Two Hundred Years of USC's Libraries

19th Century: Starting a College Library | Some Antebellum Treasures | Intellectual Ambitions | A Working Library | The Later 19th Century

20th Century: The Earlier 20th Century | The Recognition of Heritage | The Millionth Volume | Rare Books and Special Collections | Some Recent Gifts & Acquisitions

Foreword | 200 Years of Librarians | Selected References

Some Recent Gifts and Acquisitions

the 'yearbook' of a wartime squadronA wartime Christmas in Corsica, 1944, from the Joseph Heller Collection Everett
B. Thomas, comp., 'Round the world with the 488th: a more or less factual narrative supported by on-the-spot pictorial evidence.
N.p.: Everett B. Thomas, 1946.
--few writers produce a first book that ranks among the top ten novels of the century, and fewer still choose a title that becomes part of the language. In 1997, the University acquiredthe literary archives of Joseph Heller (1923-2000), comprising over 300 file folders and 150,000 pages of Mr. Heller's drafts, revisions, and other papers over a period of nearly 30 years. Shown here, together with the keepsake announcing the acquisition, is a printed item, the "yearbook" of the wartime squadron in which Mr. Heller served; he appears in the top photo, on the right, near the typewriter.

Fifty Years and Other PoemsA presentation copy from James Weldon Johnson & the Augusta Baker Collection of African-American Children's Literature 
Johnson, James Weldon, 1871-1938.
Fifty years & other poems.
With an introduction by Brander Matthews.
Boston: Cornhill Company, 1917. Original quarter cloth, boards. Signed presentation copy to Frederick N. Keasley, 1918. Gift of the Thomas Cooper Society, 1999.
--the Augusta Baker Collection of African-American Children's Literature and Folklore, donated by Jame. H. Baker in 1998, included also manuscript poems by James Weldon Johnson, author of "Lift Every Voice and Sing.," Johnson had known Dr. Baker in the 1930's. With this as a base, the library has acquired other items by Johnson, including this inscribed copy of his first book of poetry, purchased by the Thomas Cooper Society.

Maria Theresa's great sealFrom the Empress Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, 1717-1780.
Grant of arms to Franz Niclas di S. Georgio, March 1760.
Manuscript on parchment, signed, with the arms of the recipient, and Maria Theresa's great seal in gilt-brass skip. Bound in original olive-green velvet. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Rast, Jr.

Kohn-Henning collectionThe Kohn-Hennig Collection
While this portion of the exhibit is focused on the special collections in Thomas Cooper Library, it is important to note the continuing donation of important materials to the South Caroliniana Library and the new program of Modern Political Collections. The bookplate reproduced here is from the outstanding collection of South Caroliniana presented in 2000 by Mr. and Mrs. Julian Hennig and family.

lords Proprietors' sealThe Lords Proprietors' Seal and Patent to John Wyche, 1699
Donated by James P. Barrow, '62.
--Among the donations to the library just before the Bicentennial was this remarkable document, a grant or patent from the Lords Proprietors of South Carolina, dated 1699, shown closed to prevent damage from exposure to light (a full image with English translation is available on the Rare Books web-pages). The grant was issued to an Englishman named John Wyche (a relative of the then-Palatine or chief Proprietor), and conferred on him the status of Landgrave, with the right to claim 48,000 acres of land between Cape Fear and the Savannah River. The grant is engrossed on vellum, with the Great Seal of the Proprietors still attached. It is one of only two such 17th century documents known to survive with their seal. Donated with the grant was a group of letters relating subsequent litigation over the land, and a pristine copy of the Act of Parliament by which the Lords Proprietors ceded control of South Carolina to the British crown.

HemingwayBeginning the library's third century: Ernest Hemingway
In January 2001, the University announced its latest major acquisition, the Speiser and Easterling-Hallman Foundation Collection of Ernest Hemingway. Maurice J. Speiser (1880-1948) of Philadelphia and New York, was Hemingway's lawyer and effective agent in the 1930's and 1940's, and the collection brings not only a stunning collection of Hemingway's works, along with proofs, letters and typescripts, but also an extensive archive of Mr. Speiser's correspondence with other writers, artists and musicians. Its acquisition was made possible by the generosity of Ellen Speiser Katz, Mr. Speiser's granddaughter, and of Edward S. Hallman, '50.

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Columbia Libraries and Collections