Important Acquisitions Made by Special Libraries in FY 2011

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University Archives acquired significant sets of papers during FY 2011, among them the papers of Illinois ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, Nobel prizewinning economist Dale T. Mortensen, actress Patricia Neal, syndicated columnist Georgie Ann Geyer, advertising executive and Northwestern emeritus Richard Christian, and Hollywood production designer Maher Ahmad, along with new and very interesting papers from Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women.

Following is a selection of additional important acquisitions made by Special Libraries over the past year.

Louis van Engelen. Mon Voyage au Congo. Anvers, 1930. A typed manuscript with 19 original illustrations, no. 12 of 25 copies. (Africana) 

Portfolio of photographs of dioramas from the Musée des Colonies pavilion at the Exposition Coloniale Internationale de Paris. Documents the work of Missions Evangéliques in education in Africa. (Africana)

Souvenir de Madagascar, 1902. An album of 94 photographs taken in Madagascar between 1896 and 1902, assembled by a French military officer upon his return to France. This acquisition adds to our already significant collections on the history and culture of Madagascar. (Africana)

Claude Debussy, drawing of an unknown female figure, signed and dated July 4, 1901. The only drawing known to exist by Debussy. (Music)

Richard Wagner, sketch for Tannhäuser, Act III (“Old Pilgrim’s Chorus”), ca. 1842. Our first acquisition of an original Wagner manuscript. (Music)

John Cage, Silence.Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1961. First edition, first printing. Personal copy of Ellsworth Snyder, inscribed by Cage, with performance notes by David Tudor laid in. (Music)

Tarascon Manuscript, 14th C., southern France. A collaborative purchase with the Newberry Library. For details of this purchase, see information provided elsewhere in this report.

Arthur Rimbaud. Une saison en enfer. Bruxelles: Alliance Typographique, 1873. Rare first edition. “A Season in Hell” is one of the great bedrocks of literary Modernism. Its influence, particularly upon the Surrealists, has been immeasurable. Written shortly after his crazed love affair with Paul Verlaine, which culminated with Verlaine shooting Rimbaud in the wrist, Rimbaud persuaded his mother to put up the printers’ deposit to get the book printed. After taking a few copies to distribute to friends (including giving one to the imprisoned Verlaine) Rimbaud didn’t have the funds to pay for the release and distributions of the rest of the stock. In 1901, ten years after Rimbaud’s death, a trunk containing these copies was discovered in a storehouse. This is one of the copies that was found in that trunk. It is a lovely, fragile book, in its original paper wrappers. (Special Collections)

[Oscar Wilde]. Straiton and Storms New Cigars. Aesthetic Sun-Flowers Too Too Capadura Patience. [New York]: n.p., n.d. [after 1882]. Prior to his success as a playwright, Wilde was famous for his writings and lectures on Aestheticism, as well as being notorious for the manners and clothes he wore as a personal expression of the same.  His 1882 lecture tour of America was a huge success, and whether in derision or celebration his fame was such that his image was used in such things as odd as this advertiser’s trade card for a brand of cigars.  The sunflower was often used as a prop for such lampoons of Wilde, and “Patience” in this instance refers to the Gilbert and Sullivan opera of that name, which parodies Wilde as an aesthetic dandy. (Special Collections)

[n.a.] 19th C. album of Parisian photographs. [n.d., c. 1890]. Purchased in part for its photographs of damage during the Siege and Commune of Paris, this album of original albumen prints is also notable for its images of the Expositions of 1878 and 1889, including the Eiffel Tower of the 1889 Exposition and the head of the Statue of Liberty, which was displayed at the 1878 fair prior to its shipment to the United States where it was attached to the rest of the statue. Someday we hope to digitize our entire Siege and Commune Collection, which, even before our most recent acquisitions, was among the three most important in the world. (Special Collections)

L’Estampe moderne (1897–1899) The Art Collection acquired a complete original set of this important art-nouveau revue, illustrated with 100 loose plates, the majority being original color lithographs. (Art Collection)

Lawrence M. Nagin Airline Menu and Memorabilia Collection of menus and commercial-aviation related periodicals and ephemera (Transportation)

Gary Gelzer Transportation Collection of railroad-related postcards and maps (Transportation)