Exhibition: Inside a family’s private library: old and rare books from the Estate of Luce VanderNoot = Regarde intime sur une bibliothèque de famille: le legs de Luce VanderNoot.
Right between the World Wars in Gent, Belgium, two families cherished books so much that they found a way to barter certain basic goods, in order to develop a collection of old and rare editions.
This collection now resides in Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill University Library. A recent donation from the private family library of Kathleen Vandernoot, a long-time former staff member of the McGill University Library, enabled us to take in these precious volumes, from the Estate of Luce VanderNoot, Mother to Kathleen.
Donations are a key means for collection-building in established subject areas. In this case, historic Bibles and French-language imprints from the Enlightenment Era fill in so many gaps. At the heart of the collection is a spectacular and imposing family Bible from the 16th century, published in Geneva by François Perrin. The Bible is illustrated throughout with woodcuts and beautifully bound in calf-leather with ornate gilt corner pieces and central diamond-shaped ornament in gilt on the front cover. It sits alongside the Sainte Bible from the late19th century in two volumes, illustrated with plates of drawings by Gustave Doré, bound in red cloth with gilt decorated boards and gilt lettering. Over 300 books overall include topics on History, Religion and Literature, not least of all, reflexions from Voltaire and Rousseau.
The exhibition is accessible during the opening hours of the ROAAr Reading Room See details here: https://www.mcgill.ca/library/branches/roaar/roaar-reading-room
About the curators
Curated by Ann Marie Holland, curator and liaison librarian in Rare books and Special Collections.
Thank you to our rare book cataloguers in Collections Services for their collaboration; along with Christopher Lyons (Assistant Dean, ROAAr).