The rare book collection at Pepperdine includes books representing all topics and eras, including books about Christmas and winter. A highlight of this collection is a beautiful first edition of Cricket on the Hearth, by Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote Cricket on the Hearth just before the holiday in 1845. Unlike many others of Dickens’ books, this piece was originally published in book form, rather than as a serial. The copy here at Pepperdine is bound in bright red cloth with gold-stamping on the cover and spine. The image on the front cover is beautifully detailed. In fact, the letters of the title are created out of a tiny holly leaf design.
Another holiday treasure in Pepperdine’s rare book collection is Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving. This book is beautifully illustrated by Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), one of the most influential children’s book illustrators of all time and namesake of the Caldecott Medal. His illustrations for this book, as well as for another by Irving, helped to establish his reputation.
These books and others from the rare book collections are now on display in the Special Collections Reading Room, room 326 in Payson Library. Stop by to take a look!