Mission de recherche

library-header-reimaginedLa Huntington Library (CA) me fait l’honneur de m’inviter comme William Reese Fellow pour un séjour de deux mois pour travailler sur un projet intitulé ;

Early 20th century economic history book collectors and their collections : Henry R. Wagner 1862-1957.

Le projet est résumé ci-dessous (en anglais).

Reese Fellowships in American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas

The University of Poitiers holds in its Manuscripts & rare books collections the prestigious Dubois collection essentially composed of works on political economy. It holds an impressive number of rare pamphlets published mainly from the second half of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th. Assembled by August Dubois, Professor of Economic & Political Doctrine at the University of Poitiers, where the University Library (Law & Literature) is the depository to this legacy.

The research in progress which I am particularly involved in focuses on issues of collection formation and the sourcing of rare books with reference to several other significant collections and collectors worldwide. It throws light on networking and nodal connections in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the world of antiquarian books and academic scholarship. The period I am particulary working on, c. 1880-1930, corresponds to major disposals of private librairies in country houses in Britain. The acquisitions of books by learned (and monied) private collectors, notably American, was widespread and was a major development at the time and led eventually, through subsequent donations and acquisitions of their collections, to significant depository holdings in American academic librairies. In particular, work needs to be continued on the collections of Henry Raup Wagner (1862-1957), benefactor of the Huntington Library and on the books and papers held at the Huntington by him, and also on and around Wagner’s life and work. He was not included in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, American Book Collectors and Bibliographers, Vol. 140 (1994) First Series, or Vol. 187 (1997), Second Series.

This continues work done during a three-month fellowship at Yale University in spring-summer 2014 working in the Beinecke Library concerning the collection of six thousand rare economic books donated by Henry Raup Wagner, collector & bibliographer (1862-1957); the Baker Library, Harvard Business School on the collection bought from Herbert S. Foxwell (1849-1936, Professor of Economics at Cambridge & the LSE) and the Hugh Bancroft (1879-1933) collection; and Columbia University Library on the Seligman Collection (professor of political economy at Columbia for 40 years 1891–1931). I also visited and consulted the Brown Library (Brown University, Providence, RI) and the Lewis Walpole Library (Farmington CT). I have established the provenance of a number of books in these collections via antiquarian booksellers in London, Kashnoor (Museum Bookstore) and Quaritch in particular, and begun to draw a composite picture of book collectors and purveyors in London around the 1900s.

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