One of my colleagues retired this spring, and is emptying out his office. When O started out, he studied Old English, medieval lit, and linguistics, but in recent years, he's moved into a newer field of study, one he would probably have chosen at the first if he'd had the opportunity. So he hasn't used the old Chaucer texts for a while, and invited me to come pick out whatever books I thought I might want. He also gave me a bunch of various Chaucer editions to share with students in my class this fall.
It was nice. O has been one of those colleagues who I could turn to for help with medieval Latin (because I have no Latin beyond a few tag phrases) or some question of this or that, and he'd cheerfully help me. But I don't know O very well because he's been mostly involved in this other field, and their offices aren't very near mine.
But every year, I would see him at a big get together, and it's always a pleasure. (And there's dancing and food and music!)
I like when colleagues give old books to newer folks. It's like the knowledge, the love of learning, and the caring about old stuff continues. (Maybe that only works well for those of us who study older periods?) So even if I won't use some of these books much, there's a kind of continuity in having them in the office, or in passing them along to students.
It seems I'm now the medievalist, since my other early period colleague has decided that she doesn't want to teach Chaucer at all, ever, or anything else medieval. (I can't imagine not wanting to teach Chaucer or Shakespeare, really.) It makes me sad to be the only person around who does, though, since I feel inadequate and want to ask other folks questions all the time, or toss around ideas about how to teach this or that. It's lonely in the earlier periods, way more lonely than at bigger or R1 type schools.