Treasures from the Library: A Collection of Poems by many hands

As mentioned previously, April is National Poetry Month, so I’ve tried to find a few poetry volumes in the collection for our Thursdays. First up is a book that actually hasn’t been processed into the collection yet!

I was finishing up on Saturday afternoon when I realized I hadn’t set aside a book of poetry for this very post. Not having an abundance of time, I went to my office to see if there was anything of interesting hiding on the shelves among the books awaiting catalog. I found this particular work tucked gently on top of a row of books, I imagine because its incredibly fragile. For those worried about the current disposition of the book, it is safely isolated to help preserve it as best we can.

The poor thing has seen better days, to be sure. The cover is long gone, having not made its way to us, and the spine is pretty much gone as well. I was hesitant to touch it too much, so I’ve only got the one snapshot:

IMG_20160409_124009638.jpg

Take a moment to read that publication date (go ahead, I’ll wait). 1775! People, that book is older than this country. Given that New Hampshire was the first colony to establish a government separate from the Crown, it predates this state as an autonomous governing unit. It does not predate the town of Merrimack, however (Merrimack being incorporated in 1746).

Sadly this is the only volume of the 6 that we have. It was originally published in 1748 by Robert Dodsley. You’ll notice the copy we have is credited to J. Dodsley; that would be his brother James, who took over the publishing house after Robert’s death and published this particular reissue.

As to the poetry inside? Check out Archive.org for all 6 volumes.

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