From the small... to the large

on Thursday, 21 November 2013.

I have just catalogued an additional collection of papers of the Duke family of Lake House which includes several unusual items.

Notably the smallest book in any of our collections; Small Rain upon Tender Herb; a book of quotations from the Psalms, inscribed Charlotte M Duke, 1838. Published by The Religious Tracts Society, before 1838, Ref: 4136/2/21.

It measures just 2.5 x 3 cm and leads me on to an item which stands at the other end of the spectrum, and which we lovingly call ‘Big Bertha’!

This register of the Wiltshire Constabulary dates from 1893 to 1926 and includes details of police officers; their date of entry into the force, a description of person, any details of misconduct, and numerous other details. It makes fascinating, if not awkward reading, especially if you come across details of an ancestor. Our shelving in the strongroom is coping admirably, but it is certainly being put to the test by the weight of this specimen!


The second item from the Duke family is an album of carte de visite images of family and places. An aspect of the macabre has been introduced, as included is an image of one of the severed heads of seven Greek brigands; and one of 500 of the 'most celebrated personages of the day' Ref: 4316/3/4BW.


Steve Hobbs


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