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In May 2017, Palazzo Falson launched the open-ended 'Book of the Month exhibition'. On a monthly basis a book is selected from the library collection by an invited guest curator who researches and writes the long caption for the book which goes on display in the library for a month's duration.   The May 2017 inaugural exhibition was held in conjunction with international Museum Day 2017 and can be seen here http://www.palazzofalson.com/detail.aspx?id=415225.

The June 2017 exhibit is guest curated by Ellen Beunderman, Palazzo Falson volunteer and former librarian. It features a first edition of Roget's thesaurus. You can read more about it below: 

A first edition of an old favourite


Title:        Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to facilitate the expression of ideas and assist in literary composition – 2 vols.

Author:   Roget, Peter Mark

Published by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, London, 1852

Ellen says:

For any serious English-language writer, student, or anyone wishing to be precise in the use of words, Roget’s Thesaurus is a must.  Olof Gollcher and his uncle Henry Balbi both fall into this category. 

The book on view here is a first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus. It was novel and extraordinary in its day and remains so. Dr Peter Mark Roget was “obsessed with words from his childhood….He completed a first draft of the Thesaurus…in 1805 when he was just twenty-six. … However, it was not until his retirement from science, in 1848, … that Roget took on the challenge of finishing;”publishing the first edition in 1852.

First published with a print run of 1,000 copies, the book has become a classic; it has sold over 32 million copies worldwide and has never been out of print. In his lifetime, Peter Mark Roget oversaw the publication of 28 editions of the Thesaurus. In 2002 the 150th Anniversary Edition was published.  Roget’s Thesaurus has kept up with the times and is available for download to computers and other electronic devices.

The Palazzo’s first edition of the Thesaurus, originally Henry Balbi’s copy, was at some point rebound into two volumes, most likely to facilitate its use. Balbi’s signature and the date 1892 are inscribed on the inside front cover of each volume. Probably Olof Gollcher acquired it through inheritance. Obviously not many first editions of this classic have survived, and Palazzo Falson is proud to own one of them.

1 Joshua Kendall, The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus (New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, 2008)


Volume 1 of the Thesaurus as displayed in the Library throughout June 2017

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