When scrolling through Walter Manning’s blog, Old Chum, you can’t help but wonder what his book collection is like. The blog, whose name originated from an old Canadian tobacco company, features an incredible archive of hand-scanned images gathered from old books to monographs to vintage National Geographic magazines. The care and dedication put into his image collection is evident, and is truly an inspiration to look through. The owner of the newly opened Vancouver based shop, Old Faithful, and newest contributor to 01 Magazine, took the time to share some gems from his book collection.
A small part of Walter’s collection.
Portraits from North American Indian Life – Edward S. Curtis
This is my favorite book. Every photograph is a winner. You could rip out every photo in this book and put it in a frame. Edward S. Curtis travelled extensively documenting the lives of aboriginal tribes. His eye for composition was incredible. This is my second copy. I sold my first one and was lucky to know where to find another, but I’ll never part with this one. There are plenty of Curtis books out there, but this one is the best I’ve seen: it’s huge, the paper stock is thick and the sepia tone is perfect.
Often times I’ll find a book buried away in a used bookstore and I’ll reason my way out of buying it: “you already have 4 books that you are getting, do you really need that book, you can probably borrow it from the library, you do have rent coming up…” Most of the time I regret not getting the book, so I figure that if it’s still there when I visit the bookstore again I’ll buy it. That was the case with this one. I can’t believe I ever left it there to begin with. Beautiful book and the colour photos are printed so well that the images just leap off the pages. Alex Calder is one of my favorites: a true master.
I had bought single books from this series in the past, but recently I was lucky enough to find most of the series in pristine condition. The spines are as stiff as the day they came off the press. Unbelievable score. Inside are some of the best stories and photographs regarding Appalachian culture from Hog Dressing to carving Wooden Locks. The idea was conceived as a way for High School kids to explore their local culture and record things of interest. I’d happily go back to High School to participate in this kind of project.
I really got into Richard Harrington last winter. While browsing the net I found a photo from a show in Winnipeg showcasing his work. I wrote the name down and headed to the bookstore and was happy to find this one. I scanned a bunch for Old Chum and by now you’ve probably seen plenty of images floating around the net. One photo in particular has an inuit man standing with what looks like a hundred arctic white fox pelts hanging from his body – the book is full of unforgettable images. I really admire the Inuit. It’s hard to believe that people were able to live in such a barren environment in such treacherous conditions. Yet the Inuit not only lived there – they thrived. They were ingenious in their craft and use of available resources. AND they were humble and patient. Any complaints we have about today have no merit in comparison.
Older Ways- Peter Narss. Joleen Gordon