Once in a blue moon? Surprises in the New College Library stacks …

The Romance of Modern Astronomy by Hector MacPherson. New College Library Stack II C4/a2

The 31st of August is scheduled for a ‘blue moon’ over Scotland. A blue moon traditionally occurs whenever two full moons happen in a single month – an unusual occurence, hence the saying ‘Once in a blue moon’.

Dedicated users of New College Library may have made their way down to the depths of Stack II at basement level, and discovered the sequence of older monographs known as the ‘unclassified sequence’.  These books date from the pre-1930 existence of New College Library, and the variety of the content covers a much wider scope than the theological curriculum of the time. I was surprised to find this one :  The Romance of Modern Astronomy (1911), by Hector MacPherson.

This collection is currently part of an online cataloguing project funded by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

Here comes the rain again …

Prayers written at Vailima, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1910. New College Library Z.2233.

The rain is pouring down this afternoon in thundery showers.

Here’s a rainy day item from New College Library’s collections. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this prayer in time of rain as part of a collection of prayers written in Vailima, Samoa where he made his home in the 1890s. It was later published in this 1910 illuminated edition, designed by Alberto Sangorski.

This item is held in New College Library’s Special Collections, in the ‘Z’ Collection.