Art and Exhibition Catalogs
Where would we be without the dear old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE?
Anything being dug up or examined anywhere in the world and whooosh - they are there to record it all and always use brilliant photographers. They are more into hard facts than mystical conjecture, but these things interrelate and digging and delving is of prime importance. Furthermore the mags often contain separate fold-out maps which are more than useful in tracking down the habitats of obscure Gods.
They have been in the business since 1910 and their website is always full of the latest anthropological news. The GEOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE was once produced by Chatto & Windus. We have bound copies for 1948-9 which are very good. There must be more out there somewhere...
Christies, Sothebys and major art galleries often produce lavish catalogs of exhibitions. Many of these have sculpture and art items with strong mythological connections. They’re not easy to obtain but sometimes find their way into secondhand stores. A friendly owner of a Goddess shop in Brighton recently lent us some plush examples for which we’re very grateful.
And we must mention the amazing book from THE AZTECS exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Five hundred huge pages of beautifully photographed Aztec Gods!
Second-hand Book Stores
Second-hand or antique bookshops are mines of information. Burrow into the basements. Or better still, think of it as a hunting trip to track down a rare species. Be David Attenborough for a day.
Very few bookshops seem to have a section given over to Mythology, so the Godly tomes you seek can be hiding in dense thickets of Theology, or fluttering about in Folklore or artfully camouflaged in amongst the Art books. You should also cast your nets and set traps in areas devoted to Archeology, Geography, History, Reference, Travel. Even Spirituality and Cosmology. Keep away from Mills & Boon or any shelf containing a book by Jeffrey Archer.
Major centers of human civilization such as London, New York or Lisbon can boast an extraordinary array of elderly bookshops which may yield mythology treasures beyond mortal comprehension. For example, in 2015 the famous Quintos bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London, obtained for public sale the complete private book collection of the President of the British Folklore Society. For a short time, the basement at Quintos contained more gods, spirits, monsters, demons and spirits per square foot than any other place on earth.
Charity shops and thrift stores are terrific as there is usually only one bookcase. 40% of these will be devoted to Cookery and Gardening. Then there will be lots of paperbacks you can skim through in a flash, as you will mostly be looking for hardbacks and large format books. There won’t be too many of these apart from the Guinness Book of Records, but who knows, there may be Knit Yourself A Cuddly God in the Crafts section, or Aztecs From Outer Space next to a children’s annual.
“Libraries often have sales. I know someone who picked up a brilliant book for a mere ten pennies. One which had cost ten times that second-hand. Then of course you may have a good reference department in your local library. Sadly I have far more and better books than my local town library.” - Chas.