A bit yellowed, a tad frayed, but a jewel to feast one's eyes upon nonetheless is the exhibit, "From the Wild Wild West to Law and Order: The Evolution of the Law in the Northwest Territories."
On Friday, special guests of the Library Legacy Foundation of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library leafed through history that traced this area from wilderness settlements to a territory of law and civility.
The materials are on exhibit through Nov. 29 in The Blade Rare Book Room in the third floor of the Main Library, 325 Michigan St., in downtown Toledo. They are from the Library and the personal collection of John Robinson Block, The Blade's publisher and editor-in-chief, who personally delivered the loaned items for the show. Mr. Block jokingly admitted to suffering from bibliomania, and said, "I'm not a lawyer, I'm a collector. My role is to bring things together and to be discriminating in what I put in the collection." He thanked his personal librarian, Audrey Sites, and most importantly, his wife, Susan, for her support.
The book room has special climate control and fire suppression systems for safe storage. For added protection, ink pens, briefcases, purses, or coats are banned, and cotton gloves are required to leaf through manuscripts or books.
The Antiquarian Society was introduced to maintain and add to the rare book collection. Jamie and Ellen Black are the first charter members. Among the privy bookworms were foundation president Denny Johnson and his wife, Sheila, Tom and Mary Pat Anderson, Jerry and Ann Jones, Jim Marshall, Ben and Martha Marsh, Bob and Katie Martin, Don Melhorn, Louis and Sophie Ravin, Steve Reinbolt, Odessa and Charles Rowan, Dorothy Saloff, Jack and Ruth Hadley, John Spitzer, Tony and Pauline Shelbourn, John Kelchner, Janet Rogolsky, Chuck and Kristine Schaub, and Judy and Skip Gaynor.