Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treasure Finding

Our Bible College Library got a donation of over 1000 books from a Christian Conference Center in our city that was formerly an Irish Presbyterian Mission until the 1980s when all the foreign missionaries got kicked out of India.

The original library has just been sitting there full of valuable English books for decades until we kept after them to give them to us - and last week, they did.
Here are some of the treasures I've already found while going through and cataloguing the books:
Georgette Heyer! I adore reading Georgette Heyer (hey, I never said all the books were theological...). Powder and Patch, Sprig Muslin and Envious Casca (Not Regency, but one of her mysteries, which I've never read. Obviously, a previously resident of the Mission was a fan.

Today I came across a volume of Little Women (L. M. Alcott) that was awarded as a gift to a girl for academics. The inscription reads: "Easter Examinations 1898." Uh huh. Treasure trove for a person like me.

I also found two Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Ah, many a happy Saturday afternoon was spent by me watching Tarzan movies. The first Tarzan book I came across was called something like "Tarzan Finds a Wife." But I can't for the life of me find anything about it on the Internet*. Sadly, it was only half a book and had to be discarded. Otherwise I totally would be reading that instead of blogging. Today I found, Tarzan the Invincible. (see above)
Finally, I was happy to find some cookbooks, etc. and this is my most spectacular find to date: Baker and Cook, A Domestic Manual for India by Mrs. R. Temple-Wright. Published in 1912 in Calcutta. Baker and Cook - is that me, or what?
From the preface to the First Edition: "I have only tried to help people make their own bread in out-stations where good bread is not obtainable, and to assist housewives by making the task of ordering dinner as little irksome as possible. I hope these notes will enable hostesses to make the best use of the cheaper, and far more wholesome fresh food obtainable in the country, without having to fall back on the more expensive European tinned provisions."
Mrs. Temple-Wright seems mostly interested in teaching her readers how to make Yeast. And, hey, housewives are supposed to order dinner???
Her writing style is utterly delightful and practical - it deserves it's own post.
Thanks, members of the IP Mission for leaving us all these books.
You wouldn't believe it from this post but the majority of the books are Bible College appropriate.
*I'm going to have to go through the boxes of non-appropriate or damaged books to find that Tarzan Finds a Wife one now... The Internet has failed me.


Matt Mikalatos said...

I wonder if you found some sort of novelization of "Tarzan and his mate" which was a movie rather than book?

Awesome finds, by the way!

Krista said...

You might want to have a special collections section for old books- I bet some of them are valuable. I'm doing a paper on the women of India in the 19th century. I wish I could look at your books!

Rebecca O said...

Good thought on the Tarzan book, still gonna check it out.

Another good idea on the Special Collections section. Sadly, i fear most of our students are not big readers to begin with. Probably the only hands touching these books are mine.