The Dog's Tooth

    The Dog's Tooth is the wiki of the Special Collections unit of Memorial University Libraries. It will be updated regularly with news about acquisitions, donations, exhibits, lectures and other happenings in Special Collections, as well as interesting pickings and choosing from literature about special collections, book history and bibliography. The wiki title refers to the medieval practice of burnishing gold leaf illumination with a dog’s tooth.http://www.library.mun.ca/asc/specialcollections/


    Expanded Access to Special Collections

    As of May 28, 2018 staff of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies (CNS) will retrieve Special Collection materials during times when the CNS is open and the Archives and Special Collections reading room is closed.

    CNS hours can be found here. Archives and Special Collections reading rooms hours here.


    Winter 2018 Exhibit: Marginalia

    Marginalia in the Herbert Halpert Collection is the focus of our current exhibition, curated by Steve Kiraly (M.A. History, 2017).
    A link to Mr. Kiraly's thesis "Writing in the Margins: An Exploration of the Dr. Herbert Halpert Folklore Collection at Memorial University of Newfoundland" can be found at the end of paragraph three on the following page.


    The Mullock Collection (Basilica Museum, St. John’s)

    The Mullock Collection is the only nineteenth-century book collection in Newfoundland and Labrador that survived in its original setting dating from 1856. Held by the Basilica Museum in St. John’s, the library of Dr. John Thomas Mullock (1807-1869), Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland and then St. John’s, reflects its owner’s wide-ranging learning and multilingual abilities. The Mullock Collection includes some 1300 books in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and other languages, published over four centuries, from the early sixteenth century to Mullock’s death in 1869. Originally intended for public use, the Mullock Collection forms the nucleus of the current Episcopal Library. The attached catalogue contains books that bear Mullock’s ownership mark and are housed respectively at the Basilica Museum and Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II Library.

    A digital copy of the illustrated book of essays on the Mullock Collection, The Finest Room in the Colony. The Library of John Thomas Mullock, eds. Ágnes Juhász-Ormsby and Nancy Earle (St. John’s: Memorial University Libraries, 2016) can be found through the following link:


    Summer 2017 Exhibit: 15 Artists' Books


    New Acquisition: The Legend of Job

    An illuminated manuscript [St. John’s, 2013-2015]

    370 x 290mm. [45] leaves. The written area measures 320 x 180mm, in two columns (except for the introduction and afterword), with lettering and decoration by Boyd Warren Chubbs, in black, brown, gold, blue, red and claret inks, with punctuation in gold. Text and decoration on the recto side only. There are 32 large decorated capitals, 24 smaller decorated capitals, as well as numerous large coloured capitals highlighting various areas of the text. There is a vine and leaf motif, pen flourishes, paraph marks, and rubrication throughout. Head and tail pieces separate the various books. Line numbers are in red. The text is illustrated with 31 watercolours by Gerald Leopold Squires, including 2 full-page illustrations (Fol. 4 &Fol.18). Written on 320lb deckled-edged “Aquarelle Arches” paper, the leather binding is by Dr. Brian Roberts, ‘The Book Doctor.’


    New Exhibit of Eighteenth-Century Works: Queen Elizabeth II Library (3rd floor) February-June, 2017.




    Happy Holidays 2016

    from the Queen Elizabeth II Library!


    Alcuin Book Awards (2015 Winners)

    Please visit the Alcuin Book Awards page for more information.


    NEW Catalogue: A Grand Tour: A Catalogue of Eighteenth-Century Print Works at Memorial University Libraries

    This catalogue highlights forty-seven of the 1,180 eighteenth-century imprints held by Memorial University Libraries.

    Pages from the Past: History of the Written Word

    Pages from the Past: History of the Written Word (No. 10 of fifteen numbered portfolio sets) consists of 157 original leaves and artefacts, including a Babylonian clay tablet, a Babylonian cylinder seal, an Egyptian scarab seal, and several papyrus pieces. There are parchment leaves from medieval manuscripts, and pages from incunables, including a leaf each from the Nuremberg Chronicles (Koberger, 1493) and Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools (Bergmann, 1498). The Collection also contains a wide range of pages from the hand-press period, including a leaf printed by Wynkyn De Worde (1516), a sample from Munster's Cosmographia Universalis (1559), a leaf from Martin Luther's German translation of the Bible (1584), as well as samples of fine calligraphy. There are early printed pages from Ireland, Mexico and the USA, one of the latter being a fragment of a Cotton Mather sermon printed by his sister in Boston in 1685. This leaf book concludes with fragments from some of the best late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century printers, including William Morris and Bruce Rogers.

    For more information, please contact librarian Patrick Warner at the QEII's Archives and Special Collections.


    New Exhibit: Book Formats: 2⁰, 4⁰, 8⁰, 12⁰ and Miniatures

    Now showing in the mail lobby of the Queen Elizabeth II Library, this exhibit highlights book formats from folio to miniatures. The exhibit will be on view for approximately six weeks (posted Sept 13, 2016)


    New Exhibit: P is for Picture Book: Imagination through Illustration. Highlights from the Roger and Marlene Peattie Picture Book Collection.

    Our new exhibit is up! Come visit from May 15 - June 30, 2016, at the Queen Elizabeth II Library (3rd Floor). The exhibit also will run from July 5 - August 15, 2016 at the A.C. Hunter Public Library, Arts & Culture Centre, St. John's. For more information, see the Memorial University Libraries' Spotlight. Also, see our Flickr page for pictures of the exhibit.

    Lisa Fagin Davis's Road Trip: Canadian Edition: Newfoundland


    Memorial University Special Collections manuscripts featured. "Memorial’s collection is uncommon in several respects." More here


    Newfoundland and Labrador Book History Symposium

    Closely related to the 2016 George M. Story lecture, there will be an interdisciplinary symposium on the history of the book in Newfoundland and Labrador on 7-8 May in Arts 1043. It is hosted by the Department of English, the Basilica Museum, and the Newfoundland Historical Society.

    Featuring talks by researchers in English, History, Religious Studies,
    Sociology, and Special Collections, among other areas, the symposium is free
    and open to the public.

    A full program is available as a downloadable PDF.


    Roger and Marlene Peattie Collection

    New Additions

    In 2013, Roger and Marlene Peattie made a second significant donation to Memorial University Libraries, adding approximately 1000 volumes to the existing special collection of Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian-Illustrated books. The 2013 donation also included a collection of picture books (approximately 1250 titles) and a small number of letters and documents by Pre-Raphaelites and their associates. More about the new additions and how to access them can be found here.

    New Catalogue

    The Permeable Barrier: A Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Print Works at Memorial University Libraries.Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland.

    New Acquisitions

    Medieval Fragments. A Teaching Portfolio. Manuscripts in the Age of Print. Meant to Convey Aspects of Manuscript and Print Culture in the Transition from Script to Print, compiled by Dr. Scott Gwara (University of South Carolina).

    The eighteen manuscript fragments in the portfolio highlight some of the ways in which print culture affected the layout and decorative style of manuscripts, as well as some of the ways that manuscripts continued to influence printed books. The portfolio also provides evidence of the continued use of manuscripts and the production of new manuscripts throughout the hand-press period. Selected examples below.

    Archaized fragment. Processional from the Royal Abbey of St. Louis at Poissy. Single folio on vellum, c.a. 1490.

    A script made to look like print. Luxury illuminated Pontifical. Single folio on vellum. Northern France, ca. 1525.

    Printed Book of Hours decorated by hand. Folio printed on vellum and illuminated by Gilles and Germain Hardouyn. Single folio on vellum. Paris, dated 1513.

    Fifteenth century text showing erasures, substitutions, abbreviations, notes & directions (margins), added texts and music (margins); music on paper stubs inserted into the gutter; continually updated for more than 200 years. Complete quire from an Antiphonal. Eight consecutive folios on vellum, foliated 45-60. The Netherlands, ca. 1450.

    Decorated folio from a stenciled Gradual on vellum. Spain, c.a. 1700.

    Miniature from an eighteenth-century Persian Work. Sa’di (Saadi), The Gulistan or Garden of Roses. Single folio on strengthened paper. Persia, ca. 1760.

    Indenture document (mortgage). Single document on vellum. England, dated 25 March 1774: approx. 620 x 800 mm.

    Alcuin Book Design Awards Exhibit

    The Alcuin Society Book Design Awards Exhibit (2013) is now up for your viewing pleasure on the third floor of The Queen Elizabeth II Library. There are a limited number of catalogues available with the exhibit—first come first served. The books will be on display until early December.

    More information about the award winners here.


    Congratulations to Dr. Peattie

    For his contributions to research on book publishing and on Pre-Raphaelite literature and for his continuing contributions to Memorial’s intellectual life, Dr. Roger Peattie will be recognized with an honorary doctor of laws degree during the St. John’s session of convocation on Friday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m.

    Read more about Dr. Peattie here.

    Recent Acquisitions: Fore-Edge Paintings

    1. Cornwall, Barry. English Songs, and Other Small Poems. London: Chapman and Hall, 1851. Pastoral fore-edge painting showing cows, horses, people and lambs.

    2. Moore, Thomas. Poetical Works of Thomas Moore. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1900. English ‘town square’ fore-edge painting depicting town buildings (perhaps Hight Street, Edinburgh) and a number of people, including two unfolding a piece of red fabric.

    3. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Poetical and Dramatic Works of Coleridge. London: C. Daly, 1890. Fore-edge painting: portrait of Coleridge and a ship scene from the “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.”


    Al-Mutanabbi Artists' Books Exhibition

    This summer the Queen Elizabeth II Library is hosting a commemorative exhibition of artists’ books from the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. The exhibition contains approximately forty-five unique or limited-edition works from ten countries. For more information about the Al-Mutanabbi Street Project please visit the organization's website.

    (above) Miriam Schaer, USA. Witness, 2012

    (above) Donna Ruff, USA, Rabii, 2011

    (above) Al-Mutanabbi Street Exhibit, QEII Library. Level 3.


    Recent Acquisitions (2014). Richard Outram and Barbara Howard.

    Twenty-four broadsides created by Richard Outram and Barbara Howard have been added to the Special Collections holdings of the Queen Elizabeth II Library's Special Collections. These works are in addition to the holdings of the Gauntlet Press Collection and the Robert D. Denham Collection.
    Recent Acquisitions (2013): Miniature Books
    1. Koran. Glasgow: David Bryce, c. 1900). (824)pp. 1.0"x 0.75"

    From the collection of Hannah Rabinowitz, with her miniature bookplate to the front paste-down. Printed entirely in Arabic and representing one of the most famous of all David Bryce publications, these Korans were distributed to Muslim Ottoman soldiers fighting for the allies during World War I.
    Printed on thin tissue paper, with minute headers and ornaments throughout. Re-bound in red morocco with gilt decoration to the spine, and in a matching red morocco slipcase.

    2. The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. Glasgow: David Bryce, (1901). 876pp. 2.0"x 1.25"

    Jointly published with Henry Frowde in London. A later edition of the smallest complete bible in the world, first published in 1896, and later under various imprints.

    Bound in the original limp black leather, with elaborate gilt-stamping to front panel and spine. Housed in the original metal case with a red cloth inlay to the cover that holds a magnifier.

    Contains full-page illustrations of biblical scenes.

    3. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Glasgow: David Bryce, (1904). 509pp. 2.0"x 1.25." With the additional imprint of Frederick A. Stokes of New York. One of a set of Shakespeare's complete works issued by David Bryce and dedicated to British stage actress Ellen Terry. Bryce published a number of literary sets dedicated to Terry, and according to Bondy, these volumes are "Bryce's greatest achievement as a leading promoter of miniature books." With the seldom-seen original printed dust wrapper.

    As Bondy notes, the type is clear and readable to the naked eye. Illustrated with a frontispiece engraving depicting a scene from the play.

    4. The Life of General Tom Thumb. Troy, NY, Merriam, Moore & Co., (c. 1850). 64 pp. 2.0" x 1.5". From The Tiny Library series.

    Illustrated with a black & white frontispiece. A biography of Charles Stratton, known as General Tom Thumb, intended for children. Stratton was the smallest man in the world at the time, and became a celebrity while touring the world with P. T. Barnum and performing at Barnum's American Museum in New York City. The biography is followed by rhymes and a short moral tale. Contemporary owners' inscriptions to front endpaper and paste-down.

    5. Burns, Robert. Saturday Night and Other Poems. Edinburgh, Andersons, (c. 1925). x, 372pp. 2.0" x 1.5"

    Illustrated with a black & white frontispiece depicting the Cottar returning home from his day's toil. A collection of Robert Burns's poems, focused on the experiences of the common people, bound in red, blue, and green silk tartan. With gilt leather lettering piece on the spine.

    6. Auslander, Joseph. [St. Onge, Achille J.] Five American Immortals. Worcester, 1940. 3.0" x 2.0"

    One of 475 copies printed by D. B. Updike at the Merrymount Press. Illustrated with original uncancelled postage stamps featuring portraits of the five poets under consideration in Auslander's text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, James Whitcomb Riley, Walt Whitman, and John Greenleaf Whittier. The stamps were issued as part of the Famous American Series of Postage Stamps. This is the third book produced by St. Onge and is one of only two titles published in an edition numbering under 500 copies.


    Alcuin Society Book Design Awards 2012

    The Alcuin Society's 2012 Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada have been handed out and a selection of the winning titles will be on display in the main lobby of the Queen Elizabeth II Library from Nov 13-Dec 13, 2013. More information about this year's winners can be found on the Alcuin Society website.

    Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II Library’s First Space Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit of printers’ marks from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The marks have been selected from the holdings of Archives and Special Collections. A link to an online version of the exhibit may be found here. The exhibit runs until December, 2013.


    Three display cases containing thirteen books and broadsides from the outstanding Locks’ Press (Kingston, Ontario) are on display this spring in the main lobby of the Queen Elizabeth II Library. The pieces on display are: Fame‘s Trumpet: Twenty Rhymes; Know Thyself; Poem about Nothing; Alison; Autolycus’s Song; Hymn to Hephaistos; Deor’s Lament; The Legend of St. Laura; Farewell Ungrateful Traytor; Winter; “We work in the dark…”; Svmer is Icumun In; and Ulisses and the Syren.


    New Catalogue

    Medieval Manuscripts & Early Print Works at Memorial University highlights twenty-six manuscripts and print works from the holdings of Archives & Special Collections and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

    Recent Acquisitions

    1. Wither, George. A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne. Quickened With Metricall Illustrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. London: Augustine Mathewes/Henry Taunton, 1635-34.

    Frontispiece (above). The work contains 200 fine circular engraved emblems by Crispin de Passe the Elder that were first published in Gabriel Rollenhagen's Nucelus Emblematum Selectissimorum, Cologne, [1611] (see below for example).

    “Wither divides the 200 plates into four parts, each of which is accompanied by a "Lotterie" of 56 verses referring to the various plates. These, when combined with the two woodcuts on the last leaf form a fortune or character-telling game of chance. By spinning the two pointers the player is directed to one of the four books and then to one of the 56 chances which in turn relate to the 50 plates, numbers 51-56 being blanks. Some of the chances are labelled "M" or "W" and relate exclusively to men or women; if you land on the wrong one for your sex then you take the next chance: ‘This Game occasions not the frequent crime, Of Swearing, or mispending our our Time; Nor losse of money: For the Play is short, And, ev'ry Gamester winneth by the sport. Wee, therefore, know it may as well become The Hall, the Parlor, or the Dining-roome, As Chesse, or Tables; and, we thinke the Price Will be as low; because it needs no Dice.’” The above text is from the dealer's description. See below the "two pointers."


    2. Fortunetelling. Warsager Kunst. [Frankfurt]: [Christian Egenolff], 1541. [36] pp.

    Title woodcut from Fortunetelling (above). The pamphlet also contains 48 smaller woodcuts (sample pages below).


    3. Luther, Martin. Ain Trewe Ermanung Zu allen Christen Sich zu verhuten vor Auffrur unnd Emberung. [Augsburg: Melchior Ramminger, 1522]. 20 pp


    4. Greiffenberger, Hans. Ein christenliche Antwordt denen, die da sprechen das Evangelio[n] hab sein krafft vo[n] der Kirchen verlegt mit götlicher Geschrift auff das kürtzist zu trost den Christen inn Christo. Hanns Greyffenberger. [Bamberg: Georg Erlinger, 1524]. [8] pp.

    5. Exquemelin, Alexandre Olivier. The History of the Bucaniers of America; from the first original down to this time; written in several languages; and now collected into one volume.: I. The exploits and adventures of LeGrand, Lolonois, Roche Brasiliano, Bat the Portuguese, Sir Henry Morgan, &c. Written in Dutch by Jo. Esquemeling, one of the bucaniers, and thence translated into Spanish -- II. The dangerous voyage and bold attempts of Capt. Barth. Sharp, Watlin, Sawkins, Coxon and others in the South sea / written by Basil Ringrose and examin'd with the original journey -- III. A journal of a voyage into the South sea by the freebooters of America from 1684 to 1689 / written in French by the sieur Raveneau de Lussan, never before in English -- IV. A relation of a voyage of the Sieur de Montaubon, capt. of the freebooters in Guinea in the year 1695, &c. The third edition. London: Newborough, J. Nicholson & B. Tocke, 1704.

    One of seven folding engraved maps:

    6. Cerati, Antonio, Count. Le ville Lucchesi con altri opuscoli in versi ed in prosa di Filandro Cretense, Pastor Arcade (pseud.). Parma: Dalla Stamperia Reale [Bodoni], 1783. Printed within ornamental type border throughout; fine, thick paper, uncut and partly unopened.


    7. Swammerdam, Jan. Miraculum naturae sive uteri muliebris fabrica. notis in D. Joh. van Horne prodromum illustrata, & tabulis, ... Adjecta est nova methodus, civitates corporis ita praeparandi, ut suam semper genuinam faciem servent. Ad illustriss. Regiam Societatem Londinensem. Leiden: Apud Cornelius Boutesteyn, 1679 (1672).

    First edition, reissue of the 1672 gatherings with new title page. The image below is one of three large folding engraved plates of female reproductive organs.