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Old 04-24-2017, 12:04 AM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 304
What is the oldest book you own?

I have around 100 old books, of which I am quite proud, and which are on my mind at the moment as I start thinking about updating my will and also whether I should get them insured.

My great, great-aunt, born 1886-died 1954 (15 years before I was born), was an avid collector of old books. When she died, my great-grandfather got her collection. He died in 1981, and gave them to my grandfather. He gave the books to me in around 1994.

The oldest of these books is from 1823. It is a beautiful book, with gilt edges and much type embellishments, and an inscription. The thing was a reward for passing a classics exam in 1825 in England (when I get home tonight I'll provide more details). I tried to Google the names a few years ago to work out if these people were relatives. But it turns out that my great great aunt just liked the book when she saw it, way back when, and bought it.

I have some scripture books which my great great aunt bought as Christmas gifts for my great great grandmother. They all have the same inscription - "To Eliz. Merry Xmas Nellie" and the date. They are not as old - dating back to the 1910s - but are very small windows into the lives of people that my grandparents knew.

The older books though.... like architecture, it seems the harder these things are to construct, the more evident the craftsmanship. Some of these are beautiful, with marbled covers.

Does anyone else have any really old books? Do they have a history?