By: Ashley Bond, SLIS graduate student
Cool@Hoole thought it’d be fun to feature our staff’s favorites from among our collections. After all, closed stacks collections mean that users rely on us to know our materials in and out so that we can share the best resources for their classes or research. Along the way, we’ve not only become experts on our holdings, but also found items that we are particularly drawn to ourselves.
So, just as bookstores have “staff favorites” or “staff recommendation” shelves, we’ll have occasional blog posts showing our best picks from Hoole.
Graduate Assistant Ashley Bond’s favorite piece from the collection is Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (Rare Books PR4034 .M3 1859).
Even though it’s often considered Jane Austen’s most controversial work and sometimes even a least favorite among “Janeites,” I think Hoole’s copy of Mansfield Park from 1859 (first published in 1814) is a must-see for anyone who enjoys her work. It lives in the stacks next to all the other greats: everything from Charles Dickens to Lord Byron. What makes it so special is that, to my knowledge, it’s currently the only Austen novel in our Rare Books Collection.
The spine and back cover are missing due to wear and age and has a plain, protective second binding over the original. Because of this, unless you knew it was there, you would likely walk right past it on the shelf. This makes it a sort of hidden gem of the collection, which I love!