Missing! Princeton’s copy of rare 1790 Frankenstein story
July 4, 2011 4 Comments
Sad news just in from the Princeton University library: their copy of François-Félix Nogaret, Le Miroir des événemens actuels is gone. A thorough search was made throughout the stacks, according to Firestone Librarian AnnaLee Pauls, and it remains missing. Stolen or lost. The loss of this rare volume, which relates the tale of the “French Frankenstein,” is terrible. It reminds us of the fragility of books as a medium and the fragility of revolutionary history today, when so many precious resources exist only in one copy, one library, under more or less secure conditions. Fortunately, there remain three copies of the book, all in France: at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, and the Bibliothèque de Versailles. I used to (and sometimes still do) grouse about the BNF’s microfilm-only policy, but now I’m grateful that someone is protecting such treasures for future generations.