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    the department of rare books and special collections


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    Toronto librarian Jurczyk’s first novel is a valentine to librarians that doesn’t shy away from their dark sides.


    by Eva Jurczyk RELEASE DATE: Jan. 25, 2022

    Toronto librarian Jurczyk’s first novel is a valentine to librarians that doesn’t shy away from their dark sides.

    The ceremonial display of a university library’s latest headline acquisition, a Plantin Polyglot Bible, to a select group of influential donors comes a cropper over two misfortunes. First, Christopher Wolfe, the director of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections for the 40 years since 1969, suffers an incapacitating stroke before he can retrieve the Bible from the safe in which he stored it while awaiting an insurance evaluation (best guess: $500,000). Then, when Liesl Weiss, the longtime assistant who’s suddenly catapulted into Wolfe’s job, finally gets the combination from his distraught wife, she finds the safe empty. The donors are fobbed off with a Peshawar manuscript that may include the very first use of a zero, but the library is still in crisis. Was the Plantin simply misplaced or (gasp) stolen? How long can university president Lawrence Garber keep its disappearance secret? And how will the library ever recover the trust of major donors if the staff can’t keep track of the materials it purchases with their big-ticket donations? Liesl is especially distressed because her protégé, Miriam Peters, goes missing very shortly after the Platin, and the discovery of her corpse, an apparent suicide, weeks later in a nearby wood does nothing to derail the assumption that she was the thief. Even though, as Liesl’s colleague Francis Churchill points out, “Our entire job is finding information,” Jurczyk consistently subordinates the question of whodunit to the question of how to handle the case.

    Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2022

    ISBN: 978-1-72823-859-3

    Page Count: 336

    Publisher: Poisoned Pen

    Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

    Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021


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    Source : www.kirkusreviews.com

    Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

    Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), access to the Irvin Department’s collections will be by appointment only. The Smith Reading Room will have limited hours, from 11 am – 2 pm, and all users will be required to register and request items in advance. Given the fluid and evolving nature of the situation, we reserve the right to change the access policy, and users should contact us to confirm their visit with the Irvin Department.

    Once arrangements have been made, a member of the department will plan to meet with the researcher at the front of Thomas Cooper Library on the appointed day and time of the researcher’s visit.

    Researchers need to register for the Smith Reading Room prior to their first visit during the academic year. Be sure to bring a photo ID (academic identification, driver’s license, or passport). The online registration form describes the special conditions under which Irvin Department materials may be used.

    Researchers and other visitors should also be aware of the general policies of the Hollings Library, including the prohibition on food and drink. Only pencils, paper, laptops and cameras are allowed in the Smith Reading Room. Self-service lockers are available for securely storing coats, purses, bags and other personal items.

    Researchers must request items in advance of arrival. Items can be requested via the online catalog, or by emailing the department in advance of visit. Items will then be on hold in the Smith Reading Room for supervised use. Descriptions of items are available in the libraries’ online catalog and through finding aids. Given the safety precautions under COVID-19, items must be used within a single visit, afterward items will be quarantined for 3 days to avoid any potential transmission.

    Some materials in the department’s care are housed offsite in remote storage and may need to be recalled further in advance of use. These items generally appear in the library catalog as: “Columbia Annex: Ask at Rare Books & Special Collections, Thomas Cooper Library (Library Use Only).”

    Researchers not connected with the university, or traveling from a distance, are asked to contact the department ahead of their visit to ensure that the needed items and relevant staff help is available when they arrive. Researchers can request materials from the Irvin Department stacks and/or Irvin Department materials from the Annex in advance of their visit by emailing [email protected].

    Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), the Irvin Department will be suspending all in person classroom activities. Faculty and instructors who wish to develop a distance education option for their courses to have digital access to special collections material are encouraged to contact Michael Weisenburg: [email protected].

    In addition to helping faculty and instructors adapt already existing digital material from the Irvin Department’s collections for a variety of courses, we are committed to offering livecasting options and developing short videos of rare material for course delivery via BlackBoard and other content management systems. Please contact Michael Weisenburg at least two weeks in advance of when you would like your students to have access to digital material, and we will work with you to tailor the presentation to the needs of your class.

    Public events and tours are suspended through the end of the year. We will be developing some digital outreach material for the general public. Those interested in our holdings are encouraged to browse our digitized collections, read our past blog posts, and view videos on our YouTube channel.

    Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

    Source : sc.edu

    The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: A Novel by Eva Jurczyk, Paperback

    'With its countless revelations about the dusty realms of rare books, a likable librarian sleuth who has just the right balance of compassion and wit, and

    Anxious People meets the delights of bookish fiction in a stunning debut following a librarian whose quiet life is turned upside down when a priceless manuscript goes missing. Soon she has to ask: what holds more secrets in the library—the ancient books shelved in the stacks, or the people who preserve them?

    Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the library's most prized manuscript is missing.

    Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book, but is told repeatedly to keep quiet, to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian unexpectedly stops showing up to work. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues' pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long—and about the people who care for and revere them—shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life.

    The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is a sparkling book-club read about a woman struggling to step out from behind the shadows of powerful and unreliable men, and reveals the dark edge of obsession running through the most devoted bookworms.

    February 2022 INDIE NEXT Selection

    January 2022 LIBRARY READS Selection

    January 2022 Loan Star Selection

    Pop Sugar 35 Must-Read Thrillers and Mystery Books

    The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: A Novel by Eva Jurczyk, Paperback

    Source : www.barnesandnoble.com

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