Special Collections & Archives holds more than 50,000 rare and special books, including incunables from the advent of printing, finely printed and finely bound works, and a growing collection of artists' books. While most of these items are represented in the online catalog, some are only discoverable through paper card catalogs held in our Reading Room. The descriptions below offer an overview of some of our more significant collections, arranged by broad topical area.
Abbott Memorial Collection
Material by and about Jacob Abbott (1803-1879); his brothers, John S. C. (1805-1877) and Gorham (1807-1874); Jacob's sons, Edward (1841-1908) and Lyman (1835-1922); and other members of this Maine family long associated with the College. Edward Abbott, editor of the Literary World, 1877-1888 and 1895-1903, presented the original collection in 1907 as a tribute to his father and uncle. A large addition of material by and about Jacob and Lyman was given in 1972 by the family of Alexander L. Abbott. First and subsequent editions of almost all of the family's published writings (1,645 titles in all) are part of the collection, including Jacob's well-known Rollo series of books for boys and John S. C.'s biographical series for children. The Rollo books, in particular, implemented Jacob's ideas of new ways of educating children. Included also are these other series by Jacob: the Lucy Books; the Juno, Florence, Jonas, and Franconia Stories; and the John and Mary Gay series. An additional 218 volumes are from the family library. Not all titles are in the online catalog, but a card catalog is available in the department.
The collection includes more than 50 books related to Eastern and Soutern Africa collected and donated by Robert Hooke (Bowdoin 1964). Dating from the early 19th to mid 20th centuries, the books focus primarily, but not exclusively, on British and European exploration, hunting, and missionary work, and includes important travel narratives by Mungo Park, David Livingstone, Winston Churchill, Henry Morton Stanley, and Frederick Courteney Selous.
Fred Anthoensen (Bowdoin Hon. 1947) was nationally known as an exemplary craftsman in the field of typography and the graphic arts. Anthoensen began work as a compositor for the Southworth Press in Portland, Maine, in 1901, and by 1917 was the press's managing director. By 1934, the name of the press was changed to Southworth-Anthoenson to reflect Fred Anthoensen's important role, and after 1944, it was simply called The Anthoensen Press. The collection contains more than 900 books, pamphlets, broadsides, and ephemera printed under the various Anthoensen-related imprints. Related manuscript materials are located in the Fred Anthoensen Collection, the Anthoensen Press Business Records, and the Anthoensen Press Work Orders.
Based in San Francisco, Arion Press was founded in 1974 by Andrew Hoyem, once a partner with Robert Grabhorn in the Grabhorn-Hoyem Press. The press specializes in limited run works that incorporate original art by notable painters, printmakers, and other artists, such as John Baldessari, Jim Dine, and Michael Mazur. Bowdoin subscribes to the press and holds more than 90 titles of its work along with a collection of related pamphlets, prospecti, and ephemera.
The Beston collection includes more than one hundred printed works written or edited by Henry Beston (Bowdoin hon. 1953), as well as nearly ninety books by his wife, Elizabeth Coatsworth. Henry Beston (1888-1968) was a noted author and naturalist best known for his book The Outermost House. Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893-1986), his wife, was a prominent author of children's book. They lived much of their lives at Chimney Farm in Nobleboro, Maine, or in Hingham, Massachusetts. Coastworth presented the College with the collection of printed materials, along with a related manuscript collection. Only part of the collection is cataloged online; a full inventory is available in the Reading Room.
Perhaps because of the many nineteenth-century Bowdoin graduates who became missionaries, the College owns approximately fifty foreign language Bibles published by the American Bible Society, the British & Foreign Bible Society, and other missionary groups for use in proselytizing among non-Christian peoples. The translations include the whole Bible, single testaments or single books translated into Cherokee, Chinese, Cree, Dazak, Hawaiian, several Inuit languages, Malay, Micmac, Mpongwe, Nagree, Ojibwa, Samoan, Siamese, Zulu, and other languages. Foremost among them are the first and second editions of Eliot's Indian Bible in the Massachusett tongue, first published from 1661 to 1663. This work was the first Bible published in British North America and among the earliest books produced in America. The collection also includes important and early European Bibles, including two incunables, both incomplete, dating from 1485 and 1487, with Nicholas de Lyra's commentary. Among the many others are the 1577 Geneva version, commonly called the Breeches Bible for the text in Genesis 3:07 on Adam's dress; both 1611 issues of the King James or Authorized Bible, known as the He and She Bibles because of the incorrect reading "he" in Ruth 3:15, corrected to "she" in the second issue; the 1657 Walton Polyglot Bible; and John Baskett's 1717 edition, containing so many typographical errors that it is sometimes called a Baskett-full of errors, but also called the Vinegar Bible for the false reading of "Vineyard" in the running title for Luke 20.
A collection of more than book jacket specimens given o the College by David R. Anderson. The designs of E. McKnight Kauffer (about 20 jackets) and Alvin Lustig (about 30 jackets) comprise the majority of the collection; there is one example of Jean Carlu's work.
The Bowdoin College pamphlet collection includes copies of journal articles, offprints, addresses, and other minor works written by Bowdoin College faculty, staff and alumni. A full inventory of the collection is available in the Reading Room. Monographs and other more substantial writings by members of the Bowdoin community are cataloged separately as part of the Bowdoin College authors collection.
Founded in 1903 as the Dun Emer Press, the Cuala Press, under the general editorship of W.B. Yeats, was an important element in the Anglo-Irish literary revival of the early twentieth century. Of the eighty-two volumes published between 1903 and 1946, the College owns more than sixty titles, and the collection is particularly strong in the earlier publications. The holdings also include six volumes from the revival of the Press in the 1960s and 1970s.
The library of Donald B. MacMillan (Bowdoin 1898) conatins more than 2,000 titles dating from the 18th through the 20th century and related primarily to the Arctic. Bowdoin received the collection from the 1960s-1980s along with MacMillan's personal papers and those of his wife, Miriam.
Early American Imprints
Some 2,700 volumes printed before 1821 in what is now the United States, these works cover a range of subjects and are an invaluable resource on the history of the colonies and country. Included in this collection are the first and second editions of John Eliot's famous Indian Bible. The first edition, 1663, is the Library's earliest American imprint. Other important works inlcude the first editions of several Charles Brockden Brown titles; Isaiah Thomas's 1810 History of Printing in America, presented by the author to Bowdoin College; and An Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology by Bowdoin professor Parker Cleaveland. Printed in 1816, the latter is the first American work on mineralogy and geology. Among several broadsides in this collection are a proclamation issued by Governor James Bowdoin of Massachusetts in 1787 concerning Shays's Rebellion and an 1815 notice of the peace treaty ending the War of 1812.
A collection of approximately 200 textbooks from the late 18th to the early 20th century, and covering all manner of subjects taught in American public schools, including, but not limited to: arithmetic, grammar, reading, phrenology, botany, United States history, and geography. The collection includes a small number of works about educational theories and history.
More than 400 books and pamphlets printed in the state of Maine between 1820 and 1835 documenting the first fifteen years of true Maine printing. Many are works by men associated with Bowdoin, including those produced by Joseph Griffin, printer to the College and owner of the first press in Brunswick. Among the works are the first printing of the State's Constitution, Moses Greenleaf's 1829 Survey of the State of Maine, and Joseph Williamson's 1832 History of the State of Maine. Also included is a complete run of The Juvenile Key (later titled The Family Pioneer and Juvenile Key), an early children's periodical published by Griffin from 1830 to 1836, whose children, aged nine and seven when the publication began, did all the typesetting, proof-reading, and make-up for the entire six years of publication. Pre-statehood imprints are interfiled with the Early American Imprints collection.
Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye Collection
Born in Shirley Mills, Maine, in 1850, Edgar Wilson Nye and his family moved to Wisconsin when he was two. Nye was considered the Artemus Ward of his generation, writing pieces for newspapers and giving lectures and readings from his works. He died at his North Carolina home in 1896. Eleven volumes by him and three containing pieces by him form the core of the collection. The pamphlet, A Howl in Rome, is also part of it, as are four clippings of pieces by Nye: " 'Bill Nye' on the Art of Lecturing," "Bill Nye's Cat," "The Coupon Letter of Introduction," and "Documentary Proof of Self-defense." Finally, the 1870 first printing, consisting of nine lithographed cards, of Bret Harte's The Heathen Chinee is included. Nye features prominently in the story, and is caricatured on card three. The materials have not been cataloged electronically, but have cards available in the Reading Room.
Painted on the edges of the pages of a book, fore-edge paintings typically can only been viewed when a book's pages are fanned. Bowdoin's collection of this remarkable and mysterious art form was collected by Edward Russell Hale (Bowdoin 1906) and presented to the College after his widow's death in 1989. The collection of some 50 works embellish books on a wide vareity of subjects and includes examples of all the various fore-edge techniques.
The Esta Kramer Collection of American Cookery is a comprehensive gathering of more than 700 printed American cookery books, dating from the eighteenth through early twentieth century. The strength of the collection is from the Colonial era through 1900, though important works through 1960 are integrated. The collection was assembled by Clifford Apgar and is named after Esta Kramer, who made a generous gift to the College to enable its acquisition in 2015. The collection represents every type and style of American cookbook to emerge between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, which includes: cookbooks for every social and economic level, regional cuisines, quantity cooking, single subject books, cooking with few ingredients, réchauffage or cooking with leftovers, economic cooking, appliance and gadget cookery, foreign cuisines, professional chef books, banqueting, diet books, market guides, seasonal cooking, product promotion cookbooks, military cooking, vegetarianism, children’s cookbooks, and community cookbooks. While the collection is uncataloged, a full inventory is available online and in the Reading Room.
Frederic Wilson Main, born ca. 1877, was engaged in paper manufacturing and had many contacts with book designers and printers. He worked for the Worthy Paper Company Association in West Springfield, Massachusetts, before becoming Vice President of the Hurlbat Paper Company in South Lee, Massachusetts, retiring in 1942. In 1950, the College received the Frederick Wilson Main Collection, containing several hundred books and pamphlets relating to fine printing. The collection includes examples of the typographic work of Bruce Rogers, Frederick W. Goudy, Daniel Berkeley Updike, and Rudolph Ruzicka, to mention only a few.
This collection of French Revolutionary pamphlets was assembled and presented to the College by Benjamin Vaughan (1751-1835). Vaughan was ardently sympathetic to the French cause, was forced to flee England because of those sympathies, and finally settled on family lands at Hallowell, Maine, in 1796. The collection includes the Procès-Verbal de L'Assemblée des Communes et de L'Assemblée Nationale, 1789-91; Assemblée Nationale Journal des Débats et des Décrets, 1789-91; and Bibliothèque de l'Homme Public ..., 1790-92, as well as numerous single pamphlets, approximately 230 titles in all.
This collection contains the graphic works and publications of Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), etcher, sculptor, book designer, and publisher. Included are more than sixty volumes, pamphlets, and related printed ephemera produced at his Gehenna Press in Northampton, Massachusetts, as well as approximately one dozen books illustrated by Baskin but produced by other presses or publishers.
Harold Hitz Burton Collection
Harold Hitz Burton (Bowdoin 1909) served as an Ohio State Legislator (1929); Mayor of Cleveland (1935-1940); U.S. Senator from Ohio (1941-1945); and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1945-1958). He taught for two years at Western Reserve University (1923-1925) and was a member of the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College (1936-1964). His library includes nearly eighty volumes, mostly related to judicial and government affairs. The collection is not cataloged online, but a listing is available in the Reading Room. The department also holds a related collection of his papers.
This collection of 1,900 moveable books was donated in 2008 by Harold M. Goralnick (Class of 1971). Most are English-language materials published in the United States or Great Britain between the 1940s and present, but some works, particularly fairy tales, also appear in German, French, Czech, and Italian. The collection includes books about the alphabet, counting, animals, space travel, monsters, haunted houses, religion, architecture, erotica, insects, dinosaurs, geography, geology and many other subjects. Illustrators and paper engineers include David A. Carter, Dick Dudley, David Hawcock, Vojtech Kubašta, Tor Lokvig, Kees Moerbeek, Keith Moseley, Chuck Murphy, David Pelham, Ib Penick, Jan Pienkowski, Matthew Reinhart, Robert Sabuda, Rodger Smith, John Strejan, Ron van der Meer, Julian Wehr, and others.
Stowe lived in Brunswick, Maine from 1850 to 1852, during which time she wrote and published Uncle Tom's Cabin. The collection of printed works includes editions, translations, and variations of Uncle Tom's Cabin, as well as her other works. The College also holds a small collection of letters and other manuscript materials related to Stowe and her husband, Calvin (Bowdoin 1824 and faculty).
The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Bowdoin 1825) Collection contains more than 1,850 volumes of the author's writings, including first editions, most variant printings, and subsequent editions and translations. Also included are texts that he prepared for his modern language classes that he taught at Bowdoin from 1829 to 1835: Elements of French Grammar, by M. Lhomond, translated and annotated in 1830; French Exercises, 1830; Manuel de proverbes dramatiques, 1830, edited by him; Novelas Españolas ..., 1830; Le Ministre de Wakefield ... par M. Hennequin, 1831, also edited by him; Syllabus de la grammaire italienne, 1832, written in French so that his students would keep their skills in that language sharp; Saggi de' novelleri Italiani d'ogni secolo, 1832, translated by him, and Coplas de Don Jorge Manrique, 1833, translated and with an introductory essay by him. Forty-two volumes from the Longfellow family library are included, as are books about Longfellow. The Bowdoin College Archives holds a copy of Longfellow's first publication in book form, the Catalogue of the Library of the Peucinian Society, Bowdoin College, printed at Hallowell in 1823, which he wrote as librarian of the society. Related materials in the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives include a manuscript collection of Longfellow's letters and other personal papers, and a sizable sheet music collection of his poems set to music.
Bowdoin holds fifteen volumes dated between 1478 and 1500. Among them are volumes two and four in one volume (imperfect) of the 1485 printing and volume four of the 1487 printing of the Bible with the commentary or "Postillis" of Nicholas of Lyra, printed by Anton Koberger in Nuremberg; and the Purgatorio of Dante's La Commedia printed at Florence in 1481 by Nicolaus Laurentii. Individual incunable leaves include one from the first edition of the Liber Cronicarum, or the Nuremberg Chronicle, and one from the second German edition; a leaf-book containing a leaf from the pirated Augsburg Latin edition of 1497; and the five portfolios of 280 original leaves of 15th-century printed books compiled by Konrad Haebler.
The Isaac Watson Dyer Collection on Thomas Carlyle contains more than 650 titles by and about Carlyle and is among the more complete in this country. Isaac Watson Dyer (Bowdoin 1878) collected the materials while preparing his Bibliography of Thomas Carlyle, published in 1928. Dyer's bibliography remained the definitive work until the publication of Rodger Tarr's Thomas Carlyle: A Descriptive Bibliography in 1989, for which Tarr made extensive use of this collection. Dyer's research papers and a small collection of Carlyle letters are part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives' manuscript holdings.
In 1811, James Bowdoin III bequeathed his library to the College. One of the very few remaining late 18th and early 19th-century private American libraries, it is remarkably intact. The collection contains 783 titles in 2,048 volumes, with an additional 1,200 American, British, and French pamphlets and is rich in classical and modern literature, scientific works, political and economic tracts, agricultural treatises, histories, and reference works. Approximately one-half of the titles are French, including important works of the French Revolutionary period, such as the Collection complète des Tableaux historiques de la Révolution française and the Gazette nationale, ou le Moniteur universel, 1789-1807. Diderot's great work of the Enlightenment, the Encyclopèdie, is represented by the Geneva edition of 1777. Shelved with James Bowdoin's bequest are 359 titles in 561 volumes belonging to his father, Governor James Bowdoin II, for whom the College was named. Governor Bowdoin bequeathed his library to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which he was a founding member. In 1947, when the Academy dissolved its library, it placed those volumes that could be identified as from the Governor on permanent loan to Bowdoin College. Among these items are Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana, 1702, and the 1739 edition of Richard Bradley's A Philosophical Account of the Works of Nature with its wonderful botanical and zoological illustrations. The College also holds a small collection of Bowdoin family documents.
Jane Webster Pearce, a resident of Green Island, Mt. Desert, Maine, was an avid collector of designer bindings and artists' books for more than 30 years. Her collection features works by such renowned bookbinders as Michele Brown, Don Etherington, Deborah Evetts, Don Glaister, Monique Lallier, Kerstin Tini Miura, Gray Parrot, Sally Lou Smith, Michael Wilcox, and Gérard Charrière, from whom Pearce learned bookbinding techniques. Book artists include Tara Bryan, Rebecca Goodale, Ronald King (Circle Press), Hedi Kyle, Scott McCarney, Maria Pisano, and Claire Van Vliet (Janus Press). August Heckscher's High Loft Press is also well represented.
John Frost Play Collection
The collection comprises more than fifty plays, mostly by early British playwrights, from the estate of John Frost (Bowdoin 1904). Dating from the late-seventeenth through early-eighteenth centuries, it includes pieces by William Congreve, George Farquhar, Oliver Goldsmith, Hugh Kelly, Fanny Kemble, and Sir Richard Steele. A full inventory is available in the Reading Room.
John Gould (Bowdoin 1931) was born in Boston in 1908 and resided in Maine for many years. A journalist and humorist, he presented the College nearly 150 volumes, including all editions of his works; those edited or with a preface or introduction by him; anthologies containing pieces by him; and books about him. The collection is partially cataloged online and a full inventory is available in the Reading Room. The department also holds a related manuscript collection of Gould's letters, several literary manuscripts, scrapbooks, and audio recordings.
Bangs (1862-1922), an Ogunquit, Maine, resident for many years, was a popular author of satire and humorous fiction, including several plays, during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The collection contains nearly fifty works, mostly first editions, several bearing inscriptions by the author. The collection is partially cataloged online and a full inventory is available in the Reading Room.
Joseph Priestley Collection
The Joseph Priestley collection was presented to the College by George Thacher (1754-1824), a Bowdoin Overseer from 1806 to 1818, and a stuanch Unitarian. The collection includes more than 125 volumes of the works of 18th-century Anglo-American theologian, scientist, and eduator Joseph Priestley. First and subsequent editions of most of his writings are present, including his Defenses of Unitarianism (1788), Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion (1782), and Familiar Lectures (1790). A card catalog of the collection is available in the Reading Room.
The Limited Edition Club was founded by George Macy in 1929 and issued finely printed and illustrated limited editions of primarily classics and occassionally contemporary titles. The Club has not released a book since 2010. Bowdoin's collection contains nearly 600 titles and is complete from the eleventh series (April 1939 - October 1940). It also includes many earlier publications, annual prospecti and ephemera. Among the designers represented are Leonard Baskin, W.A. Dwiggins, Eric Gill, Edwin Grabhorn, the Mardersteigs, Bruce Rogers, and Daniel Berkeley Updike. Illustrations by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Rackham, and many other notable artists are also included. The volumes were printed at renowned presses, such as the Anthoensen Press, the Curwen Press, the Grabhorn Press, the Officina Bodoni, and the Press of A. Colish.
Maine Charitable Cookbook Collection
This collection contains more than 400 cookbooks created and published by church, community, and other charitable organizations in Maine dating from the 19th century to the present. While the collection is focused primarily on Brunswick and its immediate surroundings, communities throughout the state are represented. The collection is uncataloged and only partially inventoried.
A large collection of pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, programs, brochures, announcements, and other ephemera related to the State of Maine, as well as fictional and nonfictional works by Maine authors or that are set in Maine. Part of the collection is organized by topic, such as: business and industry; churches and religion; education and the arts; history; law; libraries; mediciines; natural history; politics and government; recreation; social, fraternal, and other organizations; temperance; and veterans. Materials related to particular towns, cities, and counties are filed geographically, and materials pertaining to particular authors are filed alphabetically.
Maine Law on Prohibition Collection
A small uncataloged collection of pamphlets, articles and other ephemera related to Maine's prohibition law enacted in 1851 by Gov. John Hubbard. Materials date from the 1840s through the 1910s and concern both the passage and enforcement of the law. Related materials can be found in the Hubbard Family Papers, 1789-1934
The department holds approximately 600 loose maps, mostly published, including more than one hundred printed maps of Maine and of Maine towns and regions, dating from 1794 to 1923. Of these, Moses Greenleaf's first map of the new state of Maine prepared in 1820 is of particular note. Also included are the 20th century Arctic charts formerly owned by Donald Baxter MacMillan (Bowdoin 1898). Also of note are a few 16th European maps, and some interesting late 18th century New England maps. A partial inventory of the collection is available in the Reading Room and online.
More than 350 titles including first and subsequent editions and many translations, as well as works edited and translated by Yourcenar (Bowdoin hon.1968), and works about her. She frequently wrote bibliographical notes on the copies of her works given to Bowdoin, tracing the development or printing history of a piece, or criticizing a translation. A small manuscript collection contains edited drafts of two of her works. The Yourcenar Collection: A Descriptive Catalogue, by Bowdoin professors Robert R. Nunn and Edward J. Geary, gives detailed information about both the printed and manuscript material in the collection.
A reference collection of close to 200 items assembled by Cesare and Amanda Molinari while forming their world-class collection of medals and plaquettes now owned by the Bowdoin Museum of Art. The reference collection includes nearly all the important works on the subject from the 17th century to the 1940s, as well as many marked copies of auction catalogues.
Mosher Press Collection
This Portland, Maine-based press (1891-1923) was one of the most distinguished private printing establishments in New England. The College's collection consists of more than 600 of the nearly 800 works produced by the press. Some titles were printed both on Japan vellum and Van Gelder paper, and often both versions are represented in the collection. Also included are several of the volumes produced between the death of Thomas Mosher, the press's founder, in 1924 and its closing in 1941.
The Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection contains nearly 1,000 volumes related to Hawthorne (Bowdoin 1825). Most of the author's writings are represented by first appearances; by first editions, with most of the variant printings; and by subsequent editions, including foreign-language editions. There are books, pamphlets, periodicals, and newspapers, and among these is one of the fourteen extant copies of the first edition of Hawthorne's first book, Fanshawe. Ninety books from the Hawthorne family library are included, as are books about Hawthorne. The online catalog does not contain all titles, but a card catalog is available in the Reading Room, as is a related manuscript collection of Hawthorne's letters and other personal papers.
A selection of American newspapers, most from the late-eighteenth through late-nineteenth centuries are housed in the department. These include approximately forty titles with multi-year runs and more than two-hundred titles with scattered issues. Most are from Maine and Massachusetts. Of particular note, the collection includes a full run of Advocate of Freedom, and several Louisiana newspapers of the Confederate era.
Northeast Boundary Collection
State and Federal documents from 1826 to 1840 related to the international dispute over the boundary between the newly formed State of Maine and the British colony of New Brunswick. The issue was a major concern for the new State's government, and escalated in the late 1830s during the bloodless Aroostook War.
This large collection of pamphlets is arranged by subject, and includes works on educational topics and institutions, conservation, political and economic subjects, religious topics and sermons, as well as many others. Of particular note are significant holdings related to World War I and Socialism. A subject inventory is available in the Reading Room, but the collection has otherwise not been cataloged.
Artist Rebecca Goodale teaches and works in Portland, Maine. Bowdoin's collection of her work includes artist's books, silkscreen prints, and "Xerox" books, all produced in very limited editions and dating from 1988 to the present. Much of Goodale's work explores themes of endangered and threatened plants and animals in the state of Maine, and is notable for its vivid colors, distinct patterns, and intricate construction.
The College's collection includes more than seventy titles written or edited by or about Coffin (Bowdoin 1915). Many are presentation copies, and several of the inscriptionss are accompanied by his original and amusing pen-and-ink sketches. A large collection of Coffin's personal papers complement the printed materials and are also available. In addition, nearly 50 books by Coffin are on long-term loan to Bowdoin from the R.P.T. Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, Maine, which received the collection from the husband of Coffin's daughter, Peggy Coffin Halvosa, following her death; many of these works have inscriptions from Coffin to his daughter.
Approximately thirty first and special editions of Jewett's works. Several are author's autograph presentation copies. Jewett (1849-1909) was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Bowdoin (1901). A small collection of her papers (M238) is also available.
Jean Paul Michaud, a Maine native and resident of Brooklyn, New York, donated this library of bookbindings designed by Boston artist Sarah Wyman Whitman (1842-1904), a member of the Arts and Crafts movement. The collection, which includes 328 volumes, is among the larger and more complete collections of Whitman bindings anywhere, comprising 85 percent of her known designs.
Sheet Music Collection
A collection of 208 pieces of sheet music from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this material includes popular tunes arranged by composer, including 46 pieces composed by Latham True.
The collection includes material related to Frank W. Sandford, the Shiloh religious community he founded in Durham, Maine, and the Kingdom religious philosophy he espoused. Included are incomplete runs of several periodical publications of the Sandford's Holy Ghost and Us Society. They include The Everlasting Gospel, The Golden Trumpet, Tongues of Fire, and The Truth.
Slavery Pamphlet Collection
A collection of two hundred pamphlets dating from 1783 to 1916 (bulk are dated 1830-1865) related to the slavery question, written from both the anti- and pro-slavery perspectives. Authors include Angelina Grimké, Horace Mann, William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Charles Sumner, John Calhoun, and Henry Clay, and formats include single issues or short runs of journals, reports, and proceedings of various anti-slavery or colonization societies, and arguments from legal cases such as the Dred Scott case.
Stanley Perkins Chase (Bowdoin 1905) served as Chapman Professor of English Literature at Bowdoin College, and gave the Library a large collection of important Shakespeareana. Among the most treasured works are the Second and Fourth Folios of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies (1632 and 1685). Eighteenth-century editions of Shakespeare's works complement the two Folios, and include important editions by Nicholas Rowe (1709), Edmond Malone (1790), and versions edited by Alexander Pope and Dr. Samuel Johnson.
Between 1950 and 1965, New York philanthropist and book collector Susan Dwight Bliss donated more than 1,200 volumes to Bowdoin College, where they fill the shelves of a period room that was previously located in her Manhattan mansion. The books relate primarily to the fine arts, travel, and French and English history and literature, and are notable for their elegant and luxurious bindings, many completed by the most imminent binders of the late 19th and early 20th century, including Riviere and Son, Meunier, Chambolle-Duru, Zaehnsdorf, Marius-Michel, Gruel, Bradstreet, Taffin, and others. In addition to the spectacular library, the Susan Dwight Bliss Room includes a gilded and painted sixteenth-century ceiling, French walnut paneling, and Renaissance-themed furniture.
The published works of Emmanuel Swedenborg, some in very early eighteenth century editions, are accompanied by works on Swedenborgianism and the New Jerusalem Church. There are more than seventy-five titles, most acquired from the Cleaveland and Chandler families of Brunswick, Maine, including several that were written or published by members of those families, and through the gifts of Benjamin Fiske Barrett (1808-1892), a member of Bowdoin's Class of 1832, who was a Swedenborgian clergyman and president of the Swedenborg Publishing Society, 1872-1892. Further information about Barrett and his family is available in the Hubbard Family Papers (M95). The collection has not been cataloged.
In 1820, Thomas Wallcut (1758-1840), a Boston collector, founding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and early member of the American Antiquarian Society, presented the College with a significant collection of works published in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland before 1701. The collection contains some 800 titles bound in 500 volumes and was formed under the guidance of Bowdoin President William Allen, who assisted in Wallcut's selection of the volumes while he was president of the short-lived Dartmouth University. Of particular importance is Wallcut's copy of Synodicon in Gallia Reformata, London, 1692, edited by John Quick, with his presentation inscription to Increase Mather and containing Mather's marginalia.
Includes a small collection (M178) of leaflets, clippings, photographs, and other ephemeral material relating to Unitarian-Universalists in Maine, especially Brunswick, as well as approximately thirty titles, including a run of the beginning volumes of the first series of the American Unitarian Association's Tracts (ca. 1825). The materials are only partially cataloged.
William Zorach (Bowdoin Hon. 1958) and his wife Marguerite presented the College with this collection of more than 100 exhibition catalogues related to their artistic work. Titles are from the United States, Europe, and South America and are supplemented with a small collection of manuscript materials.
World War I and World War II Posters
The collection includes forty-five World War I posters, mostly large-format (up to 28" x 40"), cloth-backed, American posters issued by or in support of the YWCA, Liberty Loans, American Commission for the Near East, and the Red Cross. Several posters were drawn by notable artists such as Howard Chandler Christy, Joseph Pennell and Jessie Wilcox Smith. A small number of French posters is also included. Materials related to World War II include approximately 170 posters, most issued by the War Information Office or the Red Cross. These posters were used to encourage conservation, to raise funds for the war effort, to warn against spies and to publicize other domestic propaganda issues or government programs.