Exhibit: 150 Years, 150 Treasures

Exhibit: 150 Treasures from the Libraries

150 Treasures from the Libraries in honor of the University of Rochester's Sesquicentennial

An exhibition displayed in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library, as part of the University's sesquicentennial celebration, October 13-15, 2000. The text is accompanied with photographs of the items as they appeared in the exhibition cases. 

Charter, Faculty Photograph, Boot Hooks, Embosser and Gold Medal 
Items 1-5


Charter, 1850 

The official charter, establishing the University of Rochester as "an institution of the highest order for scientific and classical education," was issued by the Regents of the University of the State of New York and was signed on February 14, 1851. A provisional charter issued the previous year allowed the University to begin teaching courses in the fall of 1850. The charter, written on vellum, includes drawings by David Vaughan who optimistically depicted views of what the University campus—then housed in a former hotel—might become. 


Photograph of the faculty, 1877 

This is the first photograph of the University's faculty. Pictured are (seated, left to right) Albert H. Mixer, Asahel C. Kendrick, President Martin B. Anderson, Isaac F. Quinby, Samuel A. Lattimore; (standing, left to right) William C. Morey, Joseph H. Gilmore, Otis H. Robinson. 

3.   ANDERSON, Martin B.


If President Anderson was wearing boots the day this photograph was taken, chances are he used these boot-hooks to pull them on. 

4.   University of Rochester


This embosser was used to stamp official documents with the original University of Rochester seal which depicts a hand pointing upwards, the words "Universitatis Rocestriansus" and the University's motto Meliora . The first seal was adopted in 1851 and replaced in 1928 to recognize the addition of the Eastman School of Music and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The 1928 seal was much like the one used today except that the two snakes wrapped around a staff in the medallion of the School of Medicine were dropped in favor of one in 1985. 

5.   RHEES, Rush

Gold medal 

This medal was presented to Rush Rhees in 1900, on the occasion of his inauguration as the third President of the University.

Class of 1853 
Item 6


Class of 1853 

The earliest known class photograph of the University’s graduates.

Codex Saeculi XI, Cone of the King and Pope Celestine III 
Items 7-9


Manuscript codex 
Written between 1070 and 1103 

Created in southern Germany (likely at the convent of Reichenau), the Codex saeculi XI — having assumed the popular nickname of Rochester Codex upon its acquisition by the Sibley Music Library in 1929 — consists of treatises on the arts of the Middle Ages, music included. The codex (a manuscript book with leaves bound together at the side) constitutes one of the earliest complete manuscripts on music to be found in the United States. It was purchased at the sale of the second portion of the library of Dr. Werner Wolfheim in Berlin in June, 1929 by Sibley Music Librarian Barbara Duncan, whom the Rochester philanthropist (and Sibley Music Library founder) Hiram Watson Sibley had told, "Buy something that we can talk about!" Backed by Mr. Sibley’s generous funding, Miss Duncan had no difficulty in outbidding Professor Johannes Wolf of the Prussian State Library, to which library Wolfheim had been expected to leave his collection until post-War inflation made necessary its sale. Duncan would later write that she "felt a little ashamed" that her library’s greater financial means had made possible the circumstance by which the codex would leave its native land, but nevertheless observed that it had perhaps been for the best in light of subsequent events in that part of the world. [Barbara Duncan, "The Sibley Music Library", The University of Rochester Library Bulletin, 1 (1), November 1945, 26-29] 

From the Collection of the Sibley Music Library. 


Sumerian cuneiform 
ca 1900 BC 

The text records the construction of an important building in the city of Isin by King Lipit-Istar following his "establishing justice in the land." 


Papal Bull 
Rome, March 29, 1197 

This document, addressed to the Chapter of St. Peter at Mainz, confirms the grant to the chapter of the church at Eltville (Altavilla), made by Sifredus de Eppenstein. The seal (or bulla) of Giacinto Bobo, who reigned as Pope Celestine III from 1191 to 1198, is still attached to the bull by the original silks, which are in the papal colors of gold and red (though much faded).

Der Stachel Der Liebe and Library Catalogue of St. Victor 
Items 10-11


Manuscript codex 
Nuremberg, Germany, early 15th century 

This work is a translation into the North Bavarian dialect of the mystical treatise Stimulis Amoris, a tract occasionally attributed to St. Bonaventura. It was written in the cursive style, by three scribes, with a colophon written by a fourth. It is bound in its original leather with metal bosses (the hemispherical bumps at the corners, intended to protect the binding) and clasps (meant to hold the book shut while not in use and to keep the vellum pages from curling). The book was owned originally by the Dominican nunnery of Medingen in Bavaria. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the codex is the woodcut pasted in the front cover depicting the death of the Virgin. It is the only copy known to have survived. 

Gift of Hiram Sibley 

11.    CATALOGUE OF THE LIBRARY at the monastery of St. Victor in Marseilles, France

Manuscript on vellum roll, 1374 

The monastery of St. Victor was founded by John Cassian in 415 AD. This 1374 catalogue of its library is a complete copy, properly notarized and originating at a high point in the monastery's history. The abbot of St. Victor's, Guillaume de Grimoard, had recently been elected Pope Urban V, and he did much to encourage the intellectual life and library holdings of his former home. In addition to listing the volumes actually at the monastery, the 1374 catalogue also gives miscellaneous information concerning the deposition of the books and lists the major officials at the time of the catalogue's compilation. 

The library at St. Victor consisted of approximately 700 volumes with a strong emphasis on works of theology and Biblical commentary. However, the classics of the ancient and medieval worlds and a respectable collection of law books were also noted in the catalogue. 

12.    AQUINAS, St Thomas

Summa Theologicae: Partis Secundae: Secunda pars 
Esslingen, 1472 

This edition of the Summa, the first book to be printed in Esslingen, is the oldest printed volume in the River Campus Libraries. In 1936, Professor John Rothwell Slater wrote of it: "This fine folio shows the beautiful presswork which the early printers soon achieved with their rude hand presses. The ink is as black, the impression as clear, and the paper as firm as they were 464 years ago." 

As a proponent of scholastic philosophy, Aquinas (1225-1274) was regarded as the equal of the four Doctors of the Church - Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Gregory. The Summa Theologicae, Aquinas' greatest work, was begun in 1265. In it he attempted to give a summary of all knowledge. The second part was devoted to man, and the second portion of this part, shown here, deals with man's will, virtue, sin and the contemplative life. 

Presented to the University of Rochester Library by John W. Dwinelle, in 1859.

Washington's Journal, Revolutionary War Diary, Letter to Henry Knox and Federalist Papers 
Items 13-16

13.    WASHINGTON, George

Order Book, August 5 – September 28, 1776 
Manuscript journal 

This journal contains General George Washington’s daily orders to his troops during the opening months of the Revolutionary War. It was acquired in 1955 from Ellen Fellows Bown, the great-grand daughter of Brigadier General John Fellows who was a member of Washington’s staff. Though the entries are not written in Washington’s hand, this is most certainly a contemporary recording of the General’s orders and this copy may have been made for Fellows. The orders reveal Washington’s deep concern for his soldiers as he struggles to train and discipline them, to provide them with the necessary military, medical, and food provisions, and to maintain morale amongst the troops by appealing to their sense of high purpose and patriotism. 


Manuscript journal 

A diary kept by an unknown soldier, perhaps Captain Jonathan Forman of the 4th New Jersey Regiment. In it he wrote of several engagements with the British: 

The 3rd October marched in the night with the whole army in different columns to surprise the enemy at Germantown. About daybreak the 4th, the front light infantry division began the attach being the centermost column. Surprised and routed the enemy, driving them from their baggage, leaving everything behind. But a heavy fogg, joined with the smoke and some little blunders, prevented their total defeat, we retreating to Perkiomen, from thence to North Wales from thence to the 30 Mile Stone on Skipback Road. 

Gift of Mrs. Carlton Fellows Bown 

15.    WASHINGTON, George

Letter to Major General Henry Knox, April 1, 1789. 

In this extraordinary letter to his future Secretary of War, Washington expresses his reluctance, "in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an ocean of difficulties…." in becoming the first President of the United States. 


New York, 1787 

The Federalist Papers consist of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay advocating the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Shown are two copies of volume one of two two-volume sets in the Library’s collection. One is bound in morocco leather, the other remains in what appears to be its original paper boards. 

Sherman Clarke Fund, gift of Jean Vance Clarke 
Gift of Cornelis de Kiewiet, former President of the University of Rochester

Infantry Manoeuvres, Woodcut, N Rochester Letter, Canal Ticket, Jenks Journal and Police Watch Book 
Items 17-22

17.    FELLOWS, J.

Infantry Manoeuvres 
Rochester, 1819 

The only known copy of what is believed to be the first book printed in Rochester. It was printed by Everard Peck and Co. Little is known about J. Fellows, the author, except that he served in the United States Army. His work is described on the title page as "Containing the Principles of Forming and Manoeuvering a Company and Regiment, with Directions for inspection and Review: For the Use of the Militia of the United States." 

Presented to the Library by John M. Topham. 


Woodcut printed by Everard Peck 
ca 1827 

This is the only known copy of this woodcut view of the aqueduct that carried the water of the newly constructed Erie Canal over the Genesee River. 

19.    ROCHESTER, Nathaniel

Letter to Messrs. Leavitt, Weed, Backus & Norton, October 16, 1825 

The founder of Rochester, Nathaniel Rochester regrets his inability to attend the ceremonies opening the Erie Canal and offers a toast for the occasion. 


In addition to my advanced age and consequent bodily infirmities, I was yesterday attacked with a violent cold which incapacitates me for the very honorable post assigned to me by your polite note, in the celebration tomorrow on the completion of the Erie Canal. 

Permit me Gentlemen to tender to you and through you to the Citizens of Rochester my grateful acknowledgements for this mark of your favor, and as I cannot give my personal attention to this very laudable and proper celebration permit me to offer a toast for the occasion. 

Yours very respectfully 

N Rochester 

"The Erie & Champlain Canals, the greatest public work in America, if not in the world. A principal link in the chain that binds the union of these states, and a proud monument of the merit of those who projected it and those who carried the measure into effect." 


Printed ticket, 1825 

Miss Eliza Davis's ticket to the ball held in New York City on November 7,1825 to celebrate the opening of the Erie Canal. 

21.    JENKS, Michael Hutchinson

Manuscript travel journal, 1828 

Michael Hutchinson Jenks, a farmer and surveyor from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, described Rochester in his 1828 travel journal as having "no great beauty...all the streets are filled with mud & rubbish." He was so taken with the water power provided by the Genesee River, however, that he drew its "profile" and devoted several pages of his journal to a description of the river, its falls, and the many mills built along its banks. 

22.    POLICE WATCH BOOK, Rochester, NY

Manuscript volume, July 22 to September 24, 1837 

When Rochester was chartered as a city in 1834, three night watchmen were hired to light the oil lamps and patrol the streets on the lookout for fires and troublemakers. By the next year the number of watchmen had increased and Frances Dana was chosen as captain of the watch, a position he also occupied in 1837. In his watch book, Captain Dana recorded the misdeeds of early Rochesterians. Many of the arrests occurred in the rowdy streets and taverns that lined the Erie Canal. 

Purchased with funds provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Panorama of DC, Democratic Vistas, Cigar Case and Abraham Lincoln Letter 
Items 23-26

23.    PEALE, Titian Ramsay

Panoramic view of Washington, DC 
Photographs, 1863 

In 1863 Titian Ramsay Peale climbed to the top of the central tower of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and took eight panoramic photographs of the city below him. Notable landmarks on the two sections shown are the Washington Monument (west view) and the Patent Office building and Washington Canal (north view). Peale (1799-1885) is best remembered as a naturalist and artist. In 1849 he began working in the Patent Office, where he specialized in innovations in photography and fine arts. These views, which he presented to Secretary of State William Henry Seward, record the capital city in the midst of the Civil War. 

From the William Henry Seward Papers 

24.    WHITMAN, Walt

Democratic Vistas 
Washington, D.C., 1871 

This first edition was presented to William Henry Seward by the author. Whitman's admiration for Abraham Lincoln was expressed in "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" and "O Captain! My Captain." Whitman – known as the "Poet of Democracy" – thought just as highly of Seward, who watched over democracy's future as Lincoln's trusted advisor and Secretary of State. 

Presented by William Henry Seward III 

25.    SEWARD, William Henry

Gold cigar case 

In the summer of 1869, following the end of his career as Secretary of State, Seward made a trip to the West Coast, and was greeted everywhere with great acclaim. During his visit in San Francisco, the Pioneer Society of California presented him with this elaborately engraved gold cigar case. The scenes represent two views of Alaska, and the words "Alaska" and "California" appear as part of the design. 

From the William Henry Seward Papers 

26.    LINCOLN, Abraham

Letter to William Henry Seward, April 14, 1865

Written on the day he was assassinated, this is one of the last letters Lincoln wrote. In it he instructs his Secretary of State to assemble the cabinet for a meeting to be attended by General U. S. Grant. 

Gift of the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, Auburn, NY

Items 27-29, 32-34

27.    DRYDEN, John

The Wild Gallant: A Comedy 
London, 1669 
First edition 

The poet John Dryden (1631-1700) was also a prolific playwright. This, his first play, opened at the Theatre-Royal in London in February 1663. The Library owns approximately 200 first and early editions of the works of John Dryden. These are complemented by a strong collection of plays by other seventeenth and eighteenth-century British dramatists including Beaumont and Fletcher, David Garrick, Elizabeth Inchbald, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Samuel Foote. 

28.    TOOLE, John Lawrence

Letters to his brother Francis Toole 

J. L. Toole (1830-1906) was a very successful and well-loved comic actor of the British stage. The theater collections in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections holds hundreds of letters from Toole, including a sizable correspondence with his brother Francis that begins in 1852, the year Toole made his debut in Dublin. Toole writes about every aspect of provincial theatre life, including contracts with managers, size of audience and box office receipts, reactions to particular pieces of business in the performance, practical jokes and personality conflicts. 

From the John Lawrence Toole Papers 

29.    ALEXANDER, George

Script for The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope 
Opened at St. James's Theatre 7 January 1896 
Bound typescript 

In 1891 Sir George Alexander (1858-1918) became manager of St. James’s Theatre in London. Here he produced several of the major plays of the day such as Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde (1892), The Second Mrs. Tanqueray by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1893), The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (1895), andThe Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope (1896). The Library owns the house scripts used by Alexander during the production of thirty-four plays. This script includes manuscript stage directions and revisions and small mounted photographs of the cast in costume. 

From the George Alexander Papers 

30.    IRVING, Henry

Letter to Bram Stoker, November 5, 1881 

The author of Dracula, Bram Stoker was also the personal secretary of the great English tragedian Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905). The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has extensive holdings of material related to the British theater including a substantial collection of Henry Irving letters and printed ephemera. 

31.    STOKER, Bram

New York, 1899 

Autograph presentation copy from the author 

Gift of Robert Bruce Lindsay 

32.    PINERO, Sir Arthur Wing

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray 
London, 1892 

This copy belonged to Sir George Alexander and contains his notes, annotations, stage directions, etc. for the first production of the play in 1893 

Purchased on the Francis J. D’Amanda Fund 

33.    BOOTH, Edwin

Letter to John E. Russell, March 24, 1864 

Edwin Booth (1833-1893) was the great tragedian actor of the nineteenth century American stage. He was part of a theatrical family that included his father Junius Brutus Booth and his brother John Wilkes Booth, best remembered as the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. This is the first of fifty-four letters in the Library’s Edwin Booth collection written by Booth to John E. Russell during the years 1864 to 1881. Russell was a theatre critic and journalist, who wrote for the New York Sun and other newspapers. Here Booth acknowledges Russell’s critique of his performance of Hamlet: "I like it better than any I have read in relation to myself in that character..." 

Purchased with funds provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities 

34.    RUSSELL, Lillian

Letter to Constance Du Flon, September 23, 1885 

Lillian Russell (1861-1922) was an internationally famed actress and singer. Her presence, personality, beauty and extravagant life style made her a star of the Gilded Age. In 1885-86 she made her first American tour accompanied by her second husband Edward Solomon. The Library’s Russell collection consists of fifty-four letters written by Russell and Solomon to their friend Constance Du Flon. The letters detail the daily occurrences and conditions of a touring company. The letter shown describes opening night in Cleveland: "We opened to a very large house here last night and the piece was received magnificently." 

Purchased on the Wilson Family Fund.

Items 30, 31, 35

35.    ABBOTT, George F.

Program for "Perfectly Harmless" 

George Abbott (1888-1995), known as "Mr. Broadway," began his theatrical career as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester, class of 1911. Between 1948 and 1962 the shows he was involved in as writer, director, or producer earned forty Tony Awards. When he died at the age of 107 the lights of Broadway were dimmed for one minute in his honor. The program for "Perfectly Harmless," the three-act farce Abbott wrote and performed in during his senior year, is shown with his photograph in the 1911 Interpres.

Items 36, 40-42

36.    HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel

The Scarlet Letter 
Boston, 1850 
First edition 

Like the University, The Scarlet Letter is celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2000. 

Presented by the Plymouth Spiritualist Church 

37.    STOWE, Harriet Beecher

Uncle Tom's Cabin 
Boston, 1852 
First edition 

Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin appeared first in serial form in the National Era in 1851-52, and in book form on March 20, 1852. It immediately became a best seller. Four power presses were kept busy day and night printing it and by the end of the year, 200,000 copies had been sold in the United States. 

Gift of Jesse Horwitz 

38.    HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel

The Blithedale Romance 
Boston, 1852 

This copy of The Blithedale Romance was presented by Hawthorne to president Franklin Pierce. Copies of books which Hawthorne inscribed for his friends are very rare, and this volume is all the more unusual for having been presented to General Franklin Pierce, who was soon to be elected president of the United States. Hawthorne and Pierce were freshmen together at Bowdoin in 1821, and they remained friends until Hawthorne's death in 1864. 

Gift of Edward G. Miner

Items 37-39, 43-45

39.    THOREAU, Henry David

Walden; or, Life in the Woods 
Boston, 1854 

First edition, first printing 

Between July 4, 1845 and September 6, 1847 Thoreau (1817-1862) lived in a small house on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Here he wrote his thoughts and observations in several journals which, after many revisions, he published in 1854. Seemingly a parochial study of nature and Concord society, Walden is a sharp critique of the superficialities of government and society. 

From the Raymond R. Borst Collection of Henry David Thoreau 

40.    JAMES, Henry

Daisy Miller; a Study 
New York, 1878 
First edition 

One of the best known works by Henry James (1843-1916) Daisy Miller was first published in this rather fragile format as part of the Harper’s Half-Hour Series. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has an impressive collection of first and early editions of books by this American author, who lived much of his life in England and wrote about other expatriates. 

Gift of Mrs. Arthur L. Heath 

41.    HARRIS, Joel Chandler

Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings 
New York, 1881 
First edition 

Harris (1848-1908) lived on Joseph Addison Turner’s Georgia plantation while editing a newspaper owned by Turner. Here he visited the slave cabins and heard the folktales told by the inhabitants. In 1881 he published these stories in the immensely popular Uncle Remus. The first edition sold 7,500 copies in the first month and 10,000 copies within four months. 

Gift of Mrs. C. Schuyler Davis 

42.    CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (Mark Twain)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 
Hartford, CT, 1876 
First American edition 

Ironically, this most quintessential American book was published in England six months before the first American edition. 

Gift of Mrs. William B. Hale 

43.    DREISER, Theodore

Sister Carrie 
New York, 1900 

Like the University, Sister Carrie is also celebrating a major anniversary in 2000, in this case, the 100th anniversary of its publication. Unlike the UR, the novel did not have an auspicious start: only 500 copies of the first edition were sold, of which this is one. 

Presented to the Libraries by the Rochester Public Library. 

44.    DREISER, Theodore

Letter to Dorothy Dudley Harvey, December 1, 1928 

Harvey’s biography of Dreiser, Forgotten Frontiers , was published in 1932. Here he writes to Harvey, "I cannot imagine any American whom I would rather see undertake this." 

From the Dorothy Dudley Harvey Papers 

45.    CRAPSEY, Adelaide

Manuscript of "Snow," undated

A year after Crapsey’s death Claude Bragdon published her book of poetry Verse at his Manas Press. Crapsey (1878-1914), who grew up in Rochester, is credited with inventing the cinquain—a five-line unrhymed iambic stanza containing, in order, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables per line. Shown is an example of a cinquain written in Crapsey’s hand. 

From the Adelaide Crapsey Papers

Items 46, 47, 51-53

46.    CAMPBELL, Patrick

Travels in the Interior Inhabited Parts of North America 
Edinburgh, 1793 

Campbell's volume contains one of the earliest descriptions of upstate New York on the eve of its settlement. Campbell included descriptions of topography, flora, fauna and native inhabitants. In 1978 the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries reprinted four chapters of Campbell’s Travels under the title A Journey through the Genesee Country, Finger Lakes Region, and Mohawk Valley. 

Purchased with funds provided by Gamma Phi Sorority 

47.    SEAVER, James E.

A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison 
Canandaigua, 1824 

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses some forty editions of this work, many given by or purchased from the renowned bibliographer of Americana R. W. G. Vail (1890-1966). At the age of fifteen Mary Jemison (1743? –1833) was abducted by the Shawnee following an attack on her family’s Pennsylvania homestead. She was later adopted by and married a member of the Seneca Tribe. With her new family she moved to western New York where she lived with her children on land she acquired following the Revolutionary War. "The White Woman of the Genesee," as Jemison came to be known, told her story to Seaver in 1823 and his book became the most popular of the captivity narratives, going through many editions. 

48.    MORGAN, William

Illustrtions of Masonry 
Rochester, New York, 1827 

William Morgan (1774-1826?) was a member of the Masonic Lodge in LeRoy, NY. In 1825 he and others petitioned the Grand Lodge of New York State for permission to establish a lodge in Batavia where Morgan was living. The petition was granted with the proviso that Morgan, who had a reputation for drunkenness, not be allowed to join. In retaliation Morgan wrote this pamphlet in which he revealed Masonic secret rituals and attacked the society as a danger to democracy. The next year Morgan was abducted and mysteriously disappeared. Believed murdered, his body was never recovered. The abduction of Morgan was the catalyst for the Anti-masonic movement, which eventually became a national political party. William Henry Seward began his political career as a member of the Anti-masonic Party. 

The first edition of the pamphlet was published in Batavia in 1826. This Rochester edition, with its misspelled title, was published the following year. There are approximately 150 printed items in the Library’s Anti-masonic collection. 

49.    YOUNG, Brigham

Manuscript promissory note, March 16, 1830 

Young (1801-1877) settled in Mendon, NY in 1829 where he made and repaired furniture. In this note he agrees to pay the bearer "eighteen dollars & fifty cents with Interest—Ten dollars of it to be paid in good Kitchen chairs at fifty cents a piece…" In that same year Young read the Book of Mormon and two years later he was baptized into the church. Young became the second President of the Mormon Church and in 1847 he led the migration of the faithful to the valley of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. 


Palmyra, NY, 1830 
First edition 

While a resident of Palmyra, Joseph Smith (1805-1844) experienced a series of visions which led him to believe that God had selected him to restore the church of Christ. In September 1827 he was permitted to take from their hiding place golden tablets which told the story of the "true" church on the American continent following its migration from Jerusalem. After translating the history, he published the result as The Book of Mormon in July, 1830. 

51.    BURNS, Robert

The Works of Robert Burns 
Philadelphia, 1841 

Frederick Douglass wrote on the fly-leaf "This book was the first bought by me after my escape from slavery – I have owned it nearly thirty one years – and now give it to my oldest son as a keep sake." 


52.    DOUGLASS, Frederick

Letter to Amy Post, undated 

In this poignant note Douglass (1818-1895) writes a "pass" for the Underground Railroad: 

"Please shelter this Sister from the house of bondage till five O’Clock – this afternoon – She will then be sent on to the Land of freedom" 

From the Amy and Isaac Post Family Papers 


Petition to President John Tyler, March 14, 1842 

In this contemporary copy of a petition, dated March 14, 1842, the women of the Tonawanda Reservation ask President John Tyler to support their struggle to preserve their lands fraudulently acquired by the Ogden Land Company. 

From the Amy and Isaac Post Family Papers

Items 48-50, 54, 55


Manuscript minutes 

Two weeks after the first woman’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848 the convention reconvened in Rochester. At this convention resolutions were passed in favor of securing women the franchise, dropping the word "obey" from the marriage vows, and helping women secure better wages. These are the original manuscript minutes as recorded by Amy Post. 

55.    FULLER, Margaret

Journal kept by Elvina Metcalf at the Greene Street School, Providence, Rhode Island from December 3, 1838 to January 9, 1839. 

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was a member of the Transcendentalist circle that included Emerson and Hawthorne. In 1837 she began teaching at the Greene Street School. Like all students of the school, Elvina Metcalf was obliged to record her thoughts and activities in a journal. This journal now provides a fascinating firsthand account of a student’s perception of Margaret Fuller as a teacher and mentor. 

Purchased with funds provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Items 56, 57, 61-65

56.    BUSH, James Smith

Letter to William Henry Seward, January 21, 1850 

The great-grandfather of President George Herbert Walker Bush and great-great-grandfather of presidential candidate George W. Bush wrote this letter to Senator William Henry Seward seeking his support for a pension for Amos Knapp. James S. Bush (1825-1889) was born in Rochester, his grandfather Timothy Bush having moved to upstate New York in the late eighteenth century. After attending Yale, James S. Bush studied law and in 1847 opened a law practice in Rochester. He later became an Episcopal minister. 

From the William Henry Seward Papers 

57.    BARNUM, P. T.

Letter to Henry A. Ward 

The elephant Jumbo was not only the largest animal in captivity, but also the most famous. Captured in Africa in 1861, Jumbo spent his early years in Paris at the Jardin des Plantes and in London at the London Zoological Gardens. In 1882 the American showman P. T. Barnum purchased the elephant and, after a great outcry of protest from English Jumbo lovers, brought him to the United States. Here he continued to delight audiences as part of Barnum’s "Greatest Show on Earth." On September 15, 1885, Jumbo’s life came to a tragic end when he was struck by a train and killed. By prior arrangement, Jumbo’s body was shipped to Ward’s Natural History Establishment in Rochester. Here Ward and his assistants mounted Jumbo’s skeleton and stuffed his enormous skin. For the next two years these two Jumbos toured with Barnum’s circus. 

Shown is a letter Barnum wrote to Ward two years before Jumbo’s demise: "I shall have my managers understand that if we lose Jumbo (which Heaven forbid!) you must be telegraphed to immediately, & hope you will lose no time in saving his skin & skeleton." 

From the Henry A. Ward Papers

Items 58-60, 66

58.    DARWIN, Charles

On the Origin of Species 
London, 1859 
First edition 

Published on November 24, 1859, On the Origin of Species went through three printings in less than six months. This is a copy of the first printing of five thousand copies. Charles Wright Dodge, to whom this copy belonged, was a Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester from 1890 to 1931. An expert bacteriologist, Dodge succeeded--with the help of his wife--in producing an antitoxin serum that overcame an epidemic of diphtheria in Rochester in 1893. 

From the Darwin Collection of Charles Wright Dodge, presented in 1931 

59.    MORGAN, Lewis Henry

Manuscript journal 

Morgan (1818-1881) has been called the "Father of American Anthropology." As a result of an early interest in the League of the Iroquois, he began an exhaustive study of the history and culture of the Iroquois Indians. In 1851 he published The League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois. He subsequently published Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (1871) and Ancient Society (1877). Shown is one of Morgan’s early manuscript journals in which he records his observations of Indian life on the Tonawanda Reservation. 

From the Lewis Henry Morgan Papers 

60.    DARWIN, Charles

Letter to Lewis Henry Morgan, July 9, 1877 

In this letter Darwin mentions that all his time is consumed with his work on plants. During that year he published The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species followed by The Power of Movement in Plants in 1880. Most likely this is the research he was performing at the time he wrote the letter. Darwin also mentions that he has not had opportunity to read Herbert Spencer's most recent book, Principles of Sociology (1877). 

From the Lewis Henry Morgan Papers 

61.    ANTHONY, Susan B.

Gold stick pins 

After Susan B. Anthony's death, her sister Mary gave Mary Thorn Lewis Gannett, a Rochester suffragist, these gold stick pins that had belonged to Anthony. Gannett's grandson, Michael R. Gannett, donated them to the Library in 1981. 

62.    ANTHONY, Susan B.

Printed ticket, 1867 

In 1867, Kansas held a referendum on black and woman suffrage. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton went there to campaign for woman suffrage. When their old allies in the Republican Party would not support them, they accepted the help of George Francis Train, a flamboyant Democrat with very eccentric ideas. After the referendum was defeated in Kansas, Train sponsored a lecture tour by Stanton, Anthony, and himself. This is a ticket for their appearance at Corinthian Hall in Rochester on December 2, 1867. 

63.    BELLAMY, Francis

Manuscript of the Pledge of Allegiance, undated 

Francis Julius Bellamy (1855-1931) has been described as "our most quoted alumnus." The 1876 University of Rochester graduate earned this distinction by composing The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag . In 1892 Bellamy was employed by the Boston magazine The Youth’s Companion . As part of the celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the western hemisphere, the magazine promoted the idea of a flag ceremony on Columbus Day in every school in America. Bellamy wrote the Pledge for students to recite as flags were raised over schoolhouses across the country. Over the years additional words have been added to Bellamy’s original Pledge, but it is still recited by millions of school children every day. 

Shown is a copy of the Pledge in Bellamy’s hand and his 1876 UR graduation photograph. 

From the Francis J. Bellamy Papers 

64.    EASTMAN, George

Letter to Horace Eastman, November 19, 1865 

Here young George Eastman (1854-1932) writes his uncle about his school day activities including playing baseball at recess. As he mentions in the letter, his school was located in the "old University building." This was the former United States Hotel, the home of the University of Rochester from its founding in 1850 to 1861 when the campus was moved to Prince Street. George Eastman’s fortune, made as the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, would be the major source of funds for building the University’s third home on the River Campus. 

From the George Eastman Papers 

65.    CARLSON, Chester

Manuscript notes 
ca 1941 

Chester Carlson (1906-1968) took these notes while reading Gaseous Conductors, Theory and Engineering Applications by James Cobine (1941). In 1940 Carlson was awarded the patent for the electrostatic dry-copying process known as xerography, which made possible the photocopy machine. On September 16, 1959, the Rochester firm Haloid-Xerox (later the Xerox Corporation) introduced the Xerox 914 Office Copier. According to Fortune magazine it was "the most successful product ever marketed in America". 

From the collections of the Carlson Science and Engineering Library 

66.    DEWEY, Thomas E.

"Text of Address Accepting Nomination for President, Delivered by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, at the Republication National Convention in Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 24, 1948." 
Typescript with manuscript annotations

Dewey has marked the text to remind him when to smile and how to modulate his voice while delivering his acceptance speech. Also shown is a photograph of Dewey delivering the speech. The following November he lost the election to Harry Truman. 

From the Thomas E. Dewey Papers

Item 67

67.    VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-1564)

De humani corporis fabrica libri septem… 
Basil, 1543 
First edition 

The Fabrica is the culmination of Renaissance anatomy, the coming together of half a century of scientific investigation in the universities of northern Italy and of Renaissance artistic tradition. Vesalius' text, based upon his work at the universities of Paris and Padua, represents a departure from the authority of Aristotle, Galen and Avicenna, whose ideas had dominated anatomical teaching in European universities since the late 13th century. The Fabrica is illustrated with more than 350 woodcuts designed and executed under Vesalius' supervision by Jan Stephan van Calcar (1499-1546?), a fellow Fleming and a member of Titian's studio in Venice. 

From the collection of the Edward G. Miner Library. Purchased by George W. Corner (1889-1981), chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the School of Medicine from 1924 to 1939.

Items 68-71

68.    EUSTACHI, Bartolomeo

Libellus de dentibus 
Venice, 1563 

One of the most accomplished anatomists of the early modern period, Eustachi (1524? – 1574) was the author of several important treatises, among them the Libellus de dentibus, the first specialized monograph on the teeth. Basing his work on the dissection of fetuses and newborn children, Eustachius was the first to accurately describe the anatomy of the teeth, their hard outer structure and soft inner tissue, as well as the nerve and blood supply. He was the also first to describe the first and second dentition. 

From the collections of the Edward G. Miner Library. Purchases by Basil G. Bibby (1904-1998), Director of the Eastman Dental Center from 1947 until 1970. 

69.    COPERNICUS, Nicolaus

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium 
Basle, 1566 
Second edition 

This book, which was first published in 1543, is considered one of the landmarks in human thought. In it Copernicus (1473-1543) challenged the authority of antiquity by postulating that the earth spins on its axis and, with the other planets, makes an annual revolution around the sun. 

70.    LEEUWENHOEK, Anton van

Opera Omnia 
Leiden, 1722 

Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) was one of the foremost histologists of all times and a pioneer in many branches of biological thought. He is remembered today chiefly for his use of the microscope, which led him to give the first accurate description of red blood corpuscles. Shown here is one volume from a 1722 edition of his complete works. 

71.    BOYLE, Robert

Specimen de Origine et Virtutibus Gemmarum 
Hamburg: 1673 

Robert Boyle (1627-1691) is well known for his formulation of laws governing the behavior of gasses. In 1672 he wrote a short treatise entitled An Essay About the Origins and Virtues of Gems which marked the beginning of the modern study of crystal structure. Displayed is the 1673 Latin edition of this work. 

Gift of Ira M. Olsan 

Items 72, 73

72.    NEWTON, Isaac

London, 1704 

This first edition is opened to Newton's Proposition I, Theorem I: "The Phaenomena of Colours in refracted or reflected Light are not caused by new modifications of the Light variously impressed, according to the various terminations of the Light and Shadow." Newton scholar E.W. Brown states that "Newton's Optics did for light what his Principia did for gravitation, namely, placed it on a scientific basis." 

Presented by the Institute of Optics 

73.    EUCLID

Paris, 1644 

Erhard Ratdolt issued the first printed edition of Euclid's classic mathematical text in 1482. The first English edition appeared in 1570. This is an early French edition, opened to the proof for what we know as the Pythagorean theorem.


Items 74-77

74.    BOUGUER, Pierre

Traité d'optique sur la gradation de la lumiere 
Paris, 1760 
First edition 

Bouguer (1698-1758), a French mathematician and professor of hydrography, constructed the first effective photometer for measuring the intensity of light. His observations on light were published in a brief form in 1729 under the title Essai d'optique, but were not fully presented until this edition appeared two years after his death. 

75.    PRIESTLEY, Joseph

London, 1772 

This is the first and only edition of Priestley's book on optics. It is opened to pages from Section IV, Chapter VI, "Improvements in Optical Instruments." 

76.    WEISBACH, Julius

Principles of the Mechanics of Machinery and Engineering 
Philadelphia, 1848 

The first book purchased by the University of Rochester Library. 

77.    RHEES, Rush

Letter to George Eastman, June 10, 1919 

In this letter Rush Rhees, President of the University of Rochester, writes to George Eastman about plans for the proposed optical institute. Monetary considerations and the building of the University's River Campus postponed the realization of the institute for ten more years. The Institute of Optics has recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. 

From the Rush Rhees Papers

Items 78, 81

78.    PALLADIO, Andrea

I quattro libri dell'architectura 
Venice, 1581 

Palladio's four books of architecture are broken into orders and elementary problems, domestic building, public building, and town planning and temples. As a working architect, Palladio (1508-1580) practiced mainly in Vicenza, Venice and the Venetian countryside, but his influence has been felt throughout Europe and the United States. The Palladian style remained strong throughout much of the last millennium, waning only with the surge in Romanticism and the "new sciences", typified by Burke, Hume and Ruskin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

Purchased on the Sarah McQuire Fund 

79.    WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd

Frank Lloyd Wright: Ausgefuhrte Bauten 
Berlin, 1911 

Published in 1911 with more than 200 photographs and plans, this publication complemented the lavish hundred-plate folio of drawings and plans published by Wasmuth in 1910 and the public exhibition of those drawings. Since it was smaller, less costly and illustrated with photographs rather than drawings, this work reached a much broader audience. The two publications together, however, were Europe's first look at Wright; they had a profound effect on European architectural design. Mies van der Rohe wrote that the Berlin exhibition of Wright's work had saved him and his colleagues twenty years. Charles R. Ashbee, the English arts-and-crafts designer whose friendship with Wright had begun in 1900, wrote the introduction to the 1911 work. 

From the collections of the Art and Music Library, Rush Rhees

Items 79, 80, 82

80.    ELLIS, Harvey

Architectural drawings of house for Asahel Clark Kendrick 

Harvey Ellis (1852-1904), architect, artist and craftsman, designed several buildings in Rochester and St. Paul, Minnesota. He was an illustrator for the arts and crafts journal The Craftsman and a designer of furniture for Gustav Stickley. Shown are drawings for a house he designed for Asahel Clark Kendrick (1809-1895), professor of Greek at the University of Rochester. 

From the Kendrick Family Papers 

81.    DÜRER, Albrecht

Engraving of Willibald Pirkheimer 

This original engraving by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is found in one of six manuscript volumes containing the family histories and coats-of-arms of sixteenth-century German noble families. Pirkheimer (1470-1530) was a German Humanist who wrote books on science and politics and translated Greek classics into Latin. 

82.    DOYLE, Richard

Sketch book, 1840 

These delightful pen-and-ink drawings are the work of Richard Doyle (1824-1883), who began his career as a caricaturist for the British humor magazine Punch. After leaving Punch in 1850 he illustrated books by Thackeray, Ruskin, Leigh Hunt, and other notable British authors. His nephew, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, created the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. 

Gift of Robert F. Metzdorf 

Item 83 



As was usual for all proper young ladies of the period, Victoria (1819-1901) learned how to draw and paint as part of her education. It was a pastime she enjoyed the rest of her life, filling several sketchbooks. This sketchbook includes a view of Florence painted from the terrace of the Villa Palmieri, which Her Majesty had rented for a short period in 1888. 

Gift of Robert F. Metzdorf

Items 84, 85, 87

84.    ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques

Dissertation sur la musique moderne 
Paris, 1743 

Swiss philosopher Rousseau's views on music exerted a certain influence throughout the Western world. Rousseau's Dissertation constituted his defense of a self-devised scheme for the simplification of musical notation through the substitution of ciphers for notes. Written after Rousseau's system had been rejected by the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, the Dissertation won no converts. The fact was that Rousseau's system was of little use except for music employing a simple accompaniment (that being the very kind of music which Rousseau championed). The volume is among the Sibley Music Library's renowned collection of pre-1800 music theory imprints. This copy — a first edition — came from the personal library of Arthur Pougin, a music critic and longtime editor of the French music journal Le Ménestrel. The acquisition in 1923 of the Pougin library, rich in both musical literature and operatic scores, represented a major expansion of the Sibley's holdings. 

From the Collection of the Sibley Music Library, Pougin Collection 

85.    STEVENSON, Robert Louis

Manuscript music, 4 leaves. Undated 

These melodies for the flute were written from memory and played by Stevenson in his Samoan home. When family and friends gathered there for musical evenings they would play from these and similar manuscripts. Stevenson (1850-1894), best known as the author of Treasure Island (1883) and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), moved to Samoa in 1889 for his health. 

Gift of Edward G. Miner.

Item 86

86.    WEILL, Kurt

Manuscript score of Der Dreigroschenoper (Threepenny Opera) 
ca 1928 

Kurt Weill (1900-1950) is best known as a composer of operas, including the famous Threepenny Opera, a modern treatment of the eighteenth-century Beggar's Opera. Bertolt Brecht wrote the lyrics. Shown is the most famous song from the opera, "Mack the Knife." 

From the Kurt Weill Archive, Sibley Music Library 

87.    SANDBURG, Carl.


This lute once belonged to the poet Carl Sandburg. While visiting the home of Charles Hoeing during the 1920s, Sandburg gave him the lute. Hoeing taught Latin at the University of Rochester from 1898 to 1933, served as the Dean for the College for Men from 1914 to 1929 and was Dean of Graduate Studies from 1928 to 1933. Hoeing Hall is named in his honor. Mrs. Hoeing presented the lute to the Library in 1960. 

Gift of Charles and Augusta Laney Hoeing

Items 88, 89


Moralia in Job 
Venice, 1480

Pope Gregory (ca 540-604), one of the four "Doctors of the Church", was a model bishop, a fervent supporter of monasticism, and a prolific writer of practical theological tracts. As such, he left his imprint on almost all aspects of medieval church life. His pontificate laid the foundation for the moral and political life of the medieval papacy. The illuminated page displayed begins his commentary on the book of Job. 

Gift of Hiram Sibley 


Venice, 1475 

The Library acquired this volume in 1979. It had previously belonged to Rush Rhees, president of the University from 1900 to1935. The Dialogues are studies of theological issues written by Pope Gregory, also known as St. Gregory the Great. He was pope from 590 to 604 and was responsible for sending Roman Christian missionaries to Britain; the liturgical chant supposedly developed during his reign and was named for him, thus the "gregorian chant." 

Gift of Rush Rhees, Jr.

Items 90, 91

90.    SCHEDEL, Hartmann

Liber Chronaricum 
Augsburg, 1500 

Perhaps the best known illustrated book of the fifteenth century, the Nuremberg Chronicle was produced by the great German printer Anton Koberger. Printed in both Latin and German editions in the same year, the work is famous for its hundreds of wood-cuts, chiefly the work of Michael Wolgemut. The 1,809 pictures were produced from 645 woodblocks, which means that many of the illustrations were used more than once; indeed, one can find the same image being used to represent a prophet, an Egyptian pharaoh, and a medieval monarch. 

Purchased on the Hiram Olsan Fund 


Contemporary copy of a notarial document, written in the hand of the notary Paolo Brascha, Milan, 1498-99. 

This document records a real estate transaction between Elizabetta Trovamali and Lodovico Sforza, who sought the land abutting Leonardo's vineyard for a new road connecting San Vittore to Santa Maria della Grazia (today Via Bernardo Zenale). The document mentions Leonardo by name in three places. 

Anthony J. and Frances A. Guzzetta Collection of Leonardo da Vinci

Items  92, 93, 95-97


Wittenberg, 1536 

Martin Luther's translation of the New Testament into German was first published in 1522 and his translation of the complete Bible appeared in 1534. Of vital importance to the progress of the Reformation, Luther's translations gave an impetus to the study of the scriptures in the vernacular all over Europe. The popularity of Luther's Bible established high German as the literary language throughout Germany by the middle of the seventeenth century. 

Gift of Hiram W. Sibley 

93.    MORE, Sir Thomas

The workes of Sir Thomas More, Knyght : sometyme Lorde Chauncellour of England. London,1557 

Sir Thomas More: undersheriff of London, chancellor of England, barrister, Judge of the King's bench, "general patron of the poor", historian, poet, high steward of Oxford and Cambridge universities, humanist, statesman, Speaker of the House of Commons, prisoner, martyr, saint: man for all seasons. 

In his Library Bulletin article on the occasion of the acquisition of this volume as the Library's two-millionth book, Louis L. Martz wrote: "…On behalf of the community of scholars throughout the world, I should like to express our gratitude to the donor who has made it possible for us to have available here this book of such broad and powerful appeal: to students of history, religion, and literature, and indeed, to everyone who believes that a man of conscience deserves our veneration." 

Presented to the University of Rochester Libraries in memory of Ruth Gliddon Ostendorf,‘18 and Otto McKinley Ostendorf, ‘19, by their daughter, Marie Ostendorf Wells, ‘50 

94.    BOCK, Hieronymus

Strasbourg, 1577 

The German botanist and physician Hieronymus Bock (1489?-1554) is considered one of the founders of the science of botany. While some of the woodcuts in this work were taken from earlier herbals, many were the work of David Kendal, a young, self-taught artist. Kendal introduced figures of animals and people to give more interest to his illustrations. Those in the copy displayed have been colored by hand. 

95.    BACON, Francis

A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage of Sir Walter Raleigh… 
London, 1618 
First edition 

This exceedingly rare first edition of Bacon's book details Sir Walter Raleigh's conduct during his last voyage to America in 1618. After Raleigh failed to locate the source of Spanish treasure, he captured the island of St. Thomas, and killed the Spanish governor. Upon his return to England, Raleigh was brought to trial for his attack on the Spanish, with Bacon as prosecutor. However, because Raleigh was already under sentence of death for a 1603 conviction, he could not be tried for his misdeeds in St. Thomas. King James therefore ordered Raleigh executed under the 1603 verdict. 

This volume is Bacon's attempt to justify the execution of Raleigh in the face of public outcry against the sentence. In a letter to a friend, Bacon wrote: "we have put the Declaration touching Raleigh to press, with his Majesty's additions which were very material and fit to proceed from his Majesty." 

Purchased on the Edward G. Miner Fund 


London, 1648 [i.e. 1649] 
First edition, first issue 

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses some thirty edition of the Eikon Basilike. This popular work purported to be the meditations of King Charles I on death and duty was prohibited by the Commonwealth government and yet went through some sixty editions in its first year. The volume is part of the Department's collection of works related to the seventeenth-century English political and religious controversy. 

Purchased on the George F. Bowerman Fund 

97.    MILTON, John.

Paradise Lost 
London, 1678 
Third edition 

Milton (1608-1674) began working on Paradise Lost in 1658. Being then blind he dictated his great poem on the fall of man to an amanuensis. It was first published in 1667 in ten books and enlarged to twelve for the second edition of 1674. 

Purchased on the George D. Hale Fund

Items 94, 98

98.    WILMOT, Anne St. John Lee, Countess of Rochester

Letter to Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield, November 23, 1685

In 1973 the Library purchased sixteen letters written by the Countess of Rochester (1614-1695) to her grandson Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield and to other family members. The letters mostly concern the disputed will of the Countess' granddaughter, the poet Anne Lee Wharton who died in 1685. In her letters to the Earl of Lichfield, Countess Rochester urges him to join with the Earl of Abingdon to contest Anne's will and keep the inheritance from the hands of her husband, Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquis Wharton. The Papers shed light not only on these particular events, but also on seventeenth-century family life in general: the inter-family relationships and intrigues, as well as the complex arrangements made for the disposal of family property. 

Purchased on the Wilson Family Fund

Items 99, 102, 103

99.    COOK, James

A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World 
London, 1777 
2 volumes 

The official account of the second of the three great voyages of Captain James Cook (1728-1779), one of the most illustrious English navigators. During the voyage (July 13, 1772 to July 30, 1775) Cook explored New Zealand and many of the islands of the Pacific opening this part of the world to western civilization. Cook set new standards of thoroughness in discovery and seamanship, in navigation, cartography, and the sea care of men, in relations with natives both friendly and hostile, and in the application of science at sea; and he peacefully changed the map of the world more than any other single man in history. 

Gift of Joseph and Alice Rogers Roby 

100. SWIFT, Jonathan

Travels in Several Remote Nations 
London, 1726 
First edition 

Written in the form of a journal by one Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's physician, the satire Gulliver's Travels is woven into such strange and marvelous adventures that the book is often classified as a fairy tale for children. Swift's contemporaries, however, recognized in these imaginary people a keen satire on some of the important personages of their own day. 

Gift of Augusta Laney Hoeing, in memory of Charles Hoeing, Dean of the College of Men, 1914-1929 

101. WHEATLEY, Phillis

Poems on various subjects, religious and moral 
London, 1773 

Phillis Wheatley was sold as a slave to John Wheatley of Boston at the age of eight, sometime around 1761. Her book of poems, written while she was in London, is the first published literary expression of a black woman. In his remarks on the volume's acquisition, Rowland L. Collins noted: "Throughout history, there must have been few students with the eagerness, the thirst for information and cultivation, which Phillis Wheatley showed. Her life exemplifies a triumph of human love and joy over the worst degradation which man can visit against his brothers and sisters. Her affirmation is one we eagerly want to share…to give ourselves the hope that perhaps even we, with all our so-called advantages of time, place prosperity and freedom, might have even a measurable fraction of Phillis Wheatley's powers to absorb the world around us and find in it joy." 

Presented in memory of Bernard Emerson Harkness by Mabel Gleason Harkness, ‘35 and G ‘62. 

102. ROBIN HOOD'S GARLAND: Being a Complete History of All the Notable and Merry Exploits Perform'd by Him and His Men on Divers Occasions

London, ca 1770 

This poetic retelling of the Robin Hood legend is illustrated with twenty-seven charming woodcuts. The binding, designed to complement the age of the volume, is by the British fine binder Bernard Middleton. 

From the collections of the Rossell Hope Robbins Library 

103. JOHNSON, Samuel

The Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language 
London, 1747 
First edition 

Johnson published his famous Dictionary of the English Language in 1755. The Library owns the first edition of the Dictionary as well as this very rare first edition of Johnson's letter to the Earl of Chesterfield outlining his plan for the dictionary. 

From the Maude Motley Collection

Items 100, 101, 105

104. JOHNSON, Samuel

Letter to John Taylor, April 13, 1776 

Taylor (1711-1788) was a boyhood companion of Samuel Johnson and the two attended Litchfield grammar school together. In this letter Johnson writes of legal matters and refers to the recent death of Hester Thrale's son. Thrale (1741-1821) was also a close friend of Johnson, who often lived and traveled with the Thrales. 

Presented in memory of Maude Motley 

105. BOSWELL, James

The Life of Samuel Johnson 
London, 1791 
First edition. 2 vols. 

Perhaps the best-known biography in the English language. 

From the Maude Motley Collection

Item 106

106. REDOUTÉ, Pierre Joseph

Choix des plus belles fleurs 
Paris, 1827 
First edition 

These hand colored engravings by Redouté (1759-1840) are considered among the most beautiful depictions of flowers and fruits ever produced. Originally issued in thirty-six parts between May 1827 and June 1833, each part contains four plates. A restricted number were published as folios, such as this copy, and the majority in a smaller format. Redouté perfected the art of stipple engraving, which gives his botanical work such a realistic and three-dimensional appearance. 

Gift of Eileen Howell

Item 107

107. CURTIS, Edward S.

The North American Indian 
Cambridge, MA, 1907 
Volume 1 

Published in twenty volumes The North American Indian was the great work of American ethnologist and photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952). Publication of the twenty-volume set began in 1907 and was completed in 1930. Curtis's observations of Indian life are accompanied by 1500 full-page photogravures reproduced from his own photographs. The set also includes twenty portfolios of large size photogravures. This set, one of 500 published, was presented to the Library by Hiram W. Sibley. 

Items 108-123


The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses a collection of 131 posters advertising attractions coming to Rochester's theaters during the early 1880s. The lithographed posters are a graphic record of the public amusement available in Rochester during this period and provide a broad view of the theatrical world of the era. 

The poster displayed is for Denham Thompson's "Uncle Josh." Thompson's impersonation of an old New England farmer became a classic of the American stage and for over twenty years he played no other role. The play was performed in Rochester at the Corinthian Academy of Music in February 1883. 

109. ADAMS, Ansel

Photograph, signed 

In the fall of 1952 the University of Rochester commissioned the nationally known photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) to photograph the people and places of the University and surrounding community. The results were included in Creative Change, a promotional booklet published by the University in1953. This original Adams photograph shows students on the porch of Rush Rhees Library. 

110. SWINBURNE, Thomas Thackeray

"The Genesee" 
Original manuscript 
ca 1892 

Thomas Thackeray Swinburne, class of 1892, wrote the words for "The Genesee," the song that became the University's Alma Mater. Herve D. Wilkins, class of 1866, arranged the music from an old English ballad. At the time Swinburne penned these verses the University was located on Prince Street, far from the Genesee River, but with the move to the present campus in 1930, his description of "our beloved college home beside the Genesee" proved to be prescient. 


ca 1850 

First used in the United States Hotel, this bell was rung on the hour to summon students to classes. It was later used in Anderson Hall when that was the only building on the Prince Street Campus. The bell was loud enough to be heard throughout the building and was rung by the janitor, Elijah Withall, who kept it carefully locked up in a cupboard under the stairs, safe from student hands. 


Philadelphia, 1848 

This, the first recorded purchase of a book by the University of Rochester, was used for chapel services. The volume was not always treated with reverence for, according to a note on the front fly-leaf, on June 23, 1872 it was "abstracted from the College Chapel" by a student society. 

113. RHEES, Rush

Walking stick/umbrella 

If it began to rain when Rush Rhees went for a walk, he could instantly transform his walking stick into an umbrella. Rhees was the third president of the University of Rochester. 

114. DEWEY, Dellon Marcus

"Belle de Thours" 

In the latter half of the nineteenth century Rochester was a leading American nursery and seed center. The Ellwanger and Barry, James Vick and Joseph Harris companies were but three of the firms that established Rochester's reputation as the "Flower City." Auxiliary to the nursery businesses allied enterprises developed, one of which was the production of colored fruit and flower prints designed to aid nurserymen and their travelling salesmen sell plants. D. M. Dewey (1819-1889) founded his business in the mid 1850s and it became one of the major companies producing nurserymen's color plates of thousands of varieties of fruits, flowers, shrubs, and ornamental trees. 

From the Ellwanger and Barry Collection 

115. BRAGDON, Claude F.

Tile from New York Central Railroad Station 

The New York Central Railroad Station, opened in 1913 and now demolished, was architect Claude Bragdon's most ambitious and successful project. The design of the building and decorative details reflected Bragdon's concepts of form, function, color, light, and ornament. To make the huge waiting room more inviting, Bragdon used four different color tiles in autumnal colors. The tiles were produced by Grueby Pottery in Boston. Although best known today for their art pottery, the company also produced a large variety of glazed bricks, tiles and architectural terra cotta. Bragdon used this tile as a decorative border as the accompanying photograph shows.

From the Claude Bragdon Family Papers 


The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses two bookplate collections, one compiled by Louis J. Bailey, the other by Donald Bean Gilchrist, Director of the University of Rochester Library from 1919-1939. The plates shown, a small sampling of the thousands in the two collections, are by three renowned illustrators: Rockwell Kent (Bennett Cerf plate), Claude Bragdon (his own and that of the Memorial Art Gallery), and Lois Lenski (Meyers Collection, Rochester Public Library). Also shown is the die-cut stamp for the Memorial Art Gallery plate. 

Items 117-123

117. DE WITT, Simeon

1st sheet of De Witt's State Map of New-York 

De Witt, a native of New York State, made major contributions to the origination and development of a distinctly American school of mapmaking. During the Revolutionary War he served as the Geographer on the staff of George Washington and prepared maps and surveys for the Continental Army. In 1784 he was appointed Surveyor-General of New York State, a position he held for fifty years. One of his first tasks was to survey land that was set aside for soldiers who had served in the Revolutionary War. This map shows twenty-seven townships within the Military Tract as well as lands to the south and east, embracing parts of Tioga, Herkimer, and Otsego counties. 

Gift of John M. Topham 


Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 2, 1863 

Like several other Southern newspapers of the Civil War period, when the Daily Citizen's stock of newspaper became exhausted, its publisher, J.M. Swords, resorted to the use of wallpaper. On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered, Mr. Swords fled, and the Union forces found the type of the July 2 edition still on the press. They made a few changes and added a Note (which may be seen at the bottom right hand corner) and started printing. The UR copy is believed to be particularly rare; evidently, after a few copies had been run off, it was noticed that the masthead title was misspelled as "CTIIZEN," and the error was corrected. 


Sheet music 
Rochester, NY, 1860 

J. H. Kalbfleish composed the polka which he "respectfully dedicated" to the Live Oak Baseball Club of Rochester, New York. The cover illustration is believed to be the earliest known baseball lithograph. 

120. NAST, Thomas

Pen-and-ink drawing 

Thomas Nast (1840-1902) is considered the originator of the modern political cartoon. Published in Harper's Weekly for over twenty-five years, his imaginative and powerful creations molded public opinion during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The Library owns nine original drawings by Nast. The one shown appeared in Harper's Weekly on November 13, 1880 under the title "What a Pity." It depicts General Winfield S. Hancock, the Democratic nominee for president in 1880. Nast felt politics was compromising Hancock's reputation as a respected Civil War general and the cartoon's caption has Miss Columbia saying: "Ever since you've put him up, and handled him, how you have besmeared him, and you've even turned his head." 

Gift of Hiram Sibley 

121. MITCHELL Margaret

Gone with the Wind
New York, 1939 

The Filmed Book Collection is a major holding of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, with over a thousand titles. The Collection also owns a copy of the first edition but, in its dull, Confederate-gray covers, it is much less impressive than this colorful movie edition, which appeared three years after the first and had a hardcover issue in addition to this one, in wrappers. 

122. BISHOP, Sir Henry Rowley

Clari, or the Maid of Milan 
Original manuscript score 

One of the songs from this obscure opera is perhaps the most famous song in the world: "Home Sweet Home." It was first sung when Clari premiered at Covent Garden in London on May 8, 1823. Bishop, a British composer, wrote the music for the opera and John Howard Payne, an American, wrote the words. Over one hundred thousand copies of "Home Sweet Home" were sold in the first year of its separate publication. 

From the collection of the Sibley Music Library 


The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses two collections of British and American children's books: the Mrs. C. Schuyler Davis Collection and the Mary Faulk Markiewicz Collection. Strengths include books printed in the United States during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, especially by the publisher Mahlon Day, and works by the British illustrators Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott. The Markiewicz Collection emphasizes nineteenth-century American children's books, especially those published in upstate New York. 

The books displayed are: 
New-York Scenes. Designed for the Entertainment and Instruction of Children of City and Country. New York: Mahlon Day, 1830. 

Juvenile Hymns. A Present for a Good Girl. Bouckville, NY: B. Maynard, 1840. 

Abbott, Jacob. Marco Paul's Travels and Adventures in the Pursuit of Knowledge. Erie Canal. Boston: T.H. Carter, 1845.

Items 124-134

124. RUSKIN, John

"Bampton: Southwest View" 
Pen and ink drawing, undated 

Ruskin (1819-1900) was an English author, artist, critic, and social reformer. This is one of several original drawings in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection's Ruskin collection. 

Gift of R. B. Adams 

125. RUSKIN, John

Letter to William Morris, June 1, 1868 

This letter brings together two great figures of the British arts and crafts movement: Ruskin and William Morris (1834-1896), founder of the famous Kelmscott Press. Ruskin thanks Morris for sending him a copy of the first volume of his epic poem The Earthly Paradise. "I entirely and most solemnly rejoice—so far as any joy is now possible to me, in the noble book of yours." 

126. CAMERON, Julia Margaret

Photograph of Alfred Lord Tennyson 

Cameron (1815-1879) was Tennyson's neighbor on the Isle of Wight and one of the most talented photographers of the period. Perhaps the best known of all the portraits of Tennyson is her photograph of him as a "dirty monk." 

From the Rowland L. Collins Collection of Alfred Lord Tennyson 

127. TENNYSON, Lord Alfred

Letter to William Ewart Gladstone, July 18, 1871 

In this letter to Prime Minister Gladstone Tennyson refers to the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron: "My friend and neighbor Mrs. Cameron—the photographer--& a very good neighbor she is—is anxious to petition you to give her grandson Archibald Cameron, a nomination to the Charter-House." 

From the Rowland L. Collins Collection of Alfred Lord Tennyson 

128. SOUTHEY, Robert

Joan of Arc 
Manuscript volume, 1793 

As a young man the poet Robert Southey (1774-1843), fired by the spirit of republicanism and inspired by the French Revolution, wrote his first epic poem about the earlier French champion, Joan of Arc. This is a fair-copy of the first draft of the poem, which underwent many revisions before it was published in 1796. Southey, who became much more politically conservative, served as England's Poet Laureate from 1813 to 1843. 

Purchased on the Wilson Family Fund 

129. IRVING, Washington

The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Esq. 
London, 1820 

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has a very strong Washington Irving collection, which includes the The Sketch-Book as published in its original parts, that is as it was issued several chapters at a time between 1819 and 1820. This copy is notable for having been in the library of Robert Southey, who received it from his London publisher John Murray. As a hobby Southey's daughters covered his books in flowered chintz. Southey wittily referred to these books as being his "Cottonian Library" after the great library amassed by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton in the seventeenth century and which formed the basis of the British Museum. The Department's Southey collection contains several books from his "Cottonian Library." 

Purchased on the Vera and Cecilia Twedell Fund 

130. SOUTHEY, Robert

The Doctor, vol. 4 
London, 1837 
First edition 

The first five volumes of The Doctor appeared between 1834 and 1838 and the last two were published in 1847, two years after Southey's death. The volumes consisted of a vast assemblage of miscellany, anecdotes, and Southey's commentary on life and literature. Volume 4 includes the first published version of "The Story of the Three Bears." Here an old woman (rather than Goldilocks of later versions) eats the porridge, sits on the chairs, and tries out the beds of the Little, Middle-sized and Great Bear. When the bears discover the intruder their exclamations are shown in appropriate typefaces and font sizes. 

Purchased on the George F. Bowerman Fund for the Robert Southey Collection 


London, 1833 

Goethe (1749-1832) first published his dramatic poem Faust in Germany in 1808. Here it is translated into English prose by Abraham Hayward, who inscribed this copy to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

Gift of Robert Metzdorf 

132. LE BRUN, Elizabeth Louise Vigée

Manuscript volume, undated 

Vigée Le Brun was a French portrait painter patronized by the aristocracy and the royal family, particularly Marie Antoinette. While in exile, after the French Revolution, she painted the portraits of Europe's crowned heads and nobility. She returned to France in 1805. Her three-volume autobiography, Souvenirs was published between 1835 and 1837. The manuscript journal is a preliminary draft of pages from the first volume. 

Purchased on the Wilson Family Fund 


Florence, 1790 

This copy of Guida, which describes the city of Florence, was owned by Walter Savage Landor 1775-1864) and presented to Robert Browning. Best known for hisImaginary Conversations (prose dialogues between famous personages), Landor was friends not only with Browning, but also with Charles Dickens, Robert Southey, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Landor died in Florence in 1864. Browning , along with his wife Elizabeth Barrett, made their home in Florence, at the Casa Guidi. 

Presented by Robert Metzdorf 


Christian Bernhard Tauchnitz (1816-1895) founded a publishing firm in Leipzig, Germany in 1837 to publish works by English and American authors. In an era of unauthorized editions by foreign publishers, Tauchnitz began the unprecedented practice of entering into a contractual arrangement with authors and paying them for publishing their books. Edward Bulwer Lytton, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Disraeli were among the first authors to agree to Tauchnitz's terms. In many cases the Tauchnitz edition was published simultaneously with the British edition, sometimes preceding it.

Displayed is Charles Dickens' The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1842) in two volumes. These are the second and third books published by Tauchnitz. Like many of the books in the collection they are from the library of the royal family of Hanover, and bear the family coats-of-arms on the covers. 

Gift of Robert F. Metzdorf

Items 135-147

135. RUSKIN, John

Sesame and Lilies 
East Aurora, NY, 1897 

This copy, number 16 of an edition of 450, belonged to the author Christopher Morley. It is one of forty hand-illuminated copies of the edition, and is signed by Elbert Hubbard, at whose Roycroft Press it was produced. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and the Memorial Art Gallery Library have extensive holdings of books printed by the Roycroft Press. 

Presented by Manuel E. Berlove for the Sydney Ross Collection of John Ruskin. 

136. HOWITT, William

Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain and Ireland 
London, 1864 

This book is part of the Hubbell Collection of books illustrated with original mounted photographs. The insertion of original photographs preceded the invention of photomechanical reproduction as a method of book illustration. This book is of particular interest because a mounted photograph is also part of the cover design. 

Gift of Robert F. Metzdorf 

137. DODGSON, Charles (Lewis Carroll)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
New York, 1969 
One of 2500 numbered copies signed by the artist 

The illustrations for this edition of Alice were done by Salvador Dali, and represent a radical departure from John Tenniel's original images. Throughout the edition, Alice is shown skipping rope. Each copy includes an original etching. 

138. MASEFIELD, John

Letter to Helen Rochester Rogers, February 24, 1949 

Masefield (1878-1967) was appointed the Poet Laureate of Britain in 1930. Helen Rochester Rogers (great-granddaughter of the founder of Rochester) met Masefield when she volunteered for service with the American Expeditionary Force in England during World War I. Masefield--whose best-known poem begins "I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"--has included a watercolor drawing of a sailing ship on this letter to Rogers. 

From the Helen Rochester Rogers Papers 

139. DICKENS, Charles

Bleak House 
London, 1852-1853 
First edition, in twenty parts 

Most of Dickens's works were published serially and came out one per month. Shown are the original parts for Bleak House that appeared between March 1852 and September 1853. 

140. HALLAM, Henry

Introduction to the Literature of Europe 
London, 1847 

Opened to show the armorial bookplate of Charles Dickens. Facing it is the bookplate of Edmund Yates, a journalist and minor novelist who was a close friend of Dickens. Yates acquired the book at the sale of Dickens' Library at Gadshill in 1870. 

Gift of Ira S. Wile 

141. THACKERAY, William Makepeace

Pen-and ink-drawing, undated 

Thackeray (1811-1863), author of Vanity Fair and other novels depicting English manners and mores, was also an adept artist. 

Gift of Robert F. Metzdorf 

142. THACKERAY, William

The Awful History of Bluebeard 
New York, 1924 

The composer Jerome Kern had eighty-three copies of this volume privately printed; this copy bears his inscription and signature on the fly leaf. The story includes drawings by Thackeray which had never before been reproduced, and which were found tucked in a scrapbook owned by Thackeray's cousin Mary Augusta Thackeray, which Jerome Kern later purchased. 

143. MANGIONE, Jerre

Mount Allegro 
Boston, 1943 
First edition 

Shown here is the first edition of Mount Allegro, with illustrations by Peggy Bacon. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has extensive holdings of Mangione's published writings as well as the complete archive of his papers. Displayed with the book is the engraving plate for the frontispiece and jacket of the book. The book is inscribed from Peggy Bacon to Mangione, "To Jerre Mangione, from the vastly entertained illustrator, and also the admirer of the author." 

From the Jerre Mangione Collection 

144. HEMINGWAY, Ernest

Three Stories and Ten Poems 
Paris, 1923 

The very rare first edition of Hemingway's first book. 

145. MACINNES, Colin

"Angela's Birthday Book" 
Manuscript volume, January, 1932 

The British novelist and social critic Colin MacInnes (1914-1976) was the son of Angela Thirkell (1890-1961), best known for her series of novels on English country life, the "Barsetshire" novels. Colin created this volume for his mother's birthday. In it he included droll poems about friends and family members as well as charming watercolor drawings. 

From the Colin MacInnes Papers 

146. GARDNER, John

High school and college poetry notebook 
Manuscript volume, 1951- 

A note book of early poems by author John Gardner (1933-1982). 

From the John Gardner Papers 

147. WILLIAMS, John A.

Syracuse, NY, 1953 

John A. Williams (b. 1925) grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse University. After serving in the army during World War II he returned to Syracuse and there produced this, his first book, on a mimeograph machine. Williams is now considered the most prolific serious African-American author in American literary history. His work includes The Man Who Cried I Am (1967), Captain Blackman (1972), and !Click Song (1982). The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses the John A. Williams archive of correspondence, manuscript drafts of published and unpublished works, memorabilia, and photographs. 

Item 148


Let's Look at Congress 
Washington, D.C., July 7, 1957 

Kenneth B. Keating (1900-1975) graduated from the University of Rochester in 1917. He served as a US Representative for New York State from 1946 to 1958, and as a United States Senator from 1956 to 1964. During his time in office, he hosted several television programs which were broadcast weekly throughout New York State. In addition to holding Keating's papers, Rare Books and Special Collections has over 300 films of Keating's interviews with the politicians, statesmen, civil rights leaders, and diplomats who were guests on his programs. 

In this 1957 interview, Keating spoke with John F. Kennedy about current legislation, and most interestingly, whether Kennedy planned to run for the presidency in 1960. Note the informality of Kennedy's attitude in this interview; it is doubtful that the future president ever fiddled with his sunglasses on Meet the Press or Face the Nation


William and Hannelore Heyen Collection 

The poetry hanging from the walls of the twelve cases of the Hilfiker Gallery appears on approximately 200 broadsides selected from those in the Heyen Collection. Printed on one side of a single sheet, the broadside has a long tradition dating back to the earliest history of printing. Its use as a medium for the publication of poetry is, however, relatively recent. Typically, small, private presses issue poetry broadsides in limited, numbered, most often signed and illustrated editions that are intended as display pieces. Rare the day they are published, many become the collectors items they are meant to be. Some are quite beautiful. Note, for example, the large Kinnell print in the upper left corner of the first case, or W. D. Snodrass's English carol in the tenth. 

Presses such as the Red Ozier, Pomegranate, Stone House, and William B. Ewert have published especially lovely poetry broadsides, and Ewert's stand out in these cases both in number and in quality. Poets represented include William Heyen, Robert Bly, Richard Wilbur, Galway Kinnell, Seamus Heaney, and UR's own Jarold Ramsey. 


ca 1867 

This six-part view of Rochester is exceedingly rare: only one other copy is known to exist. It is believed that the lithographic plates were destroyed, perhaps in a fire, before full production got underway. The view is looking south along the Genesee River. Prominent in the picture, the Erie Canal crosses the River where the Broad Street bridge is today. Also in the view are the original Liberty Pole, the mills along the Genesee River, the Main Street bridge with buildings on both sides, and Anderson Hall of the University of Rochester, then on Prince Street. 

Gift of Joseph Bell, Wener Spitz, Robert C. Stevens, David Steward, and John Topham

Margaret Butterfield Andrews

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of 
Margaret Butterfield Andrews (1905-2000)

Mrs. Andrews was curator of the Local History Collection and University Archives from 1941 to 1955. In 1955 those areas were merged with the Treasure Room (rare book collection), and she served as head of the new department, today known as the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, until her retirement in 1970 after forty-one years with the University Libraries. Many of the treasures shown in this exhibition were acquired during her tenure as head of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and she assisted numerous scholars using these items for their research.