Photo Caption - American Antiquarian Society

185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634
A research library of American history and culture through 1876
Contact: James David Moran
(508) 471-2131 (office)
(508) 248-4694 (home)
(508) 783-5085 (cell)
E-mail: [email protected]
Photo Caption for M. T. Cicero’s Cato Major, or his Discourse of OldAge: with Explanatory Notes
In March 1880, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) obtained this association
copy of what is often considered the finest Benjamin Franklin imprint. The English
translation and extensive notes were by James Logan (1674-1751), the accomplished
Philadelphia book collector who had recently joined with Franklin and others to found the
Library Company of Philadelphia. One thousand copies were issued of this elegantly
printed edition, set in an old-age friendly Caslon great primer (i.e., 18-point) font. In his
preface, Franklin expressed the wish that this work would “be a happy Omen, that
Philadelphia shall become the Seat of the American Muses.”
This book is part of the exhibition In Pursuit of a Vision: Two Centuries of Collecting
at the American Antiquarian Society on view at the Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New
York, from September 12 – November 17, 2012. This exhibition is in honor of the Society’s
bicentennial this year. In Pursuit of a Vision tells the story of the significant collectors,
librarians, and bibliographers who developed and expanded the Society’s collections from
its founding in 1812. The AAS library, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, contains over
four million items from 1640 through 1876 including the largest collection of pre-1821
American imprints in the world.
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