Thursday, May 31, 2012


[caption id="attachment_828" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] By Veijo Vilva,[/caption]

Bibliomania - excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books. (

No this is not another word for librarian. We like to collect and share information in all its forms. Bibliomania according to the revered Wikipedia "is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment being frequent symptoms." This doesn't mean a bibliomaniac couldn't en-mass a significant collection of valuable books.  In fact I am going to disagree with Wikipedia and say they can be genuine collectors.  This was true in at least one case of Bibliomania.

Sir. Thomas Phillipps who was born in 1792 in Manchester, England, was a known bibliomaniac before the term was coined (he actually called him self a velo-maniac because of his love of velum). During his lifetime he acquired over 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts. Causing him to live at the edge of bankruptcy despite a sizable inheritance. His collection was so large it took over a hundred years to fully disperse it after his death. His collection is noted as having helped preserve the writings from the monastic libraries after the French Revolution. The dispersal of these libraries, and the low cost of velum, are noted as the reason for his success as a collector. To find out more about Thomas Phillipps you can read the rest of his article from Wikipedia, which I have highlighted here, or find a more reputable resource from

Check back next Thursday to learn a little about Bibliophagy, the compulsive eating of books.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To Faculty and Staff

I hope everyone is having a good summer.  Now that May Term is over, and the students gone, I would like to focus my Thursday blog posts on faculty and staff interests.  So, what would you the faculty and staff of Coe College like to know about the library, Coe's history, information or...well anything (though I can't guarantee I will be able to answer 'anything' with any reliability).

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Thursday, May 17, 2012