Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Eric Paddon

Westinghouse Book Of The Record

Recommended Posts

I cannot believe that library eliminated that book either. Most universities hold this treasure in a rare book collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do we have definite confirmations of any libraries that still have the book?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I know enough about public library staffs to know that generally they don't pay much attention to the historic significance of older books, especially if they haven't been checked out in decades as I suspect this copy wasn't. They are usually under constant pressure each year to weed out the inventory of their collections if they have no budget for expansion in order to accomodate new acquisitions. If this were in an academic library, the standards would be a little better but they too face many of the same pressures, and I think I even recall the Westinghouse feature on nywf64.com mentioning that the Library of Congress has misplaced their copy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it went for $182.50. There's another copy that now goes into a private collector's hands, which I suspect is where within a couple decades most of the extant copies will be by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I borrowed one through my local library! They borrowed it from the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public library, I think.

I just looked to see which libraries near me had supposedly been given a copy. I asked my town library to ask for it and voila!!

It was mine for two weeks as if it were a do-it-yourself book on building a backyard barbeque!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did scan the entire book, plus had a commercial photographer take several shots of the book and the letter from Westinghouse that accompanied the book.

I've been flogging myself for a few years for not posting that stuff here. (And it's not going to happen this week, either, with my current workload.)

Ahhhh... now I remember... Just as I got it scanned and photographed, Bill Young unveiled HIS feature on the Book of Record at nywf64.com and stole my thunder (and my sense of urgency about the project)! The stuff resides somewhere on my computer waiting for my future attention.

**An interesting note:

The first library I called about the book was Nashua, New Hampshire. They said they had the book in their special collections. Needless to say, I zoomed to Nashua to see it. What they handed me was a pamphlet entitled "About the Book of Record"! It was probably about 24 pages as I recall. (They knew nothing of the actual Book of Record)

No one I've talked to has ever heard of this pamphlet, yet it was a very thorough story - with photos - about the process of planning, writing and otherwise creating the time capsule and the Book of Record.

I wanted a color copy of the pamphlet (copies the photos beter than a B&W copier) but the library didn't have a color copier. There WAS a Kinko's down the street, however.

I begged and begged and finally left them my car keys and my watch in order to get them to let me walk it down the street to Kinko's!!

I gave those color copies to Bill Young as my gift of appreciation when I first met him at the first SiP. Maybe he'll share them with us sometime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity I checked the on-line catalog of the Toledo-Lucas County library and found that they have a copy of The Book of Record. It is "non-circulating" meaning that you need to go to the main library, request to see it, and look at it there. You cannot check it out. It is notable, however, that it is not in the rare-book facility. This probably reflects the fact that a lot (3000?) of these were given out and are still in existence. In addition, it is classified as a "Humanities" book rather than science or social science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Seattle Public Library has one at their main location in downtown. Kind of strange to see it sitting right there on the shelf. I don't think it'll be there in 4,934 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a library category expert (that would be Eric), but Humanities seems to make more sense to me than Science. The book isn't concerned with the scientific properties of metal degradation of the capsule over a 5,000 year time period is it?

History might be a good category, if the book is mainly concerned with the contents of the capsule, how the process worked to decide what would be included, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did a search in the Library Of Congress catalog and the good news is that they have six copies altogether, and all are placed in their Rare Books/Special Collection section. Eight copies were listed and copies 2 and 3 are the ones that have evidently gone missing from the LOC over the years.

The Library of Congress came up with the much more complex form of cataloging to replace the traditional Dewey Decimal System which I am much more familiar and comfortable with, but at any rate their official designation of the book is CB425.W47. The "C" means it gets placed under "Auxilary Sciences of History" and "CB" means it gets grouped under "History of Civilization".

So at any rate, a Librarian who has a copy and does this properly would be grouping it in the History category and not the Science category. At the same time, it's the kind of work that would not be grouped among general historical narratives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

does someone know where it falls numerically in the Dewey system, in case that is helpful for a search at other libraries?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not knowing where else to search I went by Spencer's post and checked the Seattle public library catalog. The Dewey call number is 901 which places it under "philosophy and theory" of the broader "Geography and History" category that the 900 number is assigned to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my first look at this thread in several days and I can confirm that The Book of Record of The Time Capsule of Cupaloy is in the rare book library at Syracuse University and it may only be examined by appointment. Not writing utensils are permitted when examining the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×