Crowdsourcing a mystery book – case solved!

The library recently received a donation of children’s books for our Rare Books Collection. The majority of the donation consisted of early- to mid-20th century English children’s books, however the most intriguing item was a little German book. As the images below show, the book is entirely written in Kurrentschrift, which is very tricky to decipher if you aren’t used to reading it!

Inside the bookCornsellis donation inside 2This is not something we come across often at Homerton, so we decided to turn to social media to crowdsource a transcription. After posting the image below to Facebook and Twitter at around 10am, by lunchtime we had a full transcription of the title and publishers’ details, thanks to a number of librarians from all across the country. We were then able to create a useful catalogue record for the item!

Mein Herzlein soll die Krippe sein, darein ich leg' mein Jesulein!

Mein Herzlein soll die Krippe sein,
darein ich leg’ mein Jesulein!

Verlag Josef Kösel und Friedrich Pustet K.G.

The title roughly translates as “My heart should be the manger, in which I place my little Jesus”, and below the title there are the publishers’ details, Josef Kösel and Friedrich Pustet.

Thanks to our literary detective friends, this book can now join the rest of the donation in the Rare Books Collection. If you would like to see this item (or any of our rare books) in more detail, please ask a member of staff. Items from the Rare Books Collection are regularly displayed in the cabinets in the library foyer.


About homlib

The Library of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
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