New York Collectors Club Library’s First Online Treasure

Bruce Marsden, APRL Board Member and Librarian for the New York Collectors Club Library, reports the posting to the Collectors Club’s website of the first scanned copy of a rare, out-of-print, publication from its collection. The library has posted the 1842 first edition of Messr. Waghorn & Co.’s Overland Guide to India by Four Routes to Egypt [pdf]. The library’s catalog notes indicate that this may be a unique volume and it is the predecessor to the 1846 second edition owned by Oxford’s Bodleian library which is available online through Google Books. Marsden indicates that his first reaction on finding it on the library’s shelves was to question why the library would have an early travel guide, but he learned that Thomas Waghorn’s real claim to fame was the opening of the route which shortened the time the post required to journey between England and colonial India. Prior to establishing an overland link from Alexandria to Suez, mail and passengers from England to India had to travel around Cape Horn, a much longer and riskier journey. Marsden encourages everyone to take a look at the Collector Club’s first experiment in the online distribution of a digital publication. Feedback and suggestions are invited.