|Dr. Herbert M. Evans, 1882-1971|
The book’s the thing, but sometimes it is more than that. An acquisition can leave a deep impression or even a scar. And when you hold the book, you feel life, or death.
It is the third month of the 2020 Pandemic, and maybe I have spent too much time with my books. (Can there be such a problem?). But the world is not as it should be, and every venture out brings an awkward tension between masked and maskless. And so it is with this story: excitement and incredulity tempered with fear. We begin with two doctors and end with a third, all notable book collectors.
The book is the rare, privately printed catalogue Medical Library Belonging to Herbert M. Evans (Berkeley: 1931). The bookseller description records 202 mimeographed sheets with additions and deletions using pasted slips, as well as a few scattered holograph corrections. It is a quarto bound in blue cloth; the paper spine label reads “Evans Library of Medical Classics 1932.” The pastedown has Evans’ bookplate and the front free endpaper the following inscription, “To my friend Elmer Belt, Herbert M. Evans, Berkeley, March 14, 1936” with Belt’s bookplate below.