Just a quick post this time looking at a book with a slight connection to departmental teaching: The workes of Geffrey Chaucer.
The Whipple’s copy is not a complete version and where other copies start with a title page and prologue, the copy we have starts with the Romaunt of the Rose. The catalogue record provides details of the pagination and states that it may be a “copy of either of 2 issues, STC (2nd ed.) 5075, 5076”. These numbers refer to records in Pollard & Redgrave Short-title Catalogue. We can trace the cataloguing history of this book as there is a copy of the old catalogue record (from before the time of Newton and LibrarySearch) which a previous member of staff has annotated. They have spent a lot of time matching the book to the other versions including checking the foliation against copies on EEBO.
Our incomplete version is interesting for me because of the doodling inside (I’m not encouraging this behaviour). There are a few signatures, one page looks like it was used for handwriting practice and another has a drawing of a person on it. This shows that books are more than just something to read.