One of my colleagues was excitedly telling me about a delivery she was waiting on, a limited edition re-creation of the first ever Melways Street Directory (Melbourne). Melways, which is a Melbourne institution was first published in 1976 and my colleague is a local history buff, so this is pure gold to her. (and I admit that I am also curious and can’t wait to get a look-see).
Which got me thinking about what other sorts of publications could generate that sort of excitement for a librarian.
I visited the USA in 2007 on a study tour and one of my stops was OCLC’s Head Office in Columbus, Ohio. There I saw an early edition (I think it was 2nd) of the Dewey Decimal System which had Dewey’s handwritten notes in the margin – making the foundation for the next edition. What was even more amazing was that is was only around 20cm H x 10cm wide and about 2cm thick! (Imperial 8 inches W by 4 inches H by 1 inch thick).
Which got me wondering if there are any other “Holy Grails of Librarianship” out there, and if so, what and where are they? What would you be sure to go and see if you happened to be in the area?