Leaves of an Hour

Developing Literary and Popular Culture Collections
at Brown University Library

An exhibition mounted in conjunction with the Association of Research Libraries Symposium

Building on Strength: Developing an ARL Agenda for Special Collections
Working Symposium on the Future of Special Collections in Research Libraries
June 27-29, 2001
Brown University

Today, literary and popular culture collections at Brown University Library are very extensive, and are key components of the Library's research strengths. Centered in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays, they encompass vast holdings of popular music, comics and graphic novels, broadsides, popular and genre fiction, science fiction and fantasy, true crime, film and television scripts, magic and magicana, theatrical ephemera, wit and humor, and pamphlet literature of every description, to name only the largest groups of material.


It will be the purpose of this exhibition to document how Brown University Library developed its literary and popular culture collections over the course of two and a half centuries, and to demonstrate how that acquired affinity for collecting in areas outside the traditional definition of literature has informed collection building throughout Special Collections.


1754-1793
Early Literary Collections:
The Williams Table & the 1973 Catalog
1793-1826
Early 19th Century Collections:
The 1826 Catalog
1826-1848
Mid 19th Century Collections:
Charles Coffin Jewett & the Catalogue of 1843
1850-1884
The Harris Collection:
The Original Collectors
1848-1893
The Harris Collection &
Late 19th Century Literary Collecting
1893-1930
The Harris Collection:
Harry Lyman Koopman
1930-1965
The Harris Collection:
S. Foster Damon
1964-2001
Contemporary Collecting:
Building on the Past


  About this siteLinks 

Illustration: Walt Whitman; frontispiece to Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, 1855)


Search Catalog

Exhibits Library Home Contact Us


Last Updated: Monday, 09-Jul-2001 14:50:01 EDT.
© 2001, Brown University Library. All rights reserved.

There have been 4,616 accesses of this page since July 20, 2000