Ex libris

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Ex libris

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Ex libris journal of the USF Library Associates
USF Library Associates
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
USF Library Associates.
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non-fiction ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
E09-00006-146 ( USFLDC DOI )
e9.6-146 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Exhibits EXHIBITS of rare and unusual items from the Univers ity's collections are displayed in the Library on a continuing basis. Display areas are located on the fourth floor of the main library building, both in the lobby and in the Special Collections reading room. Exhibits are changed quarterly. Current Exhibit: The First Colony: Spanish Florida, 1513-1763. The first European colony in North America, Spanish Florida originally included most of the territory later comprising the traditional "13 colonies." By 1763, however, it had shrunk to little more than the area occupied by Florida today. Using book s, maps and other materials from the Library's collection of early Floridiana, this exhi bit will trace the presence of Imperial Spain in Florida from the age of discovery to the B ritish occupation in 1763. It will be on view from June 11 through August 31. Quarter I,1979: Chronicler of Empire: Pluck & Peril With G.A. Henty . English writer George Alfred Henty (1832-1902) has been cal led the "Rudyard Kipling of boys' books." In his 80-odd novels and extensive periodic al writings his historical fiction chronicled the greatness of Britain's world-spannin g empire. Immensely popular in England, Henty's works were widely read in America as well. Through the medium of books and other materials drawn from the Library's comprehensive collection of Hentyana, this exhibit will provide an unusual view of 19th Century British imperialism. It will include both American and British Henty fir st editions, many of them notable for their decorative bindings. The exhibit will be on d isplay from September 24 to December 12. Quarter 11, 1979: Autographs & Manuscripts From Six Centuries. Original signatures and manuscripts written by famous person s have a fascination far beyond the mere content of the messages they convey. They prov ide a unique feeling of contact with people we can never actually meet. Drawn from the U niversity's manuscript collection, the documents comprising this display range from a 1492 letter signed by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain to a note by President John F. Ke nnedy. Included are holographic writings of such diverse personages as Thomas Jeffe rson, Ezra Pound, and Pablo Picasso. The exhibit will be on display from January 7 to Ma rch 19.


Contents The Dion Boucicault Collection at USF ... 1 Dion Boucicault ................................... ......2 Fashion and Fancy, 1598-1922: Costume Works in the USF Rare Book Collection ................................... ......5 Associates' Events & Activities .................7 Of Plymouth Plantation, Straw Hats, and Old Plays ..................................... ........8 A letter from a patron Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 20 Not printed at State expense. Programs, activities, and services of the Universit y of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard t o race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University i s an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer. Ex Libris Vol. 2, No. 4 Spring, 1979 Ex Libris is published quarterly by the USF Library Associates, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Please address suggestions and comments to J. B. Do bkin, Executive Secretary, USF Library Associates, USF Library, Tampa, Fla. 33620. Cover: A theatrical costume of 1720 representing the "hour s of the night." From Hippolyte Lecomte's Costumes de Theatre ... (Paris, 1824?). All illustrations in this issue of Ex Libris are reproduced from works in the Special Collections Department of the University of South F lorida Library. Photography is by the photography department of USF's Division of Educati onal Resources.


The Dion Boucicault Collection At USF by Christopher Calthrop I FIRST visited the University of South Florida in the Fall of 1969. A member of the teaching staff visiting the United Kingdom had cont acted me, and over dinner we talked about my great-grandfather, Dion Boucicault. I lear ned to my astonishment that Boucicault's own collection of manuscript plays had found its way to Tampa, Florida, and that this collection was one of the jewels of the S pecial Collections Library. I had known for some years that the collection had disappeared from a New York apartment in the 1930's. In 1885, Boucicault, by then an American citizen, h ad married Louise Thorndyke, an American actress. He was 64, she was 21. It was a l ove match, and when he died five years later his will named her as his literary exec utor. She inherited full rights to royalties from such famous plays as The Poor of New York, The Octoroon, The Shaughraun, and many more, covering a career of writing and acting that began in 1838 and ended in 1890 with his death (a career unparalleled in the histor y of Victorian theatre). Mrs. Boucicault kept the collection in a large trunk in her apartme nt at 350 W. 55 Street. Dr. Albert Johnson, who researched Boucicault's life and caree r for a quarter of a century and was planning a biography when he died last year, has de scribed movingly how he visited the apartment in 1958 and to his amazement found himsel f talking to the old black janitor who had looked after Louise for many years. The jan itor recalled that she had asked him to put the trunk in the cellar, and that when a law yer looked for it after her death in 1956 (she survived Boucicault by 66 years), it could not be found. Apparently, falling on hard times, Louise had sold the collection in the early Thirties to novelist Fitzhugh Green. Green's widow had, in turn, sold it in 1956 to Professor Jack Clay. Later, when Clay joined the staff of USF, he intended to use the collection for his doctoral dissertation on The Theatre of Dion Boucicault. The dissertation was never completed but he did use one of the most important manuscripts, Belle Lamar, a rousing melodrama about the Civil War, for a production still remembered with pleasure by many who saw it and who were still at USF at the time of my first visit. The production was authentic, thanks to the original promptbook and music from the Boucicault collection. So I undertook the journey from England to Tampa, where I stayed for two months, working in the Special Collections Library, where Margaret Chapman, the Librarian at the time, encouraged and helped me to Contemporary cabinet portrait of Dion Boucicault in his most famous role as “Conn, the Shanghraun.”


catalogue and, in part, to evaluate this astounding collection of Victorian theatre material. Many of the manuscripts are in Boucicault's hand, a nd bear evidence to the careful rewriting that marks much of his work. Melodrama is well represented by The Trial of Effie Deans; or, The Heart of Midlothian (1860), Robert Emmet (1884) , Faust and Marguerite (1854) ; comedy and farce by Vice Versa (1883) , The Jilt (1885) , Janet Pride (1854) , and Rip van Winkle (1866) . There are articles in manuscript about the American theatre of his time, and unproduced and unpublished plays which are a mine of information for scholars. When I revisited USF in 1977, I was surprised to le arn from Jay Dobkin, who succeeded Margaret Chapman as Special Collections L ibrarian, that the collection had not been used by any scholar, American or British, since my visit in 1969. I very much hope that this short account will attract attention to this important source of information about the work methods and fertility of mind of one of the most prolific authors in the history of the theatre; Boucicault wrote more than 160 known plays of which at least 140 were produced, many with outstanding success. I hav e made available my notes on the collection to Richard Fawkes, whose biography of Bo ucicault will appear in the Fall.


Dion Boucicault by Richard Fawkes DION BOUCICAULT-actor, playwright, adaptor, stage d irector, manager, producer, innovator-was, for almost fifty years, the most imp ortant and influential man of the theatre on both sides of the Atlantic. He wrote, ad apted or translated, according to his own estimation (and I tend to believe him), some 25 0 plays. He coined the phrase 'sensation drama' and brought to perfection the typ e of play it describes. He bridged the gap between the comedies of Farquhar, Congreve, She ridan, and Goldsmith, and those of Wide, Shaw, Synge, and O'Casey. He contributed deci sively towards the establishment of the long run, of the touring production, of copyrig ht for dramatists and of the royalty system which allowed later, greater writers to make their living from the theatre. He was instrumental in cutting the length of performances from several pieces lasting several hours to one, full-length play, and he abolished th e custom of letting in patrons for halfprice after nine o'clock. He introduced fire-proof scenery, demonstrated how to handle crowd scenes long before ensemble playing became fa shionable, and was a superb teacher. Among the talents he encouraged or promote d were those of Henry Irving, Harry Montague, Joseph Jefferson, Henry Miller, and David Belasco. He was a skillful actor, considered by many to be great, especially in the I rish roles he wrote for himself. During the third quarter of the 19th Century he was the mo st prolific, most prosperous, most widely imitated playwright of the English-speaking stage. Boucicault was born in Dublin on 27 December 1820. In all probability he was the illegitimate son of Dr. Dionysius Lardner, a popula riser of science, who gave him his name, became his guardian, and paid for most of his education, firstly in Dublin, then in London. While at school, Boucicault took part in a school play and wrote his own first piece, Napoleon's Old Guard. Later revised as The Old Guard it enjoyed considerable success in America and England. After a short spell as Lardner's apprentice Boucicault, aged 17, ran away to become an actor, writing all t he while. His first major success came when he was 20 with the comedy London Assurance. Unable to repeat the success, his penchant for high living and overspending forced hi m to accept an offer from Benjamin Webster, manager of the Haymarket, to translate and adapt from the French. From then on Boucicault dedicated himself to providing what t he public wanted. From 1844 to 1848 he travelled frequently to France, turning out play after play and establishing himself as an extremely competent playwright. He also found himself a wife, a widow twice his age who possessed a small fortune and died under mysterious circumstances. Some malicious rumours (Boucicault was the sort of man who attracted scandal all his life) claimed he had pushed her off a Swiss mountain. By 1848 he had spent her money and was declared bankrupt. In 1850 he joined Charles Kean at the Princess's and produced two of his most important adaptations, The Corsican Brothers and Louis XI. An affair with Agnes Original prompt book (1874) for Boucicault’s play, “The Shanghraun,” annotated throughout by the playwright.


Robertson, Kean's ward and a member of the company, made him quit Kean's employment in 1853 before Kean could fire him, and he and Agnes left for America. For the next seven years he managed Agnes's career, tur ning out many potboilers to show off her talents as they toured the States, returned to acting himself, became involved in the passing of the 1856 Copyright Act, entered manageme nt unsuccessfully in New Orleans and Washington, and opened the Winter Garden in New York. Among the most important plays from this period are those utilisin g current events, the 'Contemporary Dramas' such as The Poor of New York (1857) about the financial panic of that year; Jessie Brown (1858) about the Relief of Lucknow; and The Octoroon (1859) which dealt with the explosive subject of slavery. The Octoroon, with Agnes Robertson in the lead and Boucicault playing a grunting Indian, opened at the Winter Garden on 6 December 1859. A week later Boucicault and Agnes were out of the cast following a row with Boucicault's partner over money. They moved to Laura Keene's rival theatre and there, on 29 March 1860 , produced The Colleen Bawn, a stop-gap for another Boucicault play which unexpectedly failed, and one of the most important dramas of the century. When Boucicault took it to London that Fall he entered into a unique arrangement with Webster, manager of the Adelphi, to be paid a royalty instead of a customary flat fee. The play ran for a record 230 consecutive performances, the first long 'run' in the history of the English theatre(for the first time, when actors could be engaged for the run of a piece, they were paid a living wage). Boucicault also formed companies to tour the play, thereby heralding the end of the old and largely inefficient stock system. The Colleen Bawn was also the last play seen in a public theatre by Queen Victoria. ACTING NIGHTLY in the same piece irked Boucicault and after a blazing row with Webst er which ended in court (as F.B. Chatterton, another manager who crossed words with Boucicault, remarked, everyone rowed with the playwright if only they knew him lon g enough), he spent the fortune he and Agnes had made from the play on opening his own theatre. The conversion of Astley's was a magnificent project but it ended ign ominiously in 1863 with Boucicault's bankruptcy. Being the remarkable man he was, he soo n bounced back, largely through his 1857 success The Poor of New York, which he localised for each new town. His next major piece was Arrah-na-Pogue (1864). Ten years and 32 other plays, some good, some poor, separated it from The Shaughraun, the third and probably the best Proof copy of Boucicault’s play, “The Colleen Bawn.” Printed in 1861, its title page bears notations in Boucicault’s hand. The “Princess Alice” for whom the copy was printed was Alice Maud Mary (1843 -1878), second daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria.


of his Irish dramas, and the one which made him the most money. In 1875 it was estimated that 25 million dollars had been spent by the public to see Boucicault's plays. Although Boucicault never stopped working, it was c lear that The Shaughraun was to be his last major work. In 1876, on the night the play closed in London, Boucicault's eldest son Willie was killedin a train crash. Soon after t he tragedy he returned to New York to live with actress Katherine Rogers, leaving Agnes i n London. He continued to earn his living from writing and touring. In 1885 he became the first big star to visit Australia. In the company he took with him were his son Dot, daug hter Nina, and Louise Thorndyke, a 21 year old actress, whom he married in a Sydney Re gistry office. News of the bigamous marriage created a storm Agnes filed for divorce; and people flocked to see the couple in The Jilt, the title of which took on a new meaning. Agnes won her divorce and Boucicault and Louise went through a second marriag e ceremony in New York. Forced by increasing costs, old age and the fact th at his work was out of fashion, to give up touring, Boucicault became a teacher at Pal mer's Madison Square Theatre School, but still writing. He died in New York on 1 8 September 1890 with unfinished plays on his desk. "It has been a long jig," he wro te two weeks before his death, "and I'm just beginning to see the pathos of it. I have writ ten for a monster who forgets." Gradually Boucicault is being remembered. His impor tance as both a man of the theatre and a dramatist is slowly being recognised. He may not be one of the world's great playwrights but the best of his work is the product of a man who knew the theatre, knew how to construct a play, knew how to entertain. On the stage his plays come to life and I am convinced there is much of his drama that would do well today. There is still considerable work to be done on Bouc icault. There are still many mysteries about the man and his work that need to b e resolved. Many of the answers will be found in the collection of Boucicault material i n the Special Collections Library of USF.


Fashion and Fancy, 1598-1922: Costume Works in the USF Rare Book Collection EVERYONE is familiar with the old cliche about clot hes making the man. As with all cliches, lurking within this oversimplification of the human condition is a goodly measure of truth. Ever since Og the Apeman decided the bear's furry coat would look better on Og than it did on the bear, clothing has ranked with food and shelter as one of humanity's essentials. Going far beyond the simple need to protect our vulnerable skins from a too often hostile, environment, clothing has played a pivotal role in society almost since Og became the pacesetter of the cavern set. The pattern, cut, and material of clothing have ove r the centuries assumed an almost infinite variety of combinations. Little of this pr ofuse diversity in garments has been capricious, however. In every society and historica l period clothing has served as a badge of time and place, its materials, style, and so for th reflecting facets of the civilization that produced it and its wearers. A person's dress (or s ometimes lack thereof) has always made important statements about the wearer's sex, w ealth, profession, moral beliefs, nationality, and overall place in the social order. The ornate but restrictive clothing of Victorian ladies, for instance, was both a "uniform " showing what they were and a reflection of their ornate, restricted place in con temporary life. Modes of dress capture in a uniquely graphic manner the spirit and social con cepts of the eras they represent. An interesting and colorful look at the fascinating history of clothing is provided by the many works on historic costume housed in the USF rare books collection. In many formats and languages, these unusual volumes range in date from the 16th Century to the early decades of the 20th. Within their pages are illustrated costumes and costume accessories from almost every period and place. Coverage in types of costume is concentrated, however, on European dress of the 19th Century and earlier, with heavy emphasis on French modes. The volumes in the collection incorporate information on almost every aspect of dress and personal adornment: there are works on armor, military uniforms, clerical dress, hair styles, jewelry, and even eyeglasses. There are books of theatrical costumes as well as works devoted to contemporary fashion. This adds an interesting dimension; it's almost as interesting seeing what 17th Century Europeans thought ancient Romans wore as it is to see what they actually did wander about in. The nucleus of the University's collection of rare costume books was acquired during the sale of the noted Hacker Art Book collection of early works on fashion, offered for Costume of a seller of small birds from BonnartÂ’s Cris de Paris (Paris, c. 1700).


sale in 1970. The 54 major works acquired at that t ime have since grown by gift and purchase, resulting in a collection of choice costu me-related books that would delight any bibliophile. Almost all of these rare items are pro fusely illustrated, over half containing hand-colored plates. Etchings and engravings for ea rly costume books were often executed by talented artists of the time, then pain stakingly colored with watercolors and gouache. Often each plate is a work of art in its o wn right. Many of the Library's fine costume books are also notable for fine bindings an d the overall excellence of their design. With the range and variety of materials available i n the collection it is possible to mention only a few of the most interesting. The ear liest costume book in the USF collection is a fine copy of Cesare Vecellio's Habiti Antichi et Moderni..., one of the greatest Renaissance costume books. The USF copy is the second edition, published in Venice in 1598. The 1598 edition was a major expansion of the previous 1590 edition, having 507 full page woodcuts as opposed to 420 in the earlier work. Notable in the 1598 edition is the inclusion of 21 woodcuts of American Indians, including one of the "King of Florida." In addition, the Italian text is accompanied by a Latin translation made for this edition by Sulstatius Gratilianus. The volume is bound in a contemporary vellum binding. THE LARGEST costume work in the collection, both in size and in number of volumes, is Denkmaler des Theaters, a set of twelve portfolios relating to various aspects of the theatre. The set was published by the Austrian National-bibliothek at Vienna in 1926-1930. Each of the set's twelve portfolios consists of a text volume and a number of matted plates, usually in color and of co nsiderable graphic interest. Many of the portfolios are in whole or in part devoted to t heatrical costume. The USF set is particularly interesting in that it was a gift from theatre director Max Reinhardt to his codirector Wilhelm Dieterle for Christmas 1934, the y ear their acclaimed film version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was released. The set bears two autograph inscriptions from Reinhardt to Dieterle. The earliest work relating to French costume in the collection is a series of 19 beautifully hand-colored copperplates entitled Cris de Paris. Each plate is individually matted, and the whole is enclosed in a green morocc o case. Executed by Jean Baptiste Bonnart at Paris around 1700, these plates form par t of an exceedingly rare series of 36 prints illustrating costumes and distinctive cries of Parisian street vendors. This interesting series is complemented by another book on French street vendors, Adrien Joly's Les Petits Acteurs du Grand Theatre... (Paris, Marinet, circa 1815). One of the This plate from the 1598 edition of Vecellio’s Habiti Antichi… illustrates the costume worn by the “King of Florida.”


most beautiful publications of its kind, Joly's book includes 60 magnificent hand-colored plates. Particularly notable among USF's French cos tume works is a copy of Hippolyte Lecomte's Costumes de Theatre de 1600 a 1820 (Paris, circa 1820) series of 104 handcolored lithographs depicts French theatrical costu me in all its elaborate and imaginative variety. In addition to monographic works on costume, the US F costume collection includes a number of early fashion magazines. Perhaps the most interesting of these journals is a very rare German fashion periodical entitled Allgemeines Europaeisches Journal. The USF collection contains 22 issues of this journal, which was published between 1794 and 1798. Included in the USF run are 45 hand-colored f ashion plates and 25 other plates. Particularly fascinating are 22 original samples of cloth in fine condition and unfaded by time. The most attractive, however, of our rare fas hion periodicals is a complete run of the exquisite French fashion almanac Falbalas & Fanfreluches (Paris, 1922-1926). Consisting of five volumes bound as one in an orang e full-morocco binding, this journal is adorned with profusion of beautifully colored pl ates and text illustrations, all by George Barbier. Although primarily used as a resource for theatrica l costume design, USF's collection of rare costume-related works provide colorful and illuminating insights on why people wore what they wore. For serious scholarship, artis tic enjoyment, or just curiousity to see the wild get-ups our ancestors wore, these rare and beautiful books certainly merit examination.


Associates' Events &Activities General Meeting and Open House: The 1978/79 Library Associates general membership m eeting and open house was held in the Special Collections Department of the U niversity Library from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23. In addition to the business portion of the meeting, the event provided a fine opportunity for members of th e Associates to meet each other and examine firsthand the many rare and interesting mat erials housed in the department. Guided tours of the department were offered by Jay Dobkin and his staff, as well as a chance to see a variety of things from early childr ens' books to a fortune in Confederate money. All told, the evening was both entertaining and enjoyable. All this and refreshments too! Book Sale Preparations: The task of gathering books for the Associates' ann ual book sale is well under way. Due to many generous donations of redundant volumes by Associates members and other friends of the USF Library, we have accumulated sev eral thousand books already. By the time November rolls around we should have a veritab le mountain of good books on hand. We will, that is, if we can count on continued supp ort through donations of unwanted reading material. We'll need the help of all our fr iends to make the sale the success we want it to be. So if you have books you don't need, please keep us in mind. For information relative to donations, please call us a t 974-2731. With your help, the 1979 sale will be the best event yet.


Of Plymouth Plantation, Straw Hats, and Old Plays by Jack B. Moore SEVERAL years ago I gave to the University of South Florida Library a big boxful of old books that I had been carrying around in cars a nd trucks and storing in the attics and closets of various homes in which I've lived for th e past twenty years. I should call the books volumes, I suppose, because most of them lack the hard covers we expect of books, although pamphlets might more accurately des cribe their physical appearance even though they are not pamphlets either. These vo lumes are mainly acting versions of popular plays presented on the American stage durin g the 19th Century. Some are early American plays, sentimental comedies, melodramas, f arces, burlesques, and some are English plays from the time of Shakespeare through the early 19th Century. Most of these plays were printed in America from the early years of the 19th Century through shortly after the Civil War. Also included are some miscell aneous volumes such as The Yankee Story Teller's Own Book; And Aethiopian Reciter's V ade Mecum. Containing a Superb Collection of Yankee Stories and Negro Lectures as Recited by the Most Celebrated Down Easters & Kentuck Screamers, all packed into one volume some 36 pages long, published in Philadelphia and New York by Turner an d Fisher in 1836. How I came to possess these volumes, or books, or p amphlets, is a personal story, and so is how I came to donate them to the University. Therefore, this will be a personal and not a scholarly essay, one that will range far in t ime and subject, incorporating a cast of characters as varied as Plymouth Plantation's Willi am Bradford; a straw-hatted runaway; a librarian whose laugh sounded like the last asthm atic wheeze of a consumptive bagpipe; and a dog loved almost more than a son. To carry yo urself safely through the exotic and sometimes musty but never, I hope, dull memories yo u are about to travel among, you need only keep in mind two thoughts. The first is t hat my wife's family is nothing like mine. The second is that, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wr ote in his poem "Each and All," All are needed by each one; Nothing is fair or good alone. Everything connects at some point, no matter how di stant that point may seem. THE COLLECTION of plays and miscellaneous volumes t hat I gave to the University of South Florida Library came from my wi fe's side of the family, not mine. They were given to me to use as I saw fit a little over twenty years ago by my mother-inlaw, Mrs. Winifred Gray Bowker, and her mother, Mrs . Ethel Maxwell Gray. They were originally collected around the middle of the 19th Century by Mrs. Gray's father. As I have already written, my wife's family is not like mine. My family I think of as immigrant (one set of grandparents came from Irelan d and Germany), and unlanded Southern white (journeying through the Cumberland G ap into Kentucky around 1830). They would not have collected plays: the Southern b ranch seems to have read very little at all, although they were wonderful people. I coul d never figure out why my father took so long to read a page of the newspaper in the even ing (I never saw him with a book, although I found, while rummaging through his under wear drawer when I was a kid, a copy of De Maupassant's short stories which he took away from me when he caught me reading it, saying that he had "heard" that the sto ries were "off color"), why he frequently fell asleep while reading the paper, which meant th at I had to impatiently and rudely wait until he had dropped it while snoozing or until he would throw it at me like a bone to the


starving dog I was playing, saying angrily, "here t ake it, I don't want it anyway." Years after he was dead it occurred to me too late to apo logize that he probably did not read very well and did not want me to know it. He had ve ry little education as a boy in the South and though the school of hard knocks and his motherwit had turned him into a mathematical whiz who could solve complicated probl ems in his head without putting pencil to paper (or as I explain to my children, wi thout pressing finger to the button of a pocket calculator) he never had the opportunity to learn much about reading for his wicked stepmother had removed him very early from s chool and made him work. His side of my family did not emphasize book learni ng. My Great Aunt Daisy, who had coal black hair until her death at about 85 yea rs, I remember was a terrific snuff shot she would roll a pinch of snuff under her upper l ip and after a while, cold winters in Kentucky, could zip tobacco juice sizzling into the coal fire in her room as swiftly as though the spray had been snapped by a slingshot. S he only stopped chewing snuff the last year of her life when she was bedridden and co uld no longer guarantee an accurately arched jet over the side of her bed and into the sp ittoon on the floor. My Great Uncle Ike who weighed about 250 pounds but had very small, pouting lips like a parrot's soft beak, would lull me from my warm bed when we visite d those same cold Kentucky winter's mornings with his crooned and to me from t he city romantic command, "Jaaaaaaccckkkk, gawta git awp, gawta go feed the h awwgs" was like my Great Aunt Daisy, not one to deal with books. At daybreak when we arose they would deal with breakfasts of soft, white buttermilk biscuits, redeye ham with brown gravy, fried quail, fried rabbit, fried squirrel ("Squirrel? Jack? Squi rrel?" my suburban New Jersey sisters who did not make the trip South would later shriek to me horrorstricken, "Squirrel? You are real squirrel? Jack, that's just like eating RA TS!"). Aunt Daisy and Uncle Ike left me a proper legacy but not one involving books. Now my wife's family, as I have said twice now, is different. They were educated. They went to Harvard, Cornell, Mount Holyoke. They came over on the Mayflower. They read books. They were ... well, not snobs real ly, not exactly, at least not all of them some of the time and some of them not all of the ti me, but you could call them, at least so they seemed to me ... established? genteel? elite? Something like that. There is an Aunt among them, a Great Aunt to some, but apparently nobody's mother, a great grand old Aunt who gets lots of Christmas g ifts tendered her from friends and kin, who always properly acknowledges the gifts, who wro te to one such admirer "I have received many gifts this holiday season. Some were beautiful, some were useful. Yours was neither." To another she wrote "I have received seven pairs of gloves thus far this Christmas. Yours, I hope, were the last." A pair of gloves came with her card. It was a member of this family who first told me ab out the plays-my wife's grandmother, Mrs. Ethel Maxwell Gray. She was defin itely in the family tradition. She told me once of a household dog her husband had whe n she was a young married woman, about whose ill-temper the neighbors complained. "B ut," she said smiling sweetly, "that dog never bit any people only tradesmen." This gr andmother had been very tall in her youth, like the lovely ladies in pre-Raphaelite dra wings. When I knew her (this was two decades ago) she was in her eighties and bent almos t double like a hand clenched by arthritis, but she still drove around town in an en ormous blue Oldsmobile which was her pride. She kept better care of that huge car than I do of my life, the worst moment of which came once when she permitted me in an emergen cy to borrow it to drive my wife


her granddaughter someplace, and I brought the car back almost exactly out of gas so that the next morning when she tried to start this car, which resembled a four-wheeled blue and chrome dreadnaught, the engine simply whined em ptily like a cowardly cat. I felt as though I had borrowed from the Vatican the chalice Christ used at the Last Supper and had brought it back chipped. When I die and go to H ell I will be consigned to the innermost circle of punishment where traitors like Judas are locked forever in ice, for returning that grand woman's car gasless. Mrs. Ethel Maxwell Gray's husband Ernest looked lik e he was made of oak. He had worked his way through Harvard and I think he felt contempt for anyone who had not or could not. This man loved a dog named Jack; He may have loved others too he was a New Englander and kept his love beneath the surface if he had any -but it was known that he loved this dog Jack. He had Jack's portrait pain ted and hung it in his dining room, near the mounted carcass of a gigantic wall-eyed pike he had once caught, for whom he had somewhat less affection. Ernest Gray's dog's rival was Ernest's son, a young man six spindly feet and eight skinny inches tall, whom he (the father not the dog) was putting through Harvard. To make matters worse the son was an art m ajor (the father was an inventor and administrator). Naturally the dog Jack , best friend to his master, hated the son, and ripped into him whenever he came home on v acations from Harvard (the son, not the dog). Finally the father was told he would have to choose between Jack his dog, and his son. There was a silence in the family life while he made his decision, a long pause, an audible valley of absolutely quiet indeci sion, a chasm of soundlessness similar to the prolonged emptiness in the air following the question a robber once asked Jack Benny -"Your money or your life, Mr. Benny." THIS WAS the family that produced j the books, whic h were originally the property of the father of the grandmother Mrs. Ethel M. Gray whose husband had to agonize over whether his son or his dog would brighten his life after Harvard. So the books belonged to my wife's great grandfathe r. But how did he get them? And why did he keep them? Now here is that story, told by my wife's mother, Mrs. Winifred Maxwell Bowker, with only an occasional aside from me, the son of unlanded Southrons and immigrants. I wanted to tell this story myself, but my wife's mother has beautifully anticipated me. "Dear Jack, "Having now gone through the material Eleanor [her sister] has from Mother's [Mrs. Ethel Maxwell Gray's] files provoking some tears and some laughter I find disappointingly little on Grandpa Maxwell [the coll ector of the volumes]. There are complete records of the families of Grandma and Gra ndpa Gray extending back to William Bradford (who of course arrived in 1620) an d John Gray who came to New England in (only) 1718. The latter, by the way, jus t to counter William Bradford a bit, could reputedly trace his ancestry back to a Gray f amily which settled in Perthshire, England, about 1300, and emigrated to Ireland to Ulster, in fact-in the early 17th century. They possessed originally the 'lordship of Gray' so the account saith.


"We also unearthed a tattered piece of paper dated 1812 and identifying Rchard Hosea, aged 18, as a sailor in the U.S. Navy-also a notebook with pages partly welded together, which describes the wanderings of his son in the early 1800's to the west coast and other places (he would be Grandma Maxwell's grandfather). "Eleanor says one Thomas Maxwell emigrated from Maine to Boston in the very early days. We did find a birthday record of all then living members of the family back to 1821, written, we think, by Grandma Maxwell, but the record is only of birthdates, plus one rather nice, sentimental verse on 'My Birthday,' again maybe by Grandma. "Grandpa's full-name was George Brewer Frost Maxwell named for his maternal grandfather, who bore the first three names. Grandpa was born on September 6, 1848. His d eath year is penciled in 1915 no date. I know though that he died about a week befor e my brother was born [Bill, the one the dog didn't like] on June 1, since I have a vivi d memory of my last sight of him, that morning, before I left for school. By the way, we a ssume he was born in Medford Mass. where he lived during his working life. "Grandpa and Grandma lived with us for all the year s since my babyhood until his death, and hers, which was much later. The things I know about his life were told me by him and what a story teller he was! His father wa s a stern man who believed in hard work and discipline for one and all. We did have young George's diary once. The preponderance of entries in it stated simply: 'chopped wood.' Not much evidence of literary talent there! I don't know where the diary is now, maybe it's back in Philadelphia in a box where I left various keepsakes, maybe a poem he wrote for me, and the manuscript of a musical comedy that George Maxwell wrote called ‘Rudolph, or, The Count's Oath.' I think it never saw the light of day in printed form. Can't remember how it went, but what a marvelous title! "Anyway, at age 14 (around 1862) George acquired a new straw hat, which for some reason he was forbidden to wear without parental sanction. He did wear it however, and on returning home so adorned, was thrown out of the house to seek his fortune. He went away, I t hink for several years, and joined a In addition to printed scripts, the collection also includes hand-written copies. This untitled specimen even includes music for the play. Many of the scripts in the collection have manuscript corrections or additions to adapt the plays to the needs of specific acting companies. Major adaptations can be seen in this copy of Thomas Morton’s The Nervous Man and Man of Nerve.


theatrical company in New York or Buffalo. Eleanor and I disagree. I don't know how his father tracked him down, but he did. He went and vi ewed the performance and afterward went backstage, told George his mother was gravely ill, and beseeched him to come home. This was all a lie, but George did go home (b ringing copies of many of the plays he had acted in with him). For whatever reason, he stayed in Medford and was apparently trained as a cabinet maker. We had evidence of his skill in a truly fabulous barn and dollhouse, the first built for his own children, th e second for us. Judy [my wife] had the dollhouse for a while, then it went to Peggy and Bi ll's children, where it disintegrated. (I saw the dollhouse once. It resembled my childhood h ome except that it was slightly larger and had no cold cellar. Bill is the son whos e father Ernest almost preferred a dog. Bill's real name is Ernest but everyone called him Bill, he said, because he arrived the first of the month (June 1). Your father liking a d og better than you affects your sense of humor, I guess. Lots of things disintegrated at Bil l's house but not his love for his own children, one of whom carried on family tradition b y graduating from Harvard partly through scholarships. Another son is an actor and p laywright of whom his father is very proud. This son did not inherit a gene for a straw hat, however.) Later in his career with a furniture company he designed their furniture. The company sank without a trace, bearing his then current fortunes with it. AT ONE POINT he was a reporter on the local newspap er, maybe the Medford Mercury, which he and Grandma had sent to our-house while th ey lived with us. His favorite story about that concerned a fire alarm wh ich he covered in the course of duty, only to pull up before his own house to find Grandm a Maxwell in the doorway with [her and Grandpa Maxwell's son, my mother-in-law's] Uncle Leon, aged two and completely naked, clinging to Grandma Maxwell's ski rts, she indignantly defending the premises from firemen. It was only a kitchen stove mishap after all. Grandpa apparently retired from this checkered and largely unproductiv e career when he was only about 50, due to an affliction then called 'Bright's disease, ' which Eleanor says is a kidney ailment. It affected his sight, so that he was what we would call legally blind. Nowadays that would have brought him a disability allowance, then it brought him nothing. I think he and Grandma lived on my father's charity after that [her father being the man who so loved his dog that he almost gave his only begot ten son to the world]. "Grandpa Maxwell somehow managed to get [his son] Leon throu gh Tufts, and after that paid for his study in Germany. (The music library at Tulane University is named after this Leon Maxwell). "It is surely a tribute to his personality and char acter that he was much loved in our town, even by our Dad, who wasn't given to easy aff ection [arf arf, you can bark that again]. He and I had a close association, largely b ecause as the oldest (I was 12 when he died in 1915) I read to him a great deal, since he could not read any more. I recall the elaborate and fanciful stories he used to tell me. After he died I often lay awake and comforted myself with a promise to put these storie s on paper for him. I never did. "I also remember his candy-pulling (he loved to coo k) at Christmas. That rope of taffy flying across the kitchen! He built me a litt le toy theatre and we put on plays. The characters were paper dolls on blocks, pulled back and forth with strings. Mother [the woman whose car I let run out of gas: Mrs. Ethel Ma xwell Gray please forgive me!] made the dolls. I can still recall how beautiful Ci nderella was. Can't remember the Prince at all, or whether we acted 'a capella' or had a sc ript. He also built a miniature Bronx Zoo.


That was where I was taken every birthday, to the r eal one. I still like zoos! "The culminating activity on every Christmas day wa s a magic lantern show conducted by Grandpa Maxwell and consisting of slid es shown on a sheet stretched between the dining room and living room. Some were scenic, some were stories in sequences of four frames, and some were comic, or w e thought they were. I recall one which showed a boy sitting on a barrel. You slid a shield affair over the slide and presto! he fell in. It was a hit every year. And of course I remember how he entertained me with snatches of drama, prowling around the kitchen with menacing strides, declaiming and grimacing. "Such pieces of memories are all I can offer. As fa r as I know, nothing of his ever saw print save for the articles in the newspaper, n one preserved. I know he directed and acted, probably in local companies after his aborti ve excursion into The Real Theatre. I do remember his talking of putting on minstrel show s, for which he probably created skits, patter, songs, and so on. Mother use to tell me about seeing him appear dressed as a little boy, with straw boater with a ribbon behind, short pants, the whole bit. What about his beard? What did he do with it, I wonder? Anyway , he came on stage, leading a goat on a leash, and singing, Daddy wouldn't buy me a bow-wow, Daddy wouldn't buy me a bow-wow, I have a little goat And I'm very fond of thatBut I'd rather have a bow-wow-wow. Enough Said?" Enclosed with this wonderfully remembered note from George Maxwell's granddaughter was an old newspaper clipping, date a nd origin unknown, chronicling the history of "Mr. Allen's Dramatic Combination... whi ch has given quite a large number of entertainments in this town for the past four years " and which was now ready "to fill engagements to give entertainments of a high order. " Among the players listed is "Mr. G.F.B. Maxwell," and among the plays performed are "The Miller of Derwent Water," "Taming a Tiger," and "My Uncle's Will." I tried to date the article by examining the internal evidence supplied on the reverse side of t he theatrical review, an article devoted to news about women. One paragraph told of women in Edinburgh who were striking for the right to vote. The lengthiest item in the artic le deserves full quotation for I suspect it manifests the spirit of the times and the editorial attitude of the newspaper best: "They have a new way of curing women's hysterics in India . They tie the patient's hands and feet together, and then thrust cotton wicks steeped in oil up her nostrils and into her ears. A woman who has hysterical dumbness will recover he r speech in a very short time under this treatment." What such a woman's first words mi ght be upon recovering her speech after this treatment the article did not state. I c oncluded the clipping was from another world than mine, so I dropped the idea of trying to ascertain its precise age. SHORTLY AFTER my wife Judith and I were engaged abo ut 24 years ago, both her mother and grandmother mentioned to me the old play s George Maxwell had long ago collected. I would like to say that we searched mad ly for them and were disappointed for many months, only to discover them by chance behind a secret panel with some manuscript stories by Edgar Poe, but I cannot. In f act I honestly cannot remember what kind of receptacle they were in when they were brou ght to me, but they were neatly piled


and in relatively good shape. They turned out to be fairly valuable in terms of money when I had them appraised after giving them to the University, but long before that I knew they were valuable as a record of the 19th Century American stage. Most of the plays are minor and by today's standards very bad (as are most popular plays today, by any standards), but many are simply not printed anywhere else, and exist only in these little chapbook player's editions. There are about 425 volumes, not all of which are plays: some magic books, novels, and miscellaneous prose works were in the collection also. The plays typically include brief stage histories, casts of characters naming the actors who played the various roles, diagrams of scenic layouts, stage directions, and some have George Maxwell's penciled-in directions which probably represent actual playing conditions. The plays and their playwrights are now mostly forgotten, with certain exceptions s uch as Dion Boucicault and his Octoroon, a number of Shakespeare's plays, and a version of t he century's most popular American comedy, Rip Van Winkle. But the plays are those that were acted during the century, that theatrical companies performed becaus e audiences wanted them. We might scoff at Black-Eyed Susan, or All in the Downs! "A Nautical and Domestic Melo-Drama in Three Acts by Douglas Jerrold," or Shakespeare's Early Days, by C.A. Somerset (author of A day After the Fair, Crazy Jane, and Yes), or Catching an Heiress, "An Original Petite Comedy" by Charles Selby, author of Captain Stevens, A Day In Paris, Married Rake, Military Execution, Unfinished Gentle man, Heiress of Bruges, The Two Murders, Guardian Sylph, Domestic Arrangements, and others -but they are works similar to our own "Love Story" or "Saturday Night Fever." To study these plays and their writers is to engage in an investigation of p opular culture artifacts that can tell us much about some of the most basic assumptions of li fe in the 19th Century that more formal and serious studies often miss. In "Obadiah Bashful's First and Last Courtship," a skit from the Yankee Story Teller's Own Book, for example, you can hear some real and flavorful Yankee language of a sort that Nathaniel Hawthorne never supplies. "Well, now Obed, you jist might as well be out courtin Deb Jon es, as to be squattin down here on your hunkers, and you know, Obed, if you die unmarr ied, the name of Bashful will be extinct, ", Obed's father tells him. Obed replies "Oh well, now father, I don't know nothin 'bout instinct, but I can't go to court Deb, for you know she dress es her hair so nice, and she's such a rotten nice gal that every feller 'bou t these parts is half crazy a'ter her ...I guess I rubbed two tallow candles, there or thereab outs, into my hair, tryin to make it curl but I swan... it stuck out for all sense jist lik e park-and-pine quills." Every so often I would sift through the volumes, ar ranging them by authors and


alphabetically, then mixing them all up again while looking for a special title I thought I had remembered. At first I thought I would one day study them systematically, or some aspect of them, and so I would cart them around wit h me wherever I taught, in Morgantown, West Virginia; Chapel Hill, North Carol ina; Lexington, Virginia; and finally down here in Tampa. I crated them in wooden boxes and then in paper bags and then back in sealed cartons again, reading bits in them, using a couple of books on "Darkey Plays" and "Minstrel Life" when I taught bl ack American drama (as examples of white impersonation of black life). I hesitated pla cing the books in any one library because I felt that I might be moving on and they h ad become a part of my life by that time, and I hated the idea of leaving them behind s omewhere they were, after all, a kind of gift my wife's family had entrusted to me. But then three things happened pretty much at once. Even though I seemed to be here at South Florida permanently (I came in 1962), ever y so often my family and I would travel away, twice to Africa and once to Spain, and once for two years to the strangest and most exotic place of all, Miami. Each time we r ented out our house and each time I was not quite certain I wanted to leave the books b ehind though I could not take them with us. Once we had rented to a topless go-go danc er and when she left she took all our best rock and roll records with her: how did I know she was not also a secret luster after old American plays? And the books were deterioratin g in the heat and from the random cockroach who strayed by and had, like Don Marquis' archy, a literary taste. That did not settle properly with me. The books deserved a bette r, more secure home. Secondly, I slowly realized that while I liked to leaf through them and come up with bits of discoveries in them, I would never devote the schol arly care to them that was rightfully theirs. I would always have another project to fini sh before I got to them. And finally, all along I had been waiting for the right library to g ive the books to, and it became obvious to me that the University of South Florida Library was the one. Now I would like to tell about how I selected the U SF Library, and that will be the last story I will tell. I know some will wonder at this point when is the man ever going to stop rambling about these cursed books but rememb er, Camerado, who touches this article touches a man who is giving up a piece of h imself! I am letting go! I am the last private link in a human chain stretching back at le ast as far as William Bradford. Giving up a book is no simple matter if you love books and remember each one you've possessed, and remember bitterly each one you've lo st. Or think about it the way a person contemplates planning a burial you'd want your lo ved ones someplace you could relate to, where you and they belonged. A book lover would n't just dump his books anywhere, he would place them where they'd be wanted and need ed and cared for. THIS IS WHY for me the right library I was importan t. The first library I ever used was the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood New Jersey l ibrary. I occasionally used my primary school library but always with a feeling of guilt since in the first or second grade I had stolen a copy of Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates from it which I did not steal back into it until the sixth grade (during the interveni ng years it lay dusty and unread in a witch's attic of our house where I had hidden it, m y own secret Scarlet Letter). The Hilton Branch was about three miles from our ho use. It was the one place in early life I had to walk a long distance to because no bus line ran there. The trip was a perilous one but I took it usually every other Satu rday from first grade on up. The principal danger I had to pass the first third of t he journey was Red Hollender, a hard,


puffy, red-haired boy always bigger than I, who, wh en I passed his house, would dash out and bang my arm with his big red freckled fist in a way that I could feel his knuckles knock the bone of my thin arm the left arm usuall y. Sometimes for variety he would knee me (he had fat hard knees) in the thigh and th en I would have to walk the rest of the way like a crab, shuffling sideways. I could not hi t him back because I carried books. At the deadly center of my quest was "Fred's Candy Shop." Fred's real name was Fritz and during the Second World War (the era I am now writing about) he was a spy for the Germans. He had a wireless radio in the back of his store that he would use to send messages back to Germany on, about troop concentrat ions in Maplewood and convoys that gathered in that town which was about twenty m iles inland from Newark, New Jersey. From various "Bowery Boys" films that we ha d seen we knew it was our patriotic obligation to steal candy from Fred-Fritz, and I wa s terrified of stealing. In fact, I never stole from him, but once I yelled as I ran puffing by his storefront "Fritz, Fritz, kartoffelschnitz" which my German Grandmother told me was a terrible imprecation in the Fatherland. I think it meant something like "Fred, Fred, potato-cutter," or maybe "potatopeelings." Either way, it was a risky thing for me to do. The last third of my trip was actually the most hazardous, because I had to walk (running would have attracted attention) between the car-barns on my left where a transport company stored old buses and trolleys and where red-eyed bums slept or hunted among the weeds for dandelions to make wine with and where they occasionally lured or entrapped little boys to engage in unspeakable (and at my age unimaginable) practices, and on my right the even more mysterious Ward's Home, a red brick, turreted, Gothic castle perched high behind trees atop a long and broad and swooping lawn, imma culately green and close-cropped in the summer and muffled in thick unbroken virgin cre sts of snow most of the winter. Our boyhood dream was to tumble down the grassy slope i n summer or better still sleighride down it in winter, but no one I knew ever even touc hed the land at the Ward's Home because it loomed behind a spiked steel fence and w as, we all knew, patrolled at night by ravenous gigantic dogs (huge bloodhounds and crazed German Shepherds) with blood red fire glowing from their eyes and long loops of venomous slaver dangling from their crusted lips and yellowed teeth, who bounded in gre at Baskervillean leaps over the lawn as soon as any child put foot on it, from misty daw n through fog shrouded night, guarding the inviolable terrain of the Ward's Home. I believ e the place was a rest home for rich old people. Finally I would arrive at the end of my trip. The l ibrary was on the second floor of a curiously shaped building that looked like a triang le but wasn't. The first side you encountered was flat cement veined with ivy. Then y ou turned a corner and found the opening of a fire station. The first floor of the l ibrary was a fire station and if you looked quickly inside (pretending to stare straight ahead of course) as you passed you might see firemen IN RED SUSPENDERS! playing cards and waitin g for a fire. The fire would Decorative covers like these add a touch of graphic interest to many 19 th Century playscripts.


occur just as you passed the open door and you woul d be crushed under the wheels of the beautiful red fire truck. And yes, there was a pole that led straight up to... to where Miss Heatherington sat, and one day, she would come slid ing down that pole. After you had waited just a split second to make su re this wasn't the day, you turned another corner, opened a door, and started walking upstairs. Immediately after you closed the downstairs door to the street you were surround ed by silence. Oh the steps creaked a bit but it was as though the creaks were wrapped ti ghtly in cloth, and already you could smell the thick, papery smell of the library books and in your ears you could hear the silent sounds of the books on the shelves, packed t ight, the squat books with thick pages and big print smelling the heaviest and sounding th e densest. Atop the steps and through another door with a pressed air mechanism that gasp ed as you let the door swing slowly closed and then suddenly at the last moment shoved the door, if you didn't know any better, bang against the doorjam rattling the door' s glass panels, right there smack at the entrance to the library sat Miss Heatherington, my first librarian. She was over thirty and under a hundred and twenty years of age, plump as a frog and cheery faced with jaws like an English bulldog, and her laugh was a cross betwe en a wheeze and a rattle: we called it her wheezle. She had developed that laugh through y ears of suppressing it in the silence of the library. From her sturdy belly up through he r ample rib cage and capacious (the only right word) chest some tremendous sound threat ened to force its way like lava erupting up through Vesuvian craters, like an explo ding "Old Faithful" geyser of Krakatoan propulsion. But somewhere wrapped around her wobbly dewlapped throat a pneumatic silencer throttled all audible sound, lea ving only a virtually soundless but felt gasp to burst rattling forth like a bubble, like on e of Keats' unheard but sweetest melodies. Miss Heatherington never selected books for me, tho ugh she would tell me what was in each section. She was strict, no one to fool wit h. When I first walked to the library I was in the first grade and she would not let me tak e out a card because I did not know my telephone number. Chagrined, I walked home, had my mother write it down for me (it did not occur to me to use the telephone book, and I fa intly recollect not being at the time able to write numbers very well, certainly not out of my head) then secreted the wadded paper in my mouth and walked back to the library, w here I hid behind a stack and copied down the telephone number on my application card. S outh Orange 2-8672, Miss Heatherington. I still remember. It seems to me in no time at all I was reading Jame s T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan, Erskine Caldwell's God's Little Acre, and page 89 of John O'Hara's A Rage to Live. Also Dr. Doolittle's adventures and Harold Tunis sports books. I guess my all-time favorites were page 89 of A Rage to Life and stories about life at the Smiling Pond where Ol d Mother West Wind ruled over Reddy Fox, Jerry Muskra t, and all the Little Breezes. Thus, I was fully prepared for Fear of Flying but not for Tennyson's concept of nature, "Red in tooth and claw." And it is not true that li ke Grandfather Frog, I like "foolish green flies." Miss Heatherington made me feel welcome, made me fe el at home in the library, followed my reading progress over the years, always seemed interested in me and what I was thinking as long as I thought quietly. She neve r charged me for an overdue book. She made me love that library, and I have loved good, h elpful librarians ever since. Since I have been at the University of South Florid a, the librarians there have aided


me in many ways, getting me books, directing me to resources, setting up exhibits for me, acting in a friendly fashion. Many of the workers r eally seem to appreciate books and how a person can enrich their life with them. At on e university where I taught the librarian removed a magazine article I had written that he thought offensive to the university. Here at the University of South Florida , back at our beginning when cracker politicians launched a vicious attack upon our free dom of thought, the Library and its then chief, Elliot Hardaway, were among the first a gencies of the University openly to ridicule such virulent small mindedness. In Miami I had to use a library where the staff felt its function was to protect the books from the people. The staff here seems to know that a library is a place where people and books ge t to meet and know each other. One librarian here directed me to some manuscript mater ial that I have found very interesting, that I hope to write my next book about. A libraria n, I discovered, has bought books and donated them to the library. So, I figured it was time to give my small, inherit ed collection a proper, permanent, and hospitable home. So endeth this tale.


A letter from a patron THE following letter is an excellent example of the kind of communication we are so pleased to receive in Special Collections. It is ou r pleasure to be able to cater to your interests and scholarly pursuits; it certainly grat ifies us to hear that our patrons have found our collections useful. With Mrs. Smith's per mission, we take the liberty of reproducing her letter here: "Can you ever pick up a dictionary or encyclopedia and look up just the word that sent you there? My eyes always wander up and down t he page and I usually have to tear myself away to keep from spending far too much time at one simple task. "This happened to me on a grand scale at the USF Li brary in Tampa recently. While researching for records of Florida plantation life in the early 19th Century, I found a reference to Mark Catesby's two volumes about Virgi nia, Carolinas, and Florida. "When the librarian brought out two huge leather-bo und 18th Century volumes, staggering under their weight, I asked her 'What on earth are those?' She replied, 'They're the Catesbys that you asked about.' "The remainder of my day was spent lost in these vo lumes of beauty and specific information. Mark Catesby sketched, painted and wro te about everything he saw in the South of 1714. His excellent descriptions of the In dians transport the reader back over 200 years in time. His life-like art work includes everything from Magnolia grandiflora to the lowly mole cricket (not changed one whit today) . His realistic style made the birds' feathers appear soft to the touch. "As I carefully, reverently handled these beautiful volumes, published in 1754, I felt indeed privileged to have the opportunity to view t he 18th Century through the eyes of this dedicated English naturalist." -Mrs. Hugh E. Smith The work Mrs. Smith refers to is our set of Catesby 's magnificent Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands. The set consists of two folio volumes, with well over two hundred hand-colored plates. One of t he Library's outstanding treasures, our Catesby forms part of the University's rare boo ks collection. We invite interested persons to visit the Special Collections department , where the Catesby may be examined firsthand. Our thanks to Mrs. Smith for her gratify ing letter.


UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARY ASSOCIATES BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr. Michael Slicker, President Mr. J. B. Dobkin, Executive Secretary Mr Dudley Clendinen Mr Arnold Kotler Dr. William S cheuerle Mrs. Barbara Dalby Ms. Lee Leavengood Mr. Terry A . Smiljanich Mr. Bruce Fleury Ms. Jane Little Mr. Richard Ste in Mrs. Nancy Ford Dr. Fred Pfister Mrs. Dorothy Sul livan Mrs. Mary Lou Harkness Mrs. Ann Prevost Mr. A. Bro nson Thayer Mr. Horst K. Joost Mrs. Douglas Philips Mr. Willi am Zewadski Any person who wishes to help in furthering the goa ls of the USF Library Associates is eligible to become a member. Regular, sustaining, p atron, corporate, and student memberships are available on an annual basis (Septe mber 1 to August 31). Student memberships are open only to regularly enrolled stu dents of the University of South Florida, and are valid only so long as the member r emains a regular USF student. Life memberships are also available to interested person s. Membership in the Associates includes a subscriptio n to Ex Libris, a journal of articles and news about Associates activities, libr ary developments, and other topics likely to be of interest to Bay area bibliophiles. The member is also entitled to attend all Associates functions and, in addition, is eligible for book loan privileges at the University Library, subject to prevailing library regulations. So, if you are interested in helping us to obtain a better library for the University and its community, and want to participate in the many services and activities offered to members by the Library Associates, please use the m embership blank below and become one of us today.


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