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Virtual Exhibits of Rare Books

Rare Books Online

Among our many passions, when it comes to libraries, is the appreciation of rare books and imprints. A book becomes “rare” based upon its scarcity; there may be very few (or perhaps one of its kind). Many first editions can join this category. We also commonly think of such aspects as antiquarian interest, physical condition, aesthetic value. A book can surely be regarded as a work of art! The Portland Room book in this picture (at right) is an imprint of Portland’s legendary Mosher Press,  which was located on Exchange Street. This particular book includes an introduction by author Rufus M. Jones, of China Lake, Maine. The Press’ printing and bookbinding work was done between the 1890s and the early 1920s. As with many rare book genres, the Mosher Press has been a subject of study in itself for decades.

For your viewing enjoyment, here are some major library collections of digitized rare books and prints:

Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
https://www.themorgan.org/online-exhibitions

Boston Athenaeum, Boston
https://cdm.bostonathenaeum.org/digital/

Columbia University Libraries, New York
https://library.columbia.edu/collections/digital-collections.html

University of California Berkeley – Bancroft Library
https://www.lib.berkeley.edu/libraries/bancroft-library/online-exhibits

Newberry Library, Chicago
https://www.newberry.org/digital-newberry

Bodeian Library, Oxford
https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/events-exhibitions/past-exhibitions-online

Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven
https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital-collection/digital-exhibitions

Smithsonian Libraries, Washington, D.C.
https://library.si.edu/exhibitions/online