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A Cumulative Supplement to Melville’s Reuding (1 988) STEVEN OLSEN-SMITH Boise State University AND MERTON M. SEALTS,JR. Late of the University of Wisconsin-Madison ince the publication of Merton M. Sealts,Jr.S Melville$ Reading: Revised and Enlarged Edition (1988),the ongoing recovery of Herman Melville’s Slibrary has prompted four separate supplementary updates to the project ’s “Check-List of Books Owned and Borrowed.”l The first three notes, authored by Sealts, together announced the emergence of nine items formerly owned by Melville and/or members of his immediate family, and devoted an additional three new entries to books borrowed by Melville. Sealts also announced new locations of volumes already known to survive, and he clarified edition information in existing entries for both lost and extant volumes.2 The fourth supplementary note, written by Steven Olsen-Smith in collaboration with Dennis C. Marnon, announced their discovery at the Brooklyn Public Library of Melville’s copy of Thomas Warton’s The History of English Poetry, now housed at Houghton Library.3 The present cumulative supplement combines these updates and adds twenty-one new entries to the Check-List: seventeen devoted to books and documents related to Herman Melville’sreading ; one to a book given by Melville to his wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville; and three to books inscribed by Melville’sfather, Allan Melvill, Sr. In listing books owned by Melville, this supplement preserves Sealts’s distinctions among books that have apparently not survived, books that have survived, and (as a subcategory of surviving titles) books that are unlocated. The category of books assumed not to survive includes any unrecovered book for which Melville’s ownership has been established through external docuMerton M. Sealts,Jr., Melville’s Reading: Revised and Enlarged Edition (Columbia, SC: University Merton M. Sealts, Jr., “A Supplementary Note to Melville’s Reading (1988),” Melville Society Extracts 80 (February 1990): 5-10; “A Second Supplementary Note to Melville’sReading (19881,’’ Melville Society Extracts 100 (March 1995):2-3; “AThird Supplementary Note to Melville’sReading (1988),” Melville Society Extracts 112 (March 1998): 12-14. Readers should consult Sealts’s 1990 “Supplementary Note” for his corrections to the opening critical discussion of Melville’s Reading (“Part 1”)and his changes to the “works cited section and appendices. 3 Steven Olsen-Smith, “A Fourth Supplementary Note to Melville’s Reading (1988),” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 2.1 (March 2000): 105-11. of South Carolina Press, 19881, 141-233. A J O U R N A L O F M E L V I L L ES T U D I E S 5 5 O L S E N - S M I T H A N D S E A L T S , J R mentation, such as a report of his having purchased the book in the accounts of his publishers or in his own letters and journals. The category of surviving volumes consists primarily of books bearing his autograph and/or marginalia which are currently housed at institutions or within the private collections of individuals who have permitted the compilers to examine and list these “located ”books. Not all books known to survive are located, however, such as autographed volumes examined by scholars in the 1920s and 1930s but which are presently unaccounted for. (See,for instance, Check-List Nos. 156and 495a in Sealts, Melville’sReading [19881, 168, 218.) Such “unlocated” items continue to resurface, as do books previously assumed not to survive, as well as books owned by Melville for which no external record existed prior to their discovery. When Sealtsbegan the Check-List as a serialized publication in 1948, evidence indicated 210 books personally owned by Melville were known to survive (many of them multi-volumeworks), with 191located (Sealts,Melville’s Reading [19881,13).4By 1966,when Melville’sReading was first published as a book, 247 surviving books were documented, with 219 located.5 The 1988 edition itself increased these totals to 271 books surviving, with 238 located.6 Taking into account the present 2004 cumulativesupplement, the numbers now stand at 285 survivingbooks, with 255 located. Whereas the number of books recovered by decade has understandablydiminished since the early phasesof Sealts’swork, the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1750-1849
Print ISSN
1525-6995
Pages
pp. 55-77
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-29
Open Access
No
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