When we first began working on our collaborative collection with NYPL, the plan was that the launch would coincide with the much-anticipated launch of their Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. Unfortunately, the exhibit’s debut has had to be pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you cannot still enjoy the Library’s fantastic collection of historic and cultural artifacts!

With our representatives at Harper Group, we recently held a webinar for our North American retailers to introduce our Treasures collection. We were joined by several NYPL curators who gave us an exclusive look at the original artifacts and shared the special (and sometimes surprising!) stories behind them.

Check out the videos below to learn more about the Treasures of The New York Public Library: De Sideribus Tractatus, Declaration of Independence, Hunt-Lenox Globe and Virginia Woolf’s Notebooks.

De Sideribus Tractatus

Madeleine Viljoen (Curator, Print Collection and Spencer Collection) shows us the original 80-page volume reproduced for our Astronomica covers, flipping through the delicate pages to show Hyginus’ 15th-century depictions of the constellations. We also hear from the curator herself how to properly pronounce “De Sideribus Tractatus”!

Declaration of Independence

Michael Inman (Curator, Rare Books Division NYPL) shows us one of only two surviving copies of the Thomas Jefferson draft of the Declaration of Independence. He highlights the key differences between Jefferson’s original draft and the final ratified version, particularly in reference to the slave trade, as well as what is one of the first references to the country as the United States.

Hunt-Lenox Globe

Michael Inman (Curator, Rare Books Division NYPL) displays the surprisingly tiny Hunt-Lenox Globe, one of the Library’s greatest treasures. Look closely to see one of the earliest depictions of the Americas, as well as other unique geographical details etched into this unique copper globe.

Virginia Woolf’s Notebooks

Carolyn Vega (Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Curator of English and American Literature) shows us the notebooks Virginia Woolf used to draft her most experimental work of fiction, The Waves. Discover how Woolf often bound the notebooks herself, creating her own vibrant covers, page margins and lines for text, before drafting and annotating her work.

All videos by casspix.com

If you had a chance to learn from an NYPL curator, what would you ask?


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