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Rare & Special Books Collections

Thomas Lockwood Collection

A Buffalo lawyer and businessman, Thomas B. Lockwood was one of many successful and wealthy men who built magnificent private libraries. Acquiring his books at auctions, including the famous ones of Robert Hoe and Beverly Chew, and through dealers like George D. Smith and Mitchell Kennerley, Lockwood assembled his library of some 3,000 volumes between 1910 and 1930. This was a very active time for book collectors in America. During the period Henry Folger, Henry E. Huntington and John Pierpont Morgan made massive purchases of printed books and manuscripts, which became the foundations of the research centers they later endowed. In Buffalo, there were also other collectors of importance, such as John L. Clawson and Robert B. Adam, both of whom were friends and neighbors of Lockwood.

The library of Thomas B. Lockwood has a very carefully designed breadth but no extreme depth in a single area. He often followed the Grolier Club's list of One Hundred Books Famous in English Literature. There are in this collection examples of the great works of literature in their most prized editions: Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene of 1590 and 1595, the four seventeenth-century folios of Shakespeare, the two volumes of the collected works of Ben Jonson (1616, 1640), the folio edition of The Comedies and Tragedies (1647) of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, as well as first editions of John Milton's Paradise Lost (in ten books) (1667), Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755), James Boswell's Life of Johnson (1791), William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads (1798), Percy B. Shelley's Prometheus Unbound (1820), and the novels of Sir Walter Scott, including the multiple-volume publications of Kenilworth (1821) and Redgauntlet (1824). There is a very large collection of first editions and association items of Robert Louis Stevenson, including books from Stevenson's library, as well as a substantial number of the first editions of Charles Lever, among them Jack Hilton (1843) and Tom Burke (1844) in their serial parts. Among the American first editions are Melville's Moby-Dick (1851), a signed copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850) and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855). Large collections of first editions of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Dean Howells and John Greenleaf Whittier are also present.

Some of the finest books in Lockwood's collection were produced by private presses. There are examples of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Press—Lord Charles Whitworth's An Account of Russia As It Was in the Year 1710 (1758), to cite but one—as well as almost complete runs of the publications of William Morris' Kelmscott Press and T. J. Cobden-Sanderson's Doves Press. Many of the titles are printed on vellum as well as on paper. The Kelmscott Chaucer, with illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones, designed and printed by William Morris, represents the apex of nineteenth-century book design and printing. The collection contains one of the thirteen copies on vellum, as well as a copy printed on paper. The Doves Press Bible, printed on both vellum and paper, is itself another monument in the history of printing. Lockwood's copy on vellum is known as the "Retree copy," since it was made up from extra sheets from the production of the two other known copies on vellum. The most respected productions of John Hornby's Ashendene Press, including The Faerie Queene, The Noble and Joyous Book Entytled Le Morte D'Arthur and The XI. Bookes of the Golden Asse, are matched by The Prayer Book of Edward VII, one of ten copies printed on vellum, by the Essex House, another distinguished private press.

In addition to the books from the private presses, Lockwood collected the publications of the literary societies, like the Grolier Club, the Bibliophile Society and the Rowfant Club. He was also very interested in fine bindings. Some, like those for William Caxton's The History of Reynard the Foxe, printed on vellum by the Kelmscott Press, and for William Morris' The Life and Death of Jason, also from the Kelmscott Press, are exhibition bindings of exquisite design and elegant presentation, highly decorated with inlays of various colors and tooled in gold. Others are excellent examples of the bookbinder's artistry: for example, one for a later edition of Isaak Walton and Charles Cotton's The Complete Angler features three carved, tooled and painted figures of fish on the front and rear covers. There are also many elaborate but tasteful bindings performed by French binders. Other binders of importance represented are Bedford, the Club Binder, John Grabau, Sangorski and Sutcliffe, and J. Wright. But overall, the collection of bindings is based on the more traditional polished calf bindings, like those encasing the six volumes of the first edition of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1749).

Thomas B. Lockwood was a reader as well as a collector. Many volumes of biographies of great men and women, as well as copies of such major works as William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765), William Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843), Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776), John Henry Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864) and Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) are part of his collection. Lockwood owned books illustrated by George Cruikshank, Thomas Rowlandson and Howard Pyle. He also owned a large selection of books about the history of printing and the history of the book.

In addition, Lockwood collected the signatures of both the Presidents of the United States and the Governors of New York, as well as some from other state officials. Complementing these are a group of Presidential medals issued by the United States Mint from Washington to Wilson, a set of 150 bronze medals of Napoleon struck from 1796 to 1816 and thirty-four silver medals of the Kings of England from William I to George II, made by Jean Dassier. He also acquired a selection of silver Greek coins covering the period 600-100 B.C., Roman coins of the Emperors, a variety of British gold coins from the period 200 B.C. to 1911 and a small number of Japanese gold coins from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To these objects can be added two colored drawings by William Blake and bronze statues of Nathan Hale and Red Jacket.

When Lockwood donated his collection and the other associated items to the University of Buffalo in 1935, he established an endowment to perpetuate his record of collecting and to enrich his library as a resource for serious scholarship. Both intentions have been satisfied. Today it serves the needs of scholars with a wide variety of interests. The collection is accessible through the Libraries’ catalog and Robert J. Bertholf's The Private Library of Thomas B. Lockwood: A Descriptive Catalog (1983).

First Edition Collection

The foundation of a research library lies in the rich traditions of literature and book production of previous centuries. Intellectual and cultural traditions are as alive today in the early first editions as they were to readers who encountered John Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel (1661-1662) at the coffeehouses or searched out the latest installment of Dickens' Bleak House (1852-1853) from the local book shops. The collecting of rare books is a search after the heritage of the past and is itself a verification of the persistent articulation of human intelligence and imagination.

Certainly Thomas B. Lockwood was aware of these drives. The income from the endowment he established was used to purchase volumes which filled out his collection of first editions. Other donors, like A. Conger Goodyear, G. N. Newman and Edward Michael, were also sensitive to the importance of a good foundation to a great library, and so gave books which further enhanced the original Lockwood library. First, under the direction of Charles Abbott, and later under the guidance of Oscar Silverman, the collection of first editions was enlarged, focusing on British literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and American literature of the nineteenth century. This specialization made possible the acquisition of substantial holdings in the areas where donations had already contributed many basic texts. There are now about 15,000 first and other bibliographically important editions in the collection.

All the principal titles from the major and minor authors are present. Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock (1714) and The Dunciad (1729) as well as his translations of Homer's Iliad (1715-1720) and Odyssey (1725-1726) find companions in Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub (1704) and Travels Into Several Nations of the World (1726). There are the novels of Jane Austen, including the four-volume set of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (1818), and a three volume set, in a contemporary binding, of Mansfield Park (1814), a full run of the first editions of Charles Dickens, with The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1837) and Little Dorrit (1855-1857) in their original parts, and a set of the first editions of William Makepeace Thackeray, including The Newcomes (1853-1855) and Pendennis (1849-1850) in monthly installments. Joseph Conrad's works are well represented, with first editions from Almayer's Folly (1895) through Lord Jim (1900) and Youth (1902) to The Secret Agent (1923)—seventy titles in all. James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain and Oliver Wendell Holmes are just a few of the more familiar American writers for whom there are distinguished collections of first editions.

Other volumes by poets are equally impressive. Representing the eighteenth century are the successively issued books of James Thompson's The Seasons (1726-1730) and the 1793 edition of Thomas Gray’s Poems, printed in Parma by Bodoni. A rich body of Romantic poetry includes the early editions of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads (1798, 1800), the later version of Wordsworth's Prelude (1850), the separate books of Lord Byron's Don Juan (1819-1824), and John Keats' Endymion (1818) and Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems (1820). Victorian poets are impressively represented in the collection by Tennyson's rare first book, Poems, by Two Brothers (1827), as well as by his famous In Memoriam (1850), Robert Browning's Paracelsus (1835), Sordello (1840), Men and Women (1855), along with his great achievement, The Ring and the Book (1869), and Charles Swinburne's The Queen Mother and Rosamond and the three series of Poems and Ballads (1866, 1878, 1889). From American poetry of the nineteenth century, there is a complete run of the first editions of James Russell Lowell.

The great prose writers, both British and American, are also an integral part of the collection. To note but a few benchmark texts: Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1781) and A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775), Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare (1807), Elia (1823) and The Last Essays of Elia (1833), Thomas Carlyle's On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1846) and Past and Present (1843), Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature (1849) and Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854) are all included. The collection can support a wide variety of textual and bibliographical studies, as well as investigations into the history of printing, the history of the book and the development of commercial and private printing companies.

Julian Park Collection

Julian Park was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Buffalo from 1919 to 1954. A humanist and educator of the old traditions, and a man of wide learning and understanding, he was also an avid book collector. On his many trips to Paris he bought books about France, its history, literature and culture. At home he purchased books wherever he could find them, though he was drawn mainly to British literature, especially of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 1960, a large number of his books were acquired by the University Libraries. Some of these were distributed to the main stacks, the remainder deposited in the Rare Books Collection.

There are about 300 books in the French segment of the Julian Park Collection focusing on the French nation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. About half of these deal directly and indirectly with Napoleon: Norwood Young's Napoleon In Exile: St. Helena (1815-1821) (1915) in two volumes, and Prince Napoleon's Napoleon et ses detracteurs (1887) are but two of many distinguished titles. Unique among these is R. P. Dunn-Pattison's Napoleon's Marshals (1909), which contains inserted letters or documents signed by each of the twenty marshals. Further representative of the volumes in the collection on France are Pierre de La Gorce's Histoire de Second Empire (1894) in six volumes, Captaine Alfred Dreyfus, souvenirs et correspondance (1936) by his son, and Gabriel Hanotaux's Contemporary France, translated by John Charles Tarver (1903), in four volumes.

There are many French novels, among them Marcel Prevost's Marie-Des-Angoisses (1932), number 373 of a signed, limited edition; Henry Bordeaux's Le Calvaire de Cimiez (1928), also in a signed limited edition; as well as Anatole France's Le Dieux ant soif (1912), with a note signed by France tipped-in. These volumes are complemented by others, like Paul Verlaine's Choix de poesies (1910) and FrançoisCoppée's Une Idylle (1874).

More impressive than the French titles are Julian Park's collection of British Romantic poets. There are thirteen first editions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, including The Fall of Robespierre (1794), Biographia Literaria (1817) and Sibylline Leaves (1817). These titles are accompanied by sixteen of William Wordsworth, including The Excursion (1814) and Yarrow Revisited (1835). The record of the two poets’ collaboration in Lyrical Ballads of 1800 and 1805 is also present. Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812), The Corsair (1814) and Marino Faliero (1821) appear with John Clare's The Shepherd's Calendar (1827) and The Rural Muse (1835). Clare was a special favorite of Julian Park, and his own edition, Unpublished Poems (1937), is one of the seven titles by Clare in the collection. Mary Shelley is represented by six titles, among them Frankenstein (1818) and The Fortunes of Perkn Warbeck (1830), each in three volumes. Robert Browning's Sordello (1840) and Dramatis Personae (1864) give a sense of the second half century in poetry, as do George Meredith's Poems (1851) and Modern Love (1862). Novelists and prose writers are also an important part of this collection. Benjamin Disraeli's Wondrous Tales of Alroy and the Rise of Iskander (1833), Venetia (1837) and Coningsby (1844), all in multi-volume sets, accompany Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847) and Shirley (1849). Bulwer-Lytton's Rienzi (1835) and Charles Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses (1808) and Satan In Search of a Wife (1831) have places alongside William Harrison Ainsworth's The Mayor of London (1862) and Merry England (1874). The later novelist Joseph Conrad is represented with twenty-one titles, including An Outcast of the Islands (1896) Nostromo (1904) and Chance (1919). There are fifty-five titles by H. Rider Haggard, including She (1887) and Moon of Israel (1918), and sixty-three by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, including Tales from Many Sources (1885) and Through the Magic Door (1907).

Joseph H. Brennan Collection

When he died in 1961, Joseph H. Brennan was chief metallurgist for the Union Carbide Metals Company. Recognized for his pioneering work on ferro-alloys, he discovered ways to produce alloys with a low carbon content as well as a process for treating low grade tungsten ores. But his major contribution was in cobalt refining. Much admired for his scientific accomplishments, he was also a man of culture, and, in fact, a book collector.

The Joseph H. Brennan Collection of metallurgical, geological and chemical interests consists of 229 books in these specialized fields. From an historical perspective the volumes trace the transition from alchemy to modern scientific thought. Caius Plinius Secundus' (Pliny the Elder's) Historiae Mundi Libri XXXVII (1545) and Historiae Naturalis Libri XXXVII (1784) provide a compilation of early knowledge about mines, mineralogy and metals; in fact, the Historia as a whole, which was first printed at Venice (1469) in thirty-seven books, collects the best information in all recognized fields of science from the ancient world and was the foundation for scientific progress in the Renaissance. De Re Metallica Libri XII (1556) of Georgius Agricola in a similar way describes contemporary metallurgical procedures and makes the same leap from alchemy toward experimental method that Giambattista della Porta's Magiae Naturalis Sive de Miraculis Rerum Naturalium Libri IIIIi (1558) and Vannoccio Biringuccio's Pirotechnia, li diece libri della pirotechnia (1558; first published in Latin, 1540) also accomplish. Johann Rudolph Glauber was much influenced by alchemy, but his volume, Furni Novi Philosophici, Sive Descriptio Artis Destillatoriea Novae (1661; original edition, 1651) reveals him to be a master of laboratory skills, accurately describing the preparation of hydrochloric acid and other chemical reactants. Glauber's book reflects the growing importance of experimental techniques, as does Athanasius Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus (1668; first published 1665), which actively combats alchemy but still retains much unscientific lore.

The Brennan Collection includes other books which chart the development of modern science. Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum, Sive Historia Naturalis (1648) collects facts and folklore about natural history and encourages a close study of natural events. Robert Boyle, the founder of the Royal Society and author of the law which bears his name, is represented by four titles, among them New Experiments and Observations Touching Cold (1683), which contains the first description of a graduated thermometer. The most influential figure of the scientific revolution was Isaac Newton. His Opticks; Or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections, and Colours of Lights (1730; fourth edition, corrected) is still a monument to his genius and a major advance in scientific thought. Humphry Davy discovered the anaesthetic qualities of nitrous oxide but is best remembered for his work in electro-chemistry, part of which is contained in Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity (1807). Davy's assistant, Michael Faraday, laid the foundation for the study of electro-magnetic induction and electro-magnetic waves, and was one of the first to study alloy steels. His Chemical Manipulation (1830; first published 1827) establishes principles central to his research. Thomas Thomson began advocating John Dalton's atomic theories in the third edition of his popular A System of Chemistry (1807), which was followed a year later by Dalton's own longer account, A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808). Other works like Jean Antoine Nollet's Leçons de physique experimentale (1754-1758), which established the principles of experimental physics in France, illustrates the depth of the collection.

There are also numerous nineteenth-century works on geology and metallurgy: Arthur Aikin's Illustrations of Arts and Manufactures (1841), Charles Lyell’s Elements of Geology (1865) and his Travels in North America (1845) are present along with Ebenezer Emmons’ Manual of Mineralogy and Geology (1826) and William Hyde Wollaston’s A System of Chemistry of Inorganic Bodies (1831). Brennan was also interested in the relationships of theology and science, as John Pye Smith’s On the Relation Between the Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science (1840) suggests. The collection confirms Brennan's understanding that contemporary scientific thought had an historical tradition, and that his work as a practicing scientist engaged him in that past. 

Gran Colombia Collection

When the Gran Colombia Collection arrived in Buffalo in the 1960s, it consisted of 4,000 volumes of books not only on every aspect of the country of Gran Colombia, before and after it evolved into the nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, but also on Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and the Caribbean Basin. In addition to the books, there were about 400 manuscript documents from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. The collection was begun by General Francisco de Paula Santander, of an old Colombian family, and was added to by members of the family over a long period. Most of the volumes which pertain to the culture, literature, economy and social history of the region have been assimilated into the central research collection of Lockwood Memorial Library. The manuscripts and about 400 scarce volumes are part of the Rare Books Collection.

At the center of the collection are the books about the exploration, conquest and settlement of Gran Colombia. George Juan and Antoine de Ulloa's Voyage historique de l'Amerique Meridionale (1752) is one of the early accounts, complemented by Antonio Julian's La perla de la America, provincia de Santa Marta (1787), Pedro de Cieça de Leon's Parte primera de la chronica del Peru (1554) and J .H. Robinson's Journal of an Expedition 1400 Miles Up the Orinoco and 300 Up the Arauca (1822). The discussion of Sebastian de Eslaba and Pedro de Mur in Diario de todo lo ocurrido en la expugnacion de los fuertes de Bocachica y sitio de la ciudad de Cartagenia de las Indias (1741) lends an immediacy of observation to the process of exploration and discovery that is paralleled by the descriptions of the inhabitants and land masses in Historia natural, civil y geográfica de las naciones situadas en las riberas del rio Orinoco (1882) by José Gumilla. Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix's Histoire du Paraguay (1757) in six volumes, Augustin de Carate's Historia del descubrimiento y conquista de las provincias del Peru (1577) and Augustin Codazzi's Resúmen de la geografia de Venezuela (1841) indicate the scope of the collection, as do La Condamine's Relation abrégée d'un voyage fait dans l'interieur de !'Amérique Méridionale (1745) and John Mawe's Travels in the Interior of Brazil (1812). Jose Manuel Groot's Historia eclesiastica y civil de Nueva Granada (1869-1870) in three volumes is one of many discussions of the role and history of the Catholic Church in Gran Colombia.

The commanding figure of democracy and liberation, Simon de Bolivar, is the most important single figure in these histories of Gran Colombia. His exploits are recounted in many volumes in the collection, some of which are Jules Mancini's Bolivar et l'emancipation des colonies espagnoles des origines a 1815 (1912), Tomás C. de Mosquera’s Memorias sobre la vida del libertador Simon Bolivar (1853) and Fermin Toro's Descripcion de los honores fúnebres consagrados a los restos del libertador Simon Bolivar (1843).

The manuscripts are primary documents for the study of various aspects of Colombian life, and they touch on many subjects. One is the proclamation of the "Consejo de Castilla" to the Spanish nation concerning the forced abdication of Charles IV on 19 March 1808 in favor of his son, followed by a letter from Charles IV to Napoleon protesting his abdication. Another document is a parliamentary decree, dated 6 August 1761, concerning an investigation by the Spanish royal court into the moral doctrine and practice of members of the Jesuit order, including its examination and destruction of books. Yet another, signed by Philip II of Spain, and dated 10 October 1576, rebukes officials of the royal treasury in New Granada for wrangling. On 1 June 1596, as another document explains, one Egas de Guzman, inspector in the province of Tunja, vowed to protect the claim of the Indians of Cormechoque to certain communal lands for cultivation. Other manuscripts include executive orders about the salaries of government employees and records of both military and civil trials. Among the latter is a set of legal documents regarding a suit of Juan Sabesare against Gregorio Martin, demanding the return of his wife after three years, along with 112 pesos. The trial took place in 1758 and 1759.

One of the early volumes dealing with the exploration of the region has been published in a scholarly edition by Peter Boyd-Bowman and William F. Sharp as Description of the Province of Zitará and Course of the River Atrato (1981). The collection has also been used for linguistic studies.

Frank A. Hartman Ornithology Collection

A distinguished teacher and scientist whose research on adrenal glands earned him the American Medical Association's Gold Medal, Frank A. Hartman (1883-1971) served as professor of physiology at the University of Buffalo from 1919 until 1934. Also an ardent naturalist, he had a lifelong fascination with birds, which began during his boyhood on the Nebraska plains. To support his ornithological interests, Hartman assembled over the years a collection of more than 1,000 volumes devoted to birds. At his bequest, this private library came to the University after his death, and it is preserved intact as part of the Rare Books Collection.

While the Hartman Collection includes titles published as early as 1797, most of its volumes date from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular concentration on scholarly publications of the period 1940-1970. This emphasis mirrors the nature of Hartman's own interest, for he was less a bibliophile attracted to the historical rarities of ornithological literature than an active naturalist gathering material to support his studies. This scientific perspective accounts for the unusual strength in treatises devoted to special research topics, both within the discipline as a whole and on particular groups, even single species of birds. Of comparable strength are the books of geographical focus, dealing with the birds of various foreign countries as well as of the regions, states and provinces of North America. All of these specialized materials are supplemented by a body of broader studies of both birds and general natural history, along with runs of important journals in the field.

American Orthodox Catholic Alliance Collection

The American Orthodox Catholic Alliance Collection was originally assembled in the 1950s and 1960s through the efforts of two of the Alliance's trustees, M. G. H. Gelsinger, Professor of Classics at the University of Buffalo, and Reverend Boris Burden of New York City. Intended to provide materials for the study of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, particularly in its Byzantine phase, this collection included some 20,000 volumes when it was donated in 1966 to the State University of New York at Buffalo. The University, in turn, established a matching fund to purchase additional books for the collection. In 1974, the unexpended portion of these monies was used to form an endowment, which was measurably increased five years later in conjunction with another substantial gift of materials from the Alliance.

The chronological limits of the collection parallel the Byzantine Empire itself: focus is on the fourth to the fifteenth century, with particular attention to the fourth century and to the period from the ninth through eleventh centuries. Emphasis is on the intellectual world of Byzantium, in both its secular and religious phases, including Greek patristic literature and its interpretation, and the tradition of the Greek Bible and its antecedents. To support these subjects, pagan literature of late antiquity is strongly represented, as well as the Hellenistic and Roman background of the Eastern Christian world and its relations with its neighbors in the Near East, in Eastern Europe and in the Latin West.

The American Orthodox Catholic Alliance Collection is among the country's important concentrations of Byzantine materials. Its strength is reflected in the textual research the collection has supported over the years. Relying on its books and journals, faculty and doctoral students in the Department of Classics have published numerous studies on Byzantine topics and critical editions of Byzantine authors, some appearing in the Arethusa Monograph Series published by the Department.

All titles in the collection are designated by a special bookplate. Rare materials, such as a large number of the early printed editions of Greek patristic texts, are housed in the Rare Books Collection. Otherwise, the American Orthodox Catholic Alliance Collection forms part of Lockwood Memorial Library's general research collection.