Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Old bookplate from the Nitschmann School Library

This wonderful old bookplate appears on the inside front cover of a little-used 1925 book titled Lessons on the Use of Books and Libraries. The bookplate measures just under 2½ inches wide and is 4 inches tall. It's a generic plate in the sense that any institution or individual could place their name in the box at the top.

The bookplate names the Nitschmann School Library in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and an oval blue stamp on the table-of-contents page further calls it the Nitschmann Public School Library. I'm sure Nitschmann is a reference to David Nitschmann der Bischof (1695-1772), who was one of the founders of Bethlehem. There is still a Nitschmann Middle School in the Bethlehem Area School District.

A little more about the 93-year-old book: According to one annotation, it might have entered the library's collection in 1929. There is a never-used circulation card within a pocket affixed to the inside back cover. There is also a never-used "DUE DATE" slip at the back of the book. The book was written by O.S. Rice, published by Rand McNally and has the subtitle "A Text Book for Schools and a Guide for the Use of Teachers and Librarians." The index indicates that there is a two-page section on judging the reliability of newspapers.

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