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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bright Young Collectors: Edwin D. Rose | Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Photo: Nate Pedersen
Our Bright Young Collectors series continues today with Edwin D. Rose of Cambridge, England, who collects natural history and natural philosophy, summarizes Nate Pedersen, librarian, historian, and writer in Oregon.

Photo: Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Where are you from / where do you live?
I am originally from Cardiff (Wales) and now live in Cambridge, UK.

What do you study at University?
I am currently a PhD student in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Cambridge. My research is on the relationship between natural history collections and libraries during the period between c.1740 and 1830. Before this, I completed an MPhil. in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, with a thesis looking at the botanical collections of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), part of which has recently been published in The Journal of the History of Collections.

Please introduce us to your book collection.  What areas do you collect in?
I collect natural history and natural philosophy books (a field which became known as ‘science’ by the late nineteenth century) which date from the late seventeenth century to the third quarter of the nineteenth century, although the majority of these date from the period between 1750 and 1820. My main interests are in natural history, in particular those books which relate to my research. A central line of my collecting relates to the provenance and the subject of a book, not necessarily its state of preservation or completeness. I have a particular interest in working copies of books owned by important natural historians and natural philosophers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many of my books have distinct signs of being heavily used by former owners, resulting in many of them being in a fairly poor level of condition, especially as many of these are still held in their original publishers’ bindings.

How many books are in your collection?
I currently have 116 books in my collection.

What was the first book you bought for your collection?
 
Photo: Fine Books & Collections Magazine
The first book I purchased was the fifth and sixth volumes from a six volume set, R. Brookes, A New and Accurate System of Natural History (London, J. Newbery, 1763). These classify both fossils and plants and reflect the relative controversies the Linnaean system of naming and classifying nature awoke in Britain during the 1760s. These books contain a number of copper plates, including one which names a fossilised bone ‘Scrotum Humanum’, as a joke to mock Linnaean binomial naming practices.  
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Source: Fine Books & Collections Magazine (blog)


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