As you’ve seen from some of my previous posts, books can turn up in odd places, even within the confines of a museum, shop, or library. Greenock’s Watt Library in Scotland has recently made quite a discovery within their own walls. Neil Dickson, an archivist, was working his way through the museum’s holdings when he came across an old cupboard, which was obscured by a chest and appeared to have been shut for the last thirty years. Dickson was amazed to see the untouched cupboard and he was dumbfounded when he carefully opened it and saw the books it contained. “I was absolutely stunned when I realized what was inside. I have never seen such a collection of books in one place and certainly not under these circumstances,” Dickson said.
The treasure trove contained a 1538 edition of letters written by Marcus Cicero; an 1827 edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost (one of only 50 copies) that includes illustrations designed and engraved by the artist John Martin; a 19th century Hamner edition of Shakespeare’s plays; and a number of 17th and 18th century volumes on surgery, witchcraft, and exploration. The books were put on display for the public this past weekend and future showings are possible.
Rare books found at museum [Greenock Telegraph]