The accessions at US-icu in 1892.

This series of thoughts has been puzzling out John Lowthorp’s abridgment of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London at he University of Chicago Library Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center. We last noted that the series of works had similar bindings and we had already noted some sequential numbers.

Dr Rebecca Flore recognized these as accession numbers from the library accession records and sent the picture above. (source: University of Chicago. Library. Office of the Director. Zella Allen Dixson. Records, Volume 10, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library) In it you can see the source of the numbers: these are accession numbers that were assigned in sequential order on 2 November 1892. In the left most column, you can see the sequential numbers. The first volume has ‘99931,’ the next ‘99932,’ and so forth. If you look further down the list, the volume from 1836 ought to have the number ‘99956.’ Indeed, it does on the upper center of the first recto, right hand, page after the title page.

Volume 126

While the volume has been rebound in library buckram, it has the same hair vein marbled edges as the others do.

Edges of volume 126

Even better, it still has the check-out card in the back, which explains the brown pocket on the preceding volumes and explains the stamped number as well. It is another inventory number used at the same time as the written one. Both the first record and the card have the same color stamped number ‘217481.’

Check-out cards of volume 126

We can now establish a little history of these volumes: in 1892 the abridgment volumes were put on the shelf just before the later nineteenth century volumes. As the university was new at this point, these abridgments must have been meant to cover the first years of the Philosophical Transactions. As time went on, the volumes were reclassified and got an additional set of numbers and—eventually—some of them stayed in the general collections whereas some were stored in the rare book collection. To summarize,

John Lowthorp, 1665-1700 Henry Jones, 1700-1720 J. Eames and J. Martyn, 1719–1733 Unabridged, 1803–6, 1811, 1818–20, 1824–26, 1826, 1827–35 Unabridged, 1836
Printed London, 1705, Printed London, 1721, Printed London, 1743, Printed London, 1836,
as volumes 1–3: as volumes 4–5: as volumes 6–7: as volume 126:
Q41.L74 v.1 Q41.L74 v.5 Q41.L74 v.6–7 Q41.L72 v.126
Accession number: 99931 99932 99933–4 99935–99955 99956
Old Dewey number: 062.R81 v.1 062.R81 v.5 062.R81 v.6–7 062.R81 1803–35 062.R81 1836
19c German, half morocco grained institutional sheep (repaired) 19c German, half morocco grained institutional sheep 19c German, half morocco grained institutional sheep (v.6); modern buckram (v.7) modern buckram
hair vein marbled edges hair vein marbled edges hair vein marbled edges (both vols.) hair vein marbled edges

The remaining mystery is how these volumes could have been both German-made and for the University of Chicago. The evidence that cinches it is in the accessions above, “Calvary purchase.”