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Latimer, Catherine A.

Catherine A. Latimer Collection

1854-1953 Bulk: 1915-1948
ca.130 vols. 12 linear feet
Call no.: RB 031

A friend and associate of W.E.B. Du Bois, Catherine A. Latimer became the first African American librarian at the New York Public Library, when she was hired at the 135th Street Branch in 1920. Born in Tennessee and raised in a relatively well to do family in Brooklyn , Latimer studied librarianship at Howard University, graduating in 1918. From early on, she had a keen interest in the burgeoning cultural scene in Harlem in the 1920s and in African American history more generally, and she played a pivotal role in acquiring Arturo Schomburg’s outstanding African American collection in 1926. Latimer worked at the NYPL for 28 years, up until her death in 1948.

The collection contains a remarkable assemblage of books by African American writers and on African American subjects collected by Catherine Latimer during the 1920s through 1940s. Amoing the books are scarce titles in African American history, poetry, and literature including signed volumes by W.E.B. Du Bois (5 titles), Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and James Weldon Johnson.

Gift of Ruby C. Latimer with the assistance of Dario Bosley, Sept. 2015.

Subjects

African Americans--HistoryAmerican literature--African American authors

Contributors

Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963McKay, Claude, 1890-1948

Types of material

Books
Lerner, Frederick Andrew, 1945-

Frederick Andrew Lerner Science Fiction Collection

1939-1996
304 titles 15 linear feet
Call no.: RB 016

Fred Lerner is a librarian, bibliographer, and historian who has written extensively on American science fiction. After earning three degrees from Columbia University, including his MLS and DLS (1981), Lerner worked for many years in information science for Spectra, Inc., and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. His diverse including work in radio, writing about the history of psychiatry, libraries, Rudyard Kipling, and science fiction.

The Lerner collection contains a cross-section of American science fiction writing concentrated largely in the 1960s through mid-1980s.

Gift of Frederck Andrew Lerner, 2010-2011

Subjects

Science fiction
Lewis, Benjamin F.

Benjamin F. Lewis Collection of Robert Frost

1901-1986
301 items 24 linear feet
Call no.: RB 036

An avid collector of Robert Frost, Benjamin F. Lewis was born in Boston, on 23, 1941, to Leo and Anne (Starr) Lewis, Benjamin Lewis. Lewis enjoyed a distinguished career as a social worker, an adminstrator, a researcher in drug and alcohol abuse, and on the AIDS epidemic, working in his latter years as a member of the Department of Psychiatry at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Lewis died on Jan. 29, 2019, leaving his life partner Karen Orsini and two children. While working at Goodspeeds in Boston as a college student, Lewis was presented with a Robert Frost first edition, beginning a lifelong collecting habit.

The collection assembled by Lewis includes first and early editions of Frost’s books (many inscribed), early printings and later (life-time) editions of most, selected first appearances of his poetry in magazines and anthologies, scarce ephemeral printings of his work and association pieces, a handful of letters and holograph poems, and phonograph recordings of Frost reading his own work.

Gift of Benjamin F. Lewis and Karen Orsini, 2018-2019

Contributors

Frost, Robert, 1874-1963
Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies

Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies Collection

1699-1853
76 titles 20 linear feet
Call no.: RB 029

Founded by Arthur Kinney in 1998, the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies promotes the research, teaching, and dissemination of all aspects of literature and culture in the Early Modern Period (roughly 1400-1700). In addition to sponsoring a diverse array of visiting scholars, scholarly conferences, lectures, and seminars, the Center hosts dramatic performances, concerts, and special events for the general public.

As a partner of the Renaissance Center, SCUA is steward for antiquarian books that fall outside the Center’s primary chronological and thematic scope. Books printed during the Renaissance and selected scholarly works on the era are housed at the Center itself.

Transfer from the Renaissance Center, 2016-2017

Subjects

Printing--History
Medieval and Early Print Studies

Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection

1504-2016
79 titles 24 linear feet
Call no.: RB 030

Although SCUA’s book collections are focused heavily on modern printing, the evolution of the book and the history of production and spread of the printed word are critical to our instructional mission.

The Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection consists of a growing body of facsimiles of medieval manuscripts and early printed books selected for use in teaching about the history of printing and reading. Emphasizing high quality reproduction, the facsimiles represent a variety of regional styles and traditions in text and illustration, primarily in Europe, from the 11th century through the incunuable era. A handful of post-incunables have been included.

Subjects

Manuscripts, Medieval--FacsimilesPrinting--History
Meier, August, 1923-2003

August Meier Collection

1837-1984
3 boxes, 329 titles 34.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 844
Depiction of

A pioneer in African American history, August Meier was a model of an engaged academic, a prolific writer, active participant in the civil rights struggle, and staunch member of the NAACP, SNCC, and CORE. While pursuing graduate work at Columbia under Henry Steele Commager, Meier taught at a succession of Historical Black Colleges, including Tougaloo (1945-1949), Fisk (1953-1956), and Morgan State (1957-1964). His dissertation, completed in 1957, became the first of eleven books he wrote or edited, Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 (1963), with much of later work conducted in collaboration with Elliott Rudwick and John Bracey. Meier joined the faculty at Kent State University in 1967 and remained there until his retirement in 1993. His much-anticipated monograph on the history of the NAACP had not been completed at the time of death in 2003.

Organized in two discrete parts, the Meier collection bookends a long career in the study of African American history. The first part of the collection is centered on Meier’s association with the Pioneer Youth summer camp in Rifton, N.Y., and his growing consciousness of the fundamental problems of race and class in American society, with some materials from his wartime years as an undergraduate at Oberlin College. The second part of the collection includes books collected by Meier during his academic career, mostly on African American history and culture. Titles range from works on the Civil Rights movement to literature and poetry of the late nineteenth century and Harlem Renaissance, works on slavery and antislavery, race theory, the South, and African American education and religion.

Subjects

African Americans--HistoryAntislavery movementsCamps--New York (State)Civil rights movementsCommunists--United StatesDepressions--1929Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt),1868-1963Oberlin College--StudentsPioneer Youth of AmericaRace relationsWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-

Types of material

NewslettersSongbooks
MFA Program for Poets and Writers

MFA Program for Poets and Writers (University of Massachusetts Amherst) Collection

1963-2014
18 linear feet
Call no.: RB 024

One of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst was established by the poet Joseph Langland in 1963, offering students an opportunity for intensive focus on their creative work. Unlike the Iowa Writers Workshop, where Langland had studied, students in the UMass program were required to take coursework outside of writing workshops. Over its first fifty years, the program has grown into one of the top ten in the nation and its graduates and faculty have been recognized with awards from the Pulitzer to the National Book Award, Pushcart Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and US Poet Laureate.

The MFA collection contains a growing body of work from students, alumni, and faculty affiliated with the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst. Among the hundreds of volumes are novels, collections of short stories, plays, and poetry, including a large number of chapbooks and small press imprints.

Subjects

FictionPoetry
Miniature books

Miniature Book Collection

1785-1986 Bulk: 1965-1980
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: RB 018

Typically defined as being less than three inches in height, miniature books have been favorites in the book trade since the sixteenth century. Their small stature focuses attention on details such as paper quality, layout, illustration, and choice of type, and their portability enhances their personal appeal.

This miscellaneous assortment of miniature books was assembled primarily for convenience in shelving. The volumes date primarily from the second half of the 20th century with subject matter ranging from poetry to biography, history, and religion. A number of toy books, chapbooks, and other miniatures intended for children are housed in the Massachusetts Rural Printing and the Early Childrens’ Literature Collections.

Acquired individually.

Subjects

Miniature books
Pavese, Cesare

Cesare Pavese Collection

1931-2006 Bulk: 1931-1950
13 titles 2 linear feet
Call no.: RB 037
Depiction of

Simultaneously prolific and tragic, Cesare Pavese was a major figure in 20th century Italian letters. Born in the Piedmont region in 1908 and educated in Turin, Pavese was drawn to English-language literature as a student, writing his thesis on Walt Whitman (1930). Nearly overnight, he became well known as a translator of modern American and British fiction, from Melville, Faulkner, and Steinbeck to James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, and at the same time, he began to publish his own creative work beginning with Lavorare stanca, a book of poetry, in 1936. Although sentenced to three years of internal exile for his anti-fascist sympathies (1938-1941), he continued to write, capped by the appearance of his first two novels in 1941 and 1942. The war’s end saw Pavese blossom into an exceptionally creative period, however even as his renown grew, the effects of depression and a failed love affair with the American actress Constance Dowling led him to suicide in August 1950. Two months before he had been awarded the prestigious Strega Prize.

This collection of first and early editions by Cesare Pavese, donated by Lawrence G. Smith, includes first and early editions by Cesare Pavese, five of which are inscribed: three to Constance Dowling, one to his friend Leone Ginzburg (and later to Dowling), and the fifth to Doris and Harry. Smith also donated dozens of other volumes by and about Pavese to the Library’s general collection.

Gift of Lawrence Smith, 2018.
Language(s): Italian

Subjects

Dowling, Constance, 1923-1969Italian literatureWhitman, Walt, 1819-1892

Types of material

BooksFliers (Printed material)
Rosellini, Jay

Jay Rosellini East German Book Collection

ca.1960-1990
ca.190 vols. 15.5 linear feet
Call no.: RB 032

A scholar of East German literature and cultural politics, Jay Rosellini completed his doctorate at Indiana University in 1976, and held faculty positions at MIT and Purdue before becoming Professor of German and Humanities at Suffolk University in 2001. His writings include monographs on the writers Volker Braun and Wolf Biermann and a study of the right-wing tradition in German literature from the Romantic era to post-unification. Rosellini retired in 2017.

The Rosellini Collection contains novels, poetry, and drama from East German writers, primarily from the 1960s to 1989.

Gift of Jay Rosellini, June 2017
Language(s): German

Subjects

Authors, German--Germany (East)Germany (East)--History

Types of material

Books