ABCs of Special Collections

ABCThe second floor of Wilson Library is now home to a new display in what will be an ongoing series showcasing the diversity and variety of Wilson collections. ABCs of Special Collections borrows its title and concept from John Carter’s celebrated reference text ABC for Book Collectors, first published in 1952 and currently available in its eighth edition from Oak Knoll press or freely downloadable as a pdf from the ILAB website.

Carter’s ABC has long been the go-to guide for everyone from aspiring bibliophiles to seasoned librarians who wish to understand the features of books and other cultural artifacts that make their way into Special Collections libraries. In matter of fact, and sometimes tongue in cheek, fashion, Carter’s definitions enliven the vocabulary of rare books, from the physical features (in the printed edition helpfully augmented by the occasional manicule) to the key concepts (for those who have ever wondered just what makes a copy “ideal”).

The small display will be located in the corridor leading to the reading room for the North Carolina Collection and Rare Book Collection, on the second floor of Wilson Library. Library patrons are invited to stop by often, as the display will be updated periodically with new words, new definitions, and, most exciting of all, new books. You can also track the display online by following the Wilson Library Tumblr page. ABCs of Special Collections begins on August 16, and will continue throughout the semester.

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