Special Acquisitions

Following are several examples of truly important research collections that Stanford was able to acquire only with the help of individuals, foundations, or businesses.

The Samson/Copenhagen Judaica Collection
This collection of nearly 2,000 works is a treasure that will make Stanford a focus of scholars researching the religious life and history of European Jewry. Stanford University Libraries acquired the collection with the help of Bay Area philanthropic organizations and individuals, including a lead grant from the Koret Foundation. The collection itself has a dramatic history, having been assembled over centuries by the Jewish community in Copenhagen, Denmark, and concealed by Danes during the Nazi occupation to save it from destruction ­ only to be returned to the Jewish community after Denmark’s liberation. Decades later, the collection was acquired by Herman R. Samson, who brought it to the United States and eventually made it available to Stanford.

The Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy
The Gustav Gimon Collection concentrates broadly on the philosophical and social foundations of economic theory in France from the late sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century. In recognition of intensified programs in French studies at Stanford, notably the recent creation of the Institute for French Interdisciplinary Studies, this purchase was supported by special funding from President Gerhard Casper's office, the Stanford University Libraries, and, most importantly, by the relatives of Gustav Gimon (1907-1991), a courageous leader of the French Resistance and a philanthropist whose sens civique was evident in a life dedicated to social responsibility and community service. View more information about the Gimon Collection.

The Wells Fargo Steinbeck Collection
In 1999, the Stanford University Libraries acquired a major collection of manuscripts, letters, photographs, and books by John Steinbeck that span over 100 years of Steinbeck family history. The collection is that of his eldest sister, Esther Steinbeck Rodgers and was acquired with a lead gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation to the Stanford Libraries. Known as the Wells Fargo Steinbeck Collection, the collection joined Stanford's other holdings of Steinbeck books and manuscripts in the Department of Special Collections In sum, Stanford has one of the most important archives on John Steinbeck in the country and is thus a premier repository for research materials on John Steinbeck's work and his place on the American literary scene. View more information about the Steinbeck Collection.