Recent Acquisitions: New Ladies in My Library

New books

One of the difficulties of looking for women book collectors is that they are not always identified as such. One can search for variations on “women book collectors,” “lady bibliophiles,” and so on, but this approach is hardly comprehensive. Skimming book titles and indexes of books about books looking for female names is another approach, but quickly becomes overwhelming. Unless you already know the name you’re looking for, it’s hard to narrow down the results.

Just when I thought I’d exhausted my current search strategies, I stumbled across a simple new idea.While browsing the Oak Knoll website, I came across an auction catalogue of a woman’s library, one whose name I had never seen before. I needed to figure out what combination of search terms would produce more items like that. It finally occurred to me that all similar catalogues from that time period would preface the woman’s name with “Mrs.” or “Miss.” A title search for the keywords “Mrs.” and “library” or “collection” brought up a few familiar titles and a number of new ones, which I promptly ordered.

Names new to me:

  • Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard
  • Mrs. Laetitia Hollier
  • Mrs. Christian R. Holmes
  • Mrs. E.F. Hutton
  • Rose Standish Nichols
  • Mrs. Whitelaw Reid
  • Louise Elkins Sinkler
  • Mrs. William A. Taylor
  • Mrs. Henry Walters

I will be trying this search in other library catalogs and book search engines to see what else may be out there. Meanwhile, I need to do some more research on these new names and add them to my bibliography.

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