The Special Collections and Museums Collections Committee was formed in July 2019. Its members are librarians who acquire materials for Special Collections, the chief curator of the Museums, the curator of the Mineralogical Museum, the director of Special Collections and Museums as well as a member of the division, a faculty representative and, as of December 2019, a representative from the Library selectors.
One objective of this committee is to keep faculty, students,and researchers at UD informed of what we are acquiring: to this end, we will distribute a list of selected recent acquisitions in January and August. Attached please find the first list of New Resources, as well as a Powerpoint of recent acquisitions by the Museums. These acquisitions reflect ongoing areas of collection development (see: https://library.udel.
New Resources for Teaching and Research: A Selected List
Special Collections Acquisitions – January 2020
African American History
Brown, William Wells, (circa 1814-1884). The Negro in the American Rebellion: His Heroism and His Fidelity. Boston: Lea & Shepard, 1867.
William Wells Brown was a prominent abolitionist, lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian—credited with publishing in the United States both the earliest novel and the earliest play written by an African-American. The Negro in the American Rebellion is the first history devoted to African-Americans in the American Revolution, with detailed coverage of the Civil War as well.
Fellow Citizens! [Massachusetts: s.l., 1842].
This abolitionist broadside was printed to call for a town meeting in reaction to the imprisonment of George Latimer, an escaped enslaved person who had been arrested in Boston. A subsequent series of trials led to his release. Public outrage over the case also furthered the abolitionist cause and led to increased attempts to amend Massachusetts state laws. This broadside is the only known extant contemporary broadside referencing Latimer and his case.
Miller, Kelly, (1863–1939). The Negro Sanhedrin: A Call to Conference. Washington, D.C.: Murray Bros, 1923.
A prominent educator (dean of the Howard University School of Law), a prolific writer, and a close associate of W. E. B. Du Bois, Miller was the guiding force behind the short-lived Negro Sanhedrin, established in 1924 with the purpose of fostering cooperation and coordination among black organizations to form a unified voice for black America. This pamphlet promoted the Sanhedrin’s first conference, which took place in Chicago on February 11, 1924, attended by 250 delegates representing 61 groups.
Pilsbury, Parker. Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles. New Hampshire: Clague, Wegman, Schlicht & Co.
Published in Concord, New Hampshire, this book is a late nineteenth century first edition of the history of the abolitionist movement from a religious standpoint.
Pike, G. D. and J. B. T. Marsh. The Story of the Jubilee Singers. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1876.
A documentary account of the famous “Jubilee Singers” with songs included; this edition also features a mounted Woodburytype photograph of the singers for its frontispiece.
Whitaker, Shirley Ann. Ashes to Ashes A Homecoming Celebration… Connecticut River Valley: SAW Press, 2018.
A limited edition of a fine press work numbered and signed by the artist/author. This work by Dr. Shirley Ann Whitaker is a eulogy for the “thousands of lynching victims in the United States. Includes six engravings and a broadside.”
Six tintype portraits of African Americans, circa 1860-1870, six items
Study specimens of 19th century studio photographs of unidentified African Americans, location unknown.
Minute book of the Sarah White Home, 1900-1904, 1 volume
Minutes of meetings held by members of the Sarah White Home for Aged Colored Persons, later the Layton Home for Aged Colored Persons, in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Stop the Ku Klux Propaganda in New York”. New York: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1921.
This broadside is part of a campaign waged by the NAACP during the 1920s, aimed at shutting down screenings of D.W. Griffith’s popular film Birth of a Nation due to the film’s racist content. The document explains the film’s damaging effect on the struggle for equal rights.
African American Literature
Coleman, Wanda, (1946-2013). Love-Ins with Nietzsche. Fresno, CA: Wake Up Heavy, 2000.
Coleman was known as the “unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles.” Subtitled “A Memoir,” this is one of the African-American poet’s scarcest books, with only six copies reported by libraries worldwide.
Dunbar-Nelson, Alice. The Goodness of St. Rocque. Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1899.
A first edition of the second book from teacher, poet, essayist, and activist Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935). A duplicate copy of one from her extant library currently held at the University of Delaware, this copy features the Library of Congress bookplate of Daniel A. P. Murray, the second African American to hold a professional position at the Library of Congress.
Durham, John Stephens. Diane, Priestess of Haiti, in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, LXIX, April 1902.
The only known appearance of this novel from author John Durham Stephens, assistant editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and U.S. Minister to Haiti from 1891 to 1893. This is a comparatively rare example of an early twentieth century African American work of fiction published in a mainstream magazine.
Fauset, Jessie Redmon. There Is Confusion. Second printing. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1924.
This acquisition is a copy of the author’s scarce début novel. Fauset, an African-American editor, poet, essayist, novelist, and educator, became one of the most important, yet often overlooked, figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, (1825-1911). Atlanta Offering: Poems. Philadelphia: George S. Ferguson, 1895.
This is the scarce first edition of a collection of poems by a prominent African-American writer, orator, and activist for civil rights, temperance, and equal rights for women—causes she espoused in verse, fiction, and journalism while at the same time taking leadership roles in many progressive organizations.
Wright, Richard. Eight Men. First edition. Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1961.
A first edition of a set of short stories by Wright. Each story presents an aspect of a theme found in Wright’s classic works: the struggle of African American men against oppressive social conditions.
Maran, Rene (1887-1960). Batouala
This translation (from French) is a limited edition of a once celebrated novel written by a Martinican author and published in France. The novel is an examination of the damaging effects of French colonialism in Africa. This is an illustrated, fine press edition of the novel,which was originally published in 1921.
I Don’t Wanna Sound Racist But…Los Angeles: Coloured Publishing Co., 2019
A collection of excellent digital collages by artist Devon Troy Strother, created for Coloured Publishing’s exhibition “A Mistake is a Beautiful Thing” (2018) at Printed Matter bookstore in New York. Deals with themes of racism and racial identity in a manner that is always critical and often humorous.
British Art and Literature[Bound collection of seventeenth century English plays]
The collection includes works by a number of significant playwrights of the seventeenth century. Among the highlights are three plays by Aphra Behn (the first English woman to earn her living by her writing), the first edition of John Dryden and William D’Avenant’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and George Villiers’ satire on Dryden, The Rehearsal
George Cruikshank, 1792-1878. Illustrations for the first British edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. [London: John Cassell, 1852].
Crukshank’s illustrations to the London edition (1853) of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin were far superior to those found in the American edition and helped make the book as famous in Britain as it was in the United States. This is one of two known sets of proof wood-engravings, printed on India paper.
American Art and Literature
Frank, Robert, (1924-2018). The Americans. New York: Grove Press, 1959.
Robert Frank’s The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In its 83 photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface to reveal a people plagued by racism and ill-served by their politicians. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life.
Heller, Christine. Women Vote! Fifteen New York State Suffragists: In Celebration of the 2017 Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in New York State. New York: Christine Heller, 2018.
Artist Christine Heller’s limited edition portfolio celebrates suffragists who fought for seventy years to secure the vote for women. The project pairs lithographic images of fifteen suffragists with brief biographical texts printed in letterpress.
Kerouac, Jack, (1922-1969). Nosferatu (Dracula). [New York:] New Yorker Film Society, 1960.
The New Yorker Film Society was a pioneer in presenting rarely-seen and independent films with midnight screenings at the Charles Theater in the early 1960s. Kerouac’s pamphlet—a rare piece of ephemera—served as the program notes for the classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu. This copy was inscribed by Kerouac to the bookseller Robert Wilson.
Lawson, W. B. Lighting Lion, The Cajun Detective. New York: Street & Smith, 1903.
A good example of an American “dime novel” in the first edition. These “dime novels,” like “yellow-backs” and “penny dreadfuls,” are considered precursors to the modern pulp and cheap paperbacks.
Letters to Jeanette Leonard Gilder, 1874-1915, circa 100 items
The pioneering American journalist and critic Jeanette Leonard Gilder (1849-1916) was born in Flushing, New York, and attended the Bridgeton Female Seminary. Gilder’s literary career began when she joined the Newark Morning Register in 1868, a paper established by her brother, Richard Watson Gilder (later editor-in-chief of Century Magazine). She became literary editor of the New York Herald in 1875, gaining notice for reviews and criticism of music, drama, and literature. Gilder and another brother, Joseph, founded The Critic in 1881 and she contributed widely to numerous journals. Gilder edited several books of essays and collected literature, wrote plays, a novel, and memoirs of a literary life. She also served as an agent for authors and publishers. This collection reflects a range of editorial work.
Maeve Brennan papers, 1959-1966, 1.5 linear feet
Irish-American author and journalist Maeve Brennan (1917-1993) was known for her short stories and observations, characterized as writing with great “poetry of place.” She was a regular contributor to The New Yorker with pieces in “Talk of the Town” signed by “the long-winded lady.” This addition of correspondence, financial documents, contracts, photographs and ephemera supports biographical and literary information about the author.
John Weiss papers and photographs, circa 1970-2010, 5 linear feet
Papers of photographer and University of Delaware art professor John Weiss (1941-2017). Known as an avid photographer of global cultures, Weiss’s photography is found in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the James A. Michener Art Museum. This archive complements a body of Weiss’s photography in collections of the University of Delaware Museums.[Poe, Edgar Allan]. The Rutland Herald. Rutland, Vermont: Geo. H. Beaman, 1845
This newspaper includes a front page printing of Poe’s poem, “The Raven.” Printed just two weeks after the poem first appeared in The American Review, this shows how the poem was rapidly disseminated throughout America.
Robert Friend papers, circa 1913-2009, 7 linear feet
Personal and professional papers of the American-Israeli poet and translator Robert Friend (1913-1998). American-born to Jewish-Russian immigrants in Brooklyn, Friend became a professor of English literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was one of Israel’s most influential English language poets in the 20th century and was a pioneer of gay literature.
The Assessment of Baltimore Hundred…Sussex County, Delaware, circa 1824, 1 volume
This accounting book from Ebe (Ebenezer?) Walter, Assessor of Baltimore Hundred in Sussex County, Delaware, lists “valuations” for 1825 tax assessments of land, livestock, and more than one hundred enslaved persons of African descent counted as personal property by residents of Baltimore Hundred. It is an important record of the history of slavery in Delaware.
Thomas B. Malone World War II correspondence, 1941-1946, circa 300 items
Corporal Thomas B. Malone, a 1941 graduate of the University of Delaware, exchanged this correspondence with family members in Delaware while he was stationed in Africa and Europe.
Virginia Benvenuto U.S. Navy WAVES photograph album, 1943-1945, circa 200 photographs and clippings
This photograph album documents the training, barracks life, recreation, and work environment of Virginia Rose Benevuto (1921-2017), who enlisted in the WAVES in 1943 and served through 1945, mostly stationed at a naval hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
Alvah Bessie letters to Gabriel Miller, 1977-1984, .5 linear feet (and books)
American screenwriter, novelist, and journalist Alvah Bessie (1904-1985) was one of the “Hollywood Ten” writers blacklisted by the movie industry in the 1950s for “un-American activities.” This collection of Bessie’s books, photographs and movie ephemera, and correspondence with Rutgers professor and Hollywood Ten scholar Gabriel Miller reveals Bessie’s thoughts on his career, politics, and contemporaries who struggled through the HUAC hearings.
Jerome O. Herlihy political campaign ephemera collection, 1876-2018, circa 2100 items
Delaware native and former Delaware Superior Court Judge Jerome O. Herlihy maintained an active connection to national and local politics throughout his life. The Jerome O. Herlihy political campaign ephemera collection spans over a century of United States and Delaware politics, and includes campaign buttons and pins, bumper stickers, a wide array of political artifacts, and paper ephemera.
E. B. Du Bois Clubs of America collection, 1964-1965, 8 items
This small collection of organizational ephemera reflects the manifestos and training system of the W. E. B. Du Bois Clubs of America, a youth group founded in San Francisco in 1964 by the Communist Party of the United States. College-based chapters contributed to radical student activism of the 1960s.
Harriet and Howard Kurtz anti-war collection, circa 1967-1969, 19 items
Based in Chappaqua, New York, the Rev. Mrs. Harriet Badenoch Kurtz and her husband Howard G. Kurtz, a WWII veteran, founded The War Control Planners, an organization advocating for world peace, international cooperation, and a war control system. The small collection comprises publications and ephemera generated by or about The War Control Planners.
Jack Jurden political and editorial cartoons collection, circa 1960-2010, 2.5 linear feet
Jack Jurden (d. 2015) created nearly four decades of daily editorial cartoons for the News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware. His work was syndicated by more than 60 newspapers nationwide but provides an extensive perspective on Delaware politics and political figures. Professionally, Jurden had experience as a photo-engraver and art director, and was president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The collection includes working reference files, sketches, and finished copies of his work.
Printing History and Material Culture
Arias Montano, Benedictus. Humanae Salutis Monumenta. Antwerp: Christophe Plantin, 1572
The first edition of this emblem book. The engravings – which represent the history of human salvation – were a landmark in the art of book illustration. The engravings were produced by Abraham de Buyn, Pieter Huys, Jan Wierix, and Hieronymous Wierix, after drawings by Pieter van der Borcht the Elder and Crispin van den Broeck.
Brant, Sebastian. Stulifera Navis Mortalium. Basel: Sebaastian Henricpetri, 1572
A Latin translation of Sebastian Brant’s Das Narrenschiff, a popular 15th century work that mocked and satirized the many human weaknesses and vices of his time. This edition is the first to print woodcuts by Tobias Stimmer.
Cesare, Vecellio. Habiti antichi et moderni…Venice: Appresso Gio. Bernard Sessa, 1598.
This expanded second edition of an early modern work of anthropology and fashion history features numerous woodcut illustrations depicting the indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Americas from a European perspective. Vecellio was a cousin of Titian and worked in his workshop prior to 1548 before moving into publishing.
Uematsu, Yasushi[?]. Chosen dokatsuji mihon yonshu…Tokyo, Japan, June, 1916.
A Korean type specimen book compiled by printing scholar and librarian Yasushi Uematsu (1885-1945) and produced just six years after the Japan-Korea treaty of 1910 for a “Kokatsujibon Tenrankai” exhibition.
Photograph albums of San Francisco Pride parades, 1976-1995, 3 volumes
Photograph album of early East Coast Pride parades, 1972-1973, 1 volume
These four albums contain vernacular photographs of gay activism exhibited through Pride parades and marches on both the West and East coasts.
Soulellis, Paul. Queer. Archive. Work. 3. Providence: Paul Soulellis, September 2019
This is the third in a series of experimental, collaborative publications bringing together a variety of queer artistic and literary methodologies. The contributors refuse normative narrative through techniques such as interference and refusal. The contents of the archive take various visual and textual forms.
Aarons, Philips and A A Bronson. Queer Zines, vol 1. Second Edition. New York: Printed Matter Inc., 2013
This catalog “collects the variegated practices of zine makers past and present, from Europe and North America, and lists them alphabetically.” The volume includes comprehensive bibliographies of queer zines, synopses, reprints of important articles about zines, a directory of queer zine archives, etc.
—.Queer Zines, vol. 2 New York: Printed Matter Inc., 2014
This volume contains bibliographies of over 120 titles, “Including both an expanded focus on overlooked ‘historical’ publications dating from the early 70s onward, as well as extensive entries charting a new generation of queer zinesters, this second volume offers a broad survey of the vibrant and evolving medium.” The volume also includes essays emphasizing the importance of independent queer publishing as a cultural agent.
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