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Catalogue of the Ferguson Collection of Books, Mainly Relating to Alchemy... (New)
by University of Glasgo
Publisher: Martino Publishing
Book ID: 9781578983445, 1578983444
Please inquire for availability
Ferguson, John 1837-1916. A CATALOGUE OF THE FERGUSON COLLECTION OF BOOKS MAINLY RELATING TO ALCHEMY, CHEMISTRY, WITCHCRAFT AND GIPSIES, IN THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW. ----ONLY 40 COPIES OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION EVER PRINTED----
Cloth. Oversized Octavo. Two Volumes. pp.xv.384 + [ii].385-820. Glasgow: R. Maclehose, 1943
John Ferguson (1837-1916), who was Regius Professor of Chemistry at Glasgow University, is well known among scholars for his bibliographic survey of alchemical books the Bibliotheca Chemica published in 1906. This was, in fact, a catalogue of the alchemical collection of James Young (1811-1883), a self-made Scottish entrepreneur who amassed a considerable fortune developing the paraffin industry.
In the minds of many scholars the Young Collection is so linked with John Ferguson, that they are unaware that Ferguson's own collection of alchemical books and manuscripts far outweighs the Young Collection in size and scope. Ferguson's collection of some 7500 books (about 2500 of which are on alchemy) and 338 manuscripts now in the Special Collections department of Glasgow University Library, is among the finest collections of alchemical materials available at present. The full extent of its holdings is not appreciated by many scholars because they do not have access to the catalogue.
Due to a strange quirk of history, the 2-volume (800 page) comprehensive catalogue of the printed books was published during the Second World War (in 1943), and due to the rationing of paper only 40 copies were printed. None of these were for sale, but they were presented to various major libraries throughout the world. Because no copies seem to have passed into private hands, the Ferguson catalogue must be one of the rarest of 20th century printed books.
The printed catalogue is complete only to 1943, the date of its publication. Glasgow University continues to add to this collection. In all nearly 6000 printed items are described in the printed catalogue. Co-published with Krown & Spellman, Booksellers and printed by Arrangement with Glasgow University Library. Besterman 277.
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