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Bookplate of the Goertz family,  17th-18th cent.
Bookplate of the Goertz family, 17th-18th cent.

  • Bibliographical citations for book in hand.
    Virtually all titles have such ms. notes.

    Location designator: Goertz

    The collection consists of part of the library of Goertz, an old German noble family. About 3800 volumes, half of which has been separately classed and arranged, while the other half has been distributed in various other classifications throughout the Library. All are catalogued in the public catalogue. As well, all are listed on pp. 3461-3512 of the Princeton University Library Classed List Vol. 6 (Special Collections) of 1920. [(ExB) 0639.7373.5 vol. 6]. [full text] Warning: The 1920 list does not always give current call numbers for the Goertz books, because sometime between 1920 and 1970 the collection was reclassified and recatalogued. At that time many Goertz books were given Richardson call numbers and moved to the open stacks.

    Purchased 1907-08 by the Librarian, Ernest Cushing Richardson, for $1000. Original collection consisted of about 12,000 volumes, the rest of which are now mostly in the Preußischen Staatsbibliothek Berlin. Nearly all Princeton copies are bound in vellum labeled or stamped uniformly, with armorial book plates on the front pastedown. Bindings seem to be 18th century. The books were published in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. They divide into the following categories: 10% - 16th century; 70% - 17th century; 20% - 18th century. Only 15 titles of the 3,800 are published later than 1750.

    Best represented categories are biography, history, geography, bibliography, and humanistic rhetoric. Mostly Latin, German, Italian, and French. Few in English.

    Richardson says in his 1908 Annual Report: "The [Goertz] collection consists of about 3800 or (if separate works bound in the same volume are counted) 4,000 volumes printed in the 16, 17, 18th centuries, in admirable condition. They represent that part of an excellent library, collected in the 18th century, which was not wanted by the Berlin Royal Library simply because it already had the books. They represent, therefore, books which had already been deemed worth adquiring (sic) for the Berlin Library and presumably thus form on the whole the more immediately useful, if less rare portion of the library. We paid less that $750 from them on the spot or perhaps .18 a volume. The bulk was so disproportionate to price however that they had cost over $1,000 when laid down here, although the expenses of packing and transportation were reduced to the lowest terms."

    For particulars refer to: James H. Hanford, "The Goertz Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 1 (Autumn, 1955) pp. 40-45 [full text] . Also see special file of Goertz correspondence in Collections File.

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