Getting Started

I began collecting old books in 2015 when I found nine volumes of the children’s encyclopedia The Book of Knowledge in the basement of a local art school. As the books were not being used by the school the administration let me take them home. These books were from the art school’s past as an elementary school and were the Canadian 1921 edition.  This summer a woman was selling volumes of the american 1926 edition of The Book of Knowledge at local fairs. I now have 18 volumes in total.

Along with the books of knowledge I am focusing on a book of science for children from the late fifties, three girl guiding books with information on badges, songs, and dressing battle wounds, and ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’ a book holding everything you need to know about life (provided you are an upper class Londoner in 1894).

In order to start reading these books I wanted to organize the contents, so that if I chose a specific topic to look into I would not have to flip through 23 books to find all mention of it. The encyclopedias are not organized alphabetically but by sections seemingly at random. My solution was to write out a detailed table of contents grouping topics together, which was a lot of work although I quite enjoyed doing it.

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Now that jumping between books is much easier I will begin reading.




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