THE HILL COLLECTION OF PACIFIC VOYAGES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
Second Edition. New Haven, William Reese Company; Sydney, Hordern House Limited. xxiii, 792pp, 2004. ISBN 0-939226-10-3. $225 (AUD), $175 (US)
THE HILL PACIFIC book collection was a gift by Kenneth and Dorothy Hill in 1974 to the then recently formed University of California Library at San Diego. The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, documenting the collection, was published in three volumes between 1974 and 1983 and quickly became established as a standard reference work. Work on a revised ‘new’ Hill began in 2000, the year before Hill’s death on 8 July 2001.
The new edition, which includes a fascinating memoir of Kenneth Hill’s ‘descent’ into bibliomania by his son Jonathan, completely supersedes its predecessor. The entries in the collection, which include annotations, are now combined into one alphabetical sequence and errors are corrected from the first edition. All the material, some 1,937 items, added by Hill and the Library to the collection since the first edition was published are included in this second edition. The whole is supplemented by a bibliographic reference section and comprehensive chronological and general indices.
Lynda Claassen of the UCSD Library indicates in her Foreword that “the Hill Collection remains the most extensive gathering of books that document early voyages of exploration and discovery in the Pacific”. The publishers state emphatically, however, in their Preface, that this is “a catalogue of a collection and not a bibliography”. By that they mean that there are many accounts of Pacific voyages that are not included here simply because they are not in the collection. They offer this as a “friendly reminder to any booksellers… who may be tempted to add ‘not in Hill’ to their own descriptions”!
Hordern House of Sydney and the William Reese Company of New Haven, are to be congratulated on producing a handsome major bibliographical reference work, the former building upon the recent success of Forbes’s Hawaiian National Bibliography and Howgego’s Encyclopedia of Exploration