Recent Arrivals: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives, 2004-2009

Exhibition Displays Notable Gifts and Purchases

New Arrivals 2004-2009In a typical year, the Stanford University Libraries adds close to two thousand linear feet of original manuscripts and archives as well as hundreds of rare books to its Special Collections. Working closely with faculty in different disciplines, librarians, subject-area curators, and archivists identify, seek out, and acquire original sources for use by scholars. This exhibition displays some of the most notable gifts and purchases of the past five years, for the purpose of bringing newly-available materials to the attention of students, faculty, and other scholars, as well as the interested public.

Recent Arrivals: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives opens Monday, September 21, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda on the second floor of the Bing Wing of Green Library, Stanford University. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Highlights of the rare books on display include the copy of Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) that Douglass inscribed to the woman who ransomed him from slavery, from the library of late Professor of English Jay Fliegelman; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's History of the Expedition . . . to the Sources of the Missouri(1814) which contains a celebrated map drawn by Clark that provided the first accurate depiction of the sources of the Columbia and Missouri rivers; a 1468 illuminated Latin manuscript of Jacob de Voragine’s (ca. 1230-1298) Legenda Aurea (Golden Legend), recounting the lives of the saints; and several rare Hebraica volumes purchased from the private Valmadonna Trust Library, including two works by sixteenth-century authors that are held by only a handful of libraries worldwide.

Manuscript collections on display span the persecution of French Huguenots to the literary expression of the San Francisco Beats. Notable items represented in the exhibition include a diary recounting a Protestant family's harrowing escape from France in 1687, from the Champagné Papers; photographs by experimental filmmaker Jack Smith (1932-1989), and correspondence between Irving Rosenthal (1930-) and William Burroughs (1914-1997) concerning editing and publication of Burroughs’ Naked Lunch , from the Irving Rosenthal Papers; and materials documenting the friendship between Estonian philosopher, scholar, and prolific author Leonid N. Stolovich (1939-2007) and Yuri Lotman (1922-1993), founder of the Moscow-Tartu school of semiotics, from the Leonid N. Stolovich Papers.

Representing new and notable acquisitions in the Stanford University Archives is a set of sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings for the Stanford Memorial Church mosaics produced by the Venetian glass firm A. Salviati & Co. at the direction of Jane Stanford, ca. 1899-1901. Images on display include a controversial drawing for the church façade--which she rejected--along with the approved design.

Recent Arrivals: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives will be on display from September 21 through December 31, 2009. Exhibit cases are illuminated Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open and hours vary with the academic schedule. For Library hours, call 650-723-0931.

NOTE: first-time visitors must register at the south entrance portal to Green Library’s East Wing to gain access to the exhibition in the Bing (west) Wing. For a map of campus and transportation information, go to