Category Archives: New Accessions

The William F. Causey Collection

American University Library is pleased to present a “sneak peek” of its newest acquisition, the William F. Causey Collection.  A small display of books from this important donation is featured in an exhibit case in the first floor lobby. The William F. Causey Collection contains over 1900 titles dating from the 1790s to the present.  The bulk of the collection (around fifty-five percent) was published in 1990 or after.  Three percent of the titles were published prior to 1960.  The collection consists of works of fiction and non-fiction many of which are first editions, signed by the author, or inscribed to William F. Causey.   Featured authors in the collection include Louis Auchincloss, Charles Dickens, Dick Francis, Sue Grafton, Graham Greene, John Grisham, Tony Hillerman , John LeCarré , Norman Mailer, Larry McMurtry,  Patrick O’Brian, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, William Shakespeare, and John Updike. Topics covered include the Civil War and major figures such as Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln.

Special Collections acquires missing book from the Artemas Martin Collection

Special Collections recently acquired The Dawn of Sensuality, Lutetia, 1900 [Limited edition copy 82 of 200; Bound by W. Launder].  Inside the front cover is an American University Library bookplate. We know very little about the provenance of this book other than it was officially accessioned into the American University Library at one time. Intrigued by this puzzle,we began exploring our records relating to the Artemas Martin Collection to which this book originally belonged.

Here is what we have discovered so far: Artemas Martin agreed to donate his personal library to American University in 1918.  None of the contemporary descriptions of the donation specify the total number of volumes in the library just that it was stored in a separate residence.  As of 1952, the collection consisted of 5,000 volumes which were housed in the Math Department’s Library and the main library.  We found several letters in the Library’s files which discuss the possibility of selling duplicates and transferring some of the more technical works to the Naval Observatory Library.   Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm whether any volumes were given away or sold at that time.  There are over 4500 Martin volumes listed in American University’s library catalog so it is possible that some items were deaccessioned or sold.   We just don’t have enough information at present to determine what happened to The Dawn of Sensuality but we will keep looking.

Currently on Display – Special Collections Newest Acquisitions

Stop by the Third Floor of Bender Library to see our exhibit featuring Special Collections two newest acquisitions – the Barlett & Steele Archives and the Sally L. Smith Papers.

The Barlett and Steele Archive (1971-2010) consists of materials created and collected by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele in connection with their research for published and unpublished newspaper and magazine articles and books.  It contains raw research on unfinished and unpublished projects, as well as leads on potential stories.  The archive includes audiovisual materials, books, corporate and government reports, correspondence, Freedom of Information Act filings, interview notes and transcriptions, manuscripts, statistical analyses, tax returns, and numerous letters from readers expressing their views on a wide range of issues or suggesting future stories. The files relate to a variety of topics including criminal justice, energy, federal housing programs, foreign aid, Howard Hughes, Indian gaming, litigation, nuclear waste, Olympics, Nelson A. Rockefeller, and taxes.  On display are materials created and collected as part of their award winning series for The Philadelphia Inquirer on the operations of the Philadelphia criminal courts including data sheets and transcripts for three aggravated robbery indictments, notes on courtroom activities, punch cards and a computer tape.

Sally L. Smith Papers (1950s-2000s) document her work as an educator at American University and the Lab School of Washington through correspondence, notes from meetings with students and parents, and syllabi.  Also covered is her work for the World Health Organization and the World Federation of Mental Health. Her expertise in learning disabilities is illustrated through manuscripts of published and unpublished monographs and speeches.   Also included are materials she compiled on learning disabilities.  On display are materials related to the Lab School and its innovative curriculum and Sally Smith’s work as author and educator.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of the semester.

New Acquisitions – Fall 2009

Jeremy J. Stone Papers (1956-2006)

Jeremy J. Stone served as President of the Federation of American Scientists from 1970 until 2000 when he founded a small non-profit, Catalytic Diplomacy. After earning his PhD in Mathematics from Stanford in 1960, Stone began working on issues of war and peace with an emphasis on arms control. Stone calls himself a “public interest activist.” His advocacy efforts covered a variety of topics including scientific exchange, the nuclear arms race, human rights, ethnic violence and civil conflict, and U.S. international relations. His papers include articles, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and reports compiled for his two memoirs, “Every Man Should Try”: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist (1999) and Catalytic Diplomacy: Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran (2009).

Political Study Club of the District of Columbia (1937-1957)

This collection consists of the annual breakfast programs and yearbooks from the Political Study Club of Washington, DC collected by member, Constance C. Truesdell. The Political Study Club was formed in 1899 as a suffrage club “to study and discuss politics and kindred subjects and endeavor to right the wrongs of women in the District of Columbia.” After the adoption of the 19th amendment, the Study Club changed its mission to the “study of the United States Government and its home and foreign relations.” Membership was capped at 400 members but was not limited to residents of Washington, D.C. The yearbooks include the annual membership roster including officers and committees, the list of speakers and topics for that year, and the club’s history, constitution & by-laws, and song.