four hundred and fifty copies, one of four hundred copies bound in quarter leather by Alan Wood and Rhian Ticehurst at Gregynog.

Gregynog Press was a Welsh private press, started and run by two wealthy sisters, whose interests were more artistic than literary. All of the work of the books from this press happened under one roof – design layout, composition, presswork, design and execution of woodblocks, hand-coloring and binding – an unusual circumstance for early twentieth century presses.

Rare Books copy is number 201 with unpublished wood engraving laid in.


April is National Poetry Month.