For decades the Sewickley Herald featured columns with information about new books the library had added to the collection. This article from January 1928, less than five years after our current building opened, features seven books added to the collection. So what ever happened to these books? Does the library still have any of them? Can you still get them today?
We start with China Today Through Chinese Eyes. A New York Times review from the time mentions an article that delves into the Literary Revolution in China, a movement of books beginning to be published in the popular Chinese language away from the traditional Chinese. The book is no longer part of Sewickley’s collection. In fact, it can’t be found at any library in Allegheny County. The closest place to find a printed copy of the book today would be Carlow University’s library in Pittsburgh: https://www.worldcat.org/title/874929035.
My Lady of the India Pudah by Elizabeth Cooper can no longer be checked out at the Sewickley Public Library. However, if you get a public library card in Cleveland you can place a hold on this book today. Of course, they will have the retrieve it from their offsite storage first! Who has time for that? If you really want to read about the Hindu princess Natara you can read it for free on Google Books right now.
Care and Feeding of Children by L.E. Holt is a republication of Holt’s original 1894 publication. Luther Emmett Holt was the head physian at New York’s Babies Hospital and this book was later “selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it,” according to a 2015 republication. This book can’t be found at Sewickley or in our system either, but you can find another book by L.E. Holt called Food, Health and Growth from 1922 if you want to venture into Oakland and check out the Carnegie Library’s closed reference collection.
George Washington by Rupert Hughes is a two volume set on our first US president. The first volume is subtitled The Human Being & The Hero, 1732-1762, the second volume is The Savior of the States 1777-1781. One would think that a library is sure to hold onto a biography of our first president, right? Sadly, no libraries have held onto this one either! You can access the full text for free thanks to archive.org and Trent University. Don’t worry you can still find close to 20 George Washington biographies at SPL.
The Meadows by J.C. Van Dyke explores the natural beauty of the Raritan Valley in…New Jersey. John Charles Van Dyke was an art historian, critic, and nature writer who was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Although no libraries around kept this 95 year old book there has been at least one positive Good Reads review from a fellow New Jersian.
At last we come to Best Plays of 1926-1927. The book surely featured the play Show Boat, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein (pre-Richard Rodgers). Although we can’t see a scanned, digital version of the book to confirm Show Boat’s inclusion we can request the book with a library card. That’s right, this is the one book from 1928 that remains at a library in Allegheny County. You can request the book from the Wilkinsburg Public Library and pretend it’s predepression (1928) Sewickley once again!