It’s been an exciting week here at RBSC! We’ve been celebrating the arrival of a new book to our collection: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, published by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press in 1896. The book, more colloquially known as the “Kelmscott Chaucer,” is one of only 438 copies printed and one of only 48 copies with a stunning binding created by the Doves Bindery and designed by Morris. This Kelmscott Press masterwork was described by the poet William Butler Yeats as the “most beautiful of all printed books.”
The Vancouver Sun, the CBC, and others have shared our excitement about the Kelmscott Chaucer this week. You can read and hear coverage about the acquisition here:
- “UBC Library acquires copy of ‘The Most Beautiful of All Printed Books’ – The Kelmscott Chaucer,” CKNW AM 980 – The Simi Sara Show, August 24, 2016. (starts at 05:17)
- “Sense of Place with Minelle Mahtani,” Roundhouse Radio, August 24, 2016.
- “UBC proud owner of $202,000 US rare book from 1896,” Vancouver Sun, August 24, 2016.
- “UBC acquires rare hand-printed Victorian Chaucer volume,” CBC British Columbia, August 24, 2016.
- “Ex-felon voting, bear conservation officer, Kelmscott Chaucer (Part 1),” CBC As It Happens, August 23, 2016. (starts at 17:00)
You can find some amazing photos here, but if you’d like to see the Kelmscott Chaucer in person (and who wouldn’t?!), drop in to our weekly tour / open house. The open house highlights materials from our diverse collections and includes a tour of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition space. The tour / open house runs every Wednesday from 11 a.m.-12 p.m., no appointment necessary. We looking forward to seeing you there!