While a reconstruction of the whole of William James’s personal library isn’t feasible, there are significant portions of it that reside within the Harvard University Library system and this book is a partial reconstruction of their story. Reconstructing the Personal Library of William James offers a new, comprehensive account of the James collection at Harvard University, bringing together all known Harvard-owned entries into one comprehensive volume. The annotated bibliography contains data on 2,554 entries (2,862 volumes) from James’s personal library, including both the 1923 “Philosophical Library” and all known additional donations by James and his family. . Each entry, when applicable, contains the following data points: Harvard Library location and call number, provenance, bookplate, accession record, autographs, inscriptions, ownership marks, indexical annotations, markings, and marginalia. To orient the reader, Ermine L. Algaier IV supplements the bibliography with essays that examine the history of the James’s library at Harvard, assess the size of the collection and how it came to reside at Harvard, and showcase patterns that emerge from looking at the collection as a whole. Additional essays are devoted to explaining the source lists and archival resources used in reconstructing James’s personal library, as well as outlining steps for continued research on the collection.
This book is a volume in the Penn Press Anniversary Collection. To mark its 125th anniversary in 2015, the University of Pennsylvania Press rereleased more than 1,100 titles from Penn Press's distinguished backlist from 1899-1999 that had fallen out of print. Spanning an entire century, the Anniversary Collection offers peer-reviewed scholarship in a wide range of subject areas.
Prior to the Civil War, publishing in America underwent a transformation from a genteel artisan trade supported by civic patronage and religious groups to a thriving, cut-throat national industry propelled by profit. Literary Dollars and Social Sense represents an important chapter in the historical experience of print culture, it illuminates the phenomenon of amateur writing and delineates the access points of the emerging mass market for print for distributors consumers and writers. It challenges the conventional assumptions that the literary public had little trouble embracing the new literary marketing that emerged at mid-century. The book uncover the tensions that author's faced between literature's role in the traditional moral economy and the lure of literary dollars for personal gain and fame. This book marks an important example in how scholars understand and conduct research in American literature.
“Archibald Cary Coolidge [1866-1928]... was born into fortunate circumstances and could easily have spent his years in respectable indolence. In his formal boyhood schooling in a variety of educational institutions he showed no particular early promise of orderly thought and study. But he came alive at Harvard College... [H]e returned to his college, after rigorous study and stimulating travel in Europe, to make a memorable career as a professor of history and international affairs, as a teacher of scholars, as an academic man of affairs, and as the director of a great library. From childhood an instinctive, voracious reader, Coolidge early converted his enthusiasm for books into a deep concern for their use in the world of learning. As a young instructor and assistant professor, he searched out and bought scarce and important titles in his fields of interest and gave them to Harvard. His disciplined mind could not tolerate the crowding and disorder imposed on the Harvard Library by a combination of years of forced economy and haphazard growth. President A. Lawrence Lowell made no mistake in selecting his cousin Archibald Coolidge to help him find a solution to the library crisis Lowell had inherited from his predecessor. Coolidge took over with characteristic energy and enthusiasm. Whether he could have succeeded so completely had not tragedy struck the Widener family [Harry Elkins Widener, scion of two of the wealthiest families in America, Harvard ‘07, accomplished bibliophile despite his youth, died in the 1912 sinking of the Titanic; his father also perished, but his mother survived and gave to Harvard the funds to build the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library] is problematical. With the great Widener gift the question of space was settled for a generation, and Coolidge could bring his common sense to bear on the library’s administrative problems and concentrate his acquisitive talents on the strategy of scholarly collecting. Unsparing of himself and unfailingly generous in the cause of books and scholarship, Coolidge built wisely on the solid foundations of the past. He vastly extended the scope of the library’s collections and left a heritage of strength to the next generation, making possible the bold new departures in historical and international studies which followed the second World War.” — William Bentinck-Smith, Preface to Building A Great Library “[A] detailed description of Coolidge’s achievement in building a great and well-organized collection and one of the great libraries of the world... Bentinck-Smith has succeeded in making the building of a library fascinating. He provides excellent biographical footnotes... this is an elegant and important study in a greatly neglected field.” — Robert F. Byrnes, The Journal of American History “Building a Great Library is the story of [Coolidge’s] contribution. It is also of necessity the story of the man, a biography with emphasis on his life’s work. It is told with meticulous scholarship and literary style... an outstanding biographical work and a singularly important study of collection building.” — Arthur T. Hamlin, The Journal of Library History “Mr. Bentinck-Smith has carefully documented the many significant contributions which Coolidge had made as teacher, administrator, scholar, and collector... a book that should be carefully read by anyone interested in research libraries and learning. Mr. Bentinck-Smith’s work is an important contribution to American library history.” — Philip J. McNiff, The New England Quarterly “By telling us so much, Bentinck-Smith highlights once again how much we need a professional history of our premier academic library that will describe, analyze, and generalize Harvard’s experience as it illustrates or contrasts with the typical university library experience in the United States.” — W. L. Williamson, The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy