Treasures to be discovered at the Legation

By Grecia Álvarez, MLIS, Guest blogger

Grecia, Dunya and Majda inside the rare books cage
Grecia, Dunya and Majda inside the rare books cage

When we started sifting through our collection to cull our rare books from the regular shelves and put them into their new home in “the cage” we never imagined we would find books dating from 1572, or even a parchment signed by King Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal). In fact, we started out by pulling books dating from 1920 and earlier and soon found that our cage was overflowing, so that we had to cut back to books printed before 1911. Previously, these books were intermingled with our regular collection, which focuses mainly on Morocco, but it was decided that these books required special protection, and thus the cage, a small room with an iron gate, was born. Our rare books cover a breadth of topics, from early accounts of European exploration of the region, to government treatises, geographical studies, books signed by illustrious figures (including a book belonging to former Prime Minister of Spain Antonio Cánovas del Castillo). We even have copies of an 1889 edition of Washington Irving’s The Life of Mahomet and a first edition of Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad.

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TALIM Library Catalog Finds an Online Home

TALIM Grecia Alvarez

Grecia Álvarez has written the following guest post.

Grecia Álvarez (MLIS) is a librarian and an EFL instructor who specializes in Cataloging and Information Literacy Instruction. Her first encounter with Morocco was in 2010-2011, when she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tetouan. She has been working on various projects at the Legation since her arrival in Tangier last September, including volunteering as an English teacher in our Arabic literacy program for the women of the medina.

Her librarian work at the Legation has been possible thanks to a generous grant provided by the U.S. Embassy in Rabat.

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We librarians lead pretty exciting lives. We come into daily contact with objects of incalculable value, like books and papers that have played a role in furthering relations between peoples and nations.

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