Friday, December 15, 2006

Volbracht's Myko Libri

Every so often a bibliography comes along that's not just a handy tool. The great books on books can be beautiful objects in themselves, beautifully designed and a pleasure to pore over. Jurgen Holstein's recent survey of modern dust jacket design, and the multi-volume collection of juveniles, The Children's World of Learning 1480 -1880, published by Antiquariaat Forum come to mind. My new favorite bibliography is Christian Volbracht's new catalogue of his own collection of books on mushrooms, Myko Libri, Die Bibliothek der Pilzbucher. Volbracht has gone to great trouble to create a publication worthy of his great collection. Published by the author in a signed, limited edition of 750 copies, the book contains more then 2300 entries, and is illustrated in color throughout, with a mixture of title pages, plates and decorated book covers. A number of indices provide quick lists of various subject areas, from early works (Pliny's 1481 Historia Naturalis is the first) to regional publications, books on mycogastronomy, hallucinogens and iconography. The quarto-sized tome is handsomely bound in brown cloth with an illustrated dust jacket.

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