I received my copy of the newsletter from Nebraska Center for The Book last week and saw a column post from a nice gentleman in Omaha who was offering his two volume set of The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971 edition) for free to anyone who wanted to come pick it up. There was a picture like the above and my eyes were instantly drawn to the special style slip case. No bother at all from me that this set would not include any of the recently introduced English language words such as twerking, blu-ray, e-cigarettes, and most likely even the internet. If this was being offered up for free and I wanted it!
So I instantly emailed the man before I took off for lunch and shortly after I got back, he replied: “The OED set is yours! Come pick up on Wednesday.” I was elated!
My whole motivation was to study the slip case production and see if I could replicate it some how. Stay tuned for more on my slip-case, clamshells, and fancy box examples. Most any time I am not working in the studio on paying work from a client, I am tinkering with fancy box production techniques. These things just truly fascinate me!
This 2 volume edition weighs in at 23.4 lbs with the slip-case. It wasn’t until I got back home to Lincoln that we studied the book more closely and discovered just how small the copy inside the books were! There was no way you can read this book without that magnifying glass. The point size must be about 4 point or less. Holy Cow!
Anyway, Oliver (the man I got the set from) explained to me that sets of the Oxford English Dictionary like this sold for about $50 on e-bay. This one’s not going to be sold. We have it installed right up on our book case next to the fireplace in our living room and it will probably be pulled out as our official source next time the family all gets together for a contentious game of Scrabble.
Oliver and his wife are moving out of state later this year and have a fabulous book collection that they are also looking at down sizing before they make their move. It’s over 6600 copies with a wide range of academia, law, printing and book binding, rare editions, first editions, high end artbooks, an entire collection of cookbooks and more. If any of you book enthusiasts are in the market to make a purchase from a private collection, email me at info at designbindery dot com, and I will get you in touch with the collector. I know I will be going back to pick up as many of the books on bookbinding as I can possibly afford.