Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Monday, May 07, 2012


Rare 270-year-old book found in Charleston Library Society vault will be returned to college
A rare book almost 270 years old has been found in the vault of the oldest library in the South, but after all this time the library won’t be able to keep it.

The 1743 tome, “Dissertation Upon Parties” by Henry St. John Lord Bolingbroke, was one of 800 volumes that planter and diplomat John Mackenzie donated to the College of Charleston in the 1700s.

His library was housed at the Charleston Library Society, founded in 1748, until a proper library could be built at the fledgling college. But a devastating 1778 fire ripped through the Library Society and only 77 titles from the Mackenzie collection were thought to have survived.
Now they've found #78. There's no telling what treasures can be found in libraries, particularly old ones that were founded before modern cataloguing. My favourite find while at the university studying library science was a book by Sir Isaac Newton that was from the 18th century, out in the general stacks. While it wasn't a first edition of the Principia, it was an early version that needed to be in special collections, and I brought it up there. :)

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