UC Davis Library Timeline – 1958: C.K. Ogden Library was purchased

Jan 1, 1970 -

University Librarian J. Richard Blanchard examines the second folio of Shakespeare’s works

Blanchard’s account of the second folio

Reminiscences, 1912-1989, pp180

In 1958, the University, through the efforts of Lawrence Clark Powell, the brilliant librarian at UCLA, acquired the huge and important collection of C.K. Ogden, the well-known and eccentric author of the Meaning of Meaning, a bibliomaniac, who owned three houses in England so that storage room would be available for his books. Ogden having died, the rather intricate negotiations for his collection were carried on with his mistress. Eventually, 10,000 of the Ogden volumes including important titles in literature, history, sociology, and other fields came to Davis. We also received a very fine copy of the second folio of Shakespeare, published in 1632, and incorporating a text that scholars found superior “in every case to the 16 pre-existing quarto editions.” The copy was once the property of Henry Bradshawe, brother of John Bradshawe, president of the court that condemned King Charles I. As it was not needed at Berkeley and Los Angeles, it could go to Davis, Riverside or Santa Barbara. Not wishing to decide the placing of the volume by such a bourgeois action as the flipping of a coin, it was decided to base the placement on the outcome of the World Series. Davis was fortunate in drawing the New York Yankees, who knocked in the winning run in the 1958 baseball series, which also meant the second folio was pitched out to the Davis campus.

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Kristoffer Landes