Today, I’m in a “Staff Only” room at the main (lions) New York Public Library meeting with Dr. Carolyn Broomhead. She is helping us put together the launch reading for THE TRAVELER’S VADE MECUM which will take place (yikes) a week from today. I ask if the original compendium that inspired our book will be on display. The NYPL has one of the only existing first editions of the 1853 TRAVELER’S VADE MECUM, preserved in their Research Library. I’m worried that the Research Librarians won’t want to share. Who could blame them. The launch reading will be public and a book published 163 years ago is probably too fragile to subject to the prying hands of the public. But–Carolyn is pretty sure displaying it won’t be a problem. “It’s not like it’s really old, by our standards,” she assures me.
“What do you mean?” I ask, curious, but not wanting to discourage NYPL’s largesse.
“Can somebody just walk in and check them out?” I can’t believe it.
“We reserve them for scholars. And for exhibits which is how we share them with the public. But a book published in 1853–that shouldn’t be a problem at all.”
I love New York.