Thanks to a generous donation from Chester Kirk, CEO of AmTrol, Inc.
and founder of Edgehill Newport, Brown University has established the Chester
H. Kirk Collection on Alcoholism and Alcoholics Anonymous. The collection,
one of the largest of its type in the country, contains over 15,000 items.
A printout listing the materials, ranging from a leaf from the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle depicting a drunken Noah to movies and videos, runs more than
At a symposium celebrating the gift, president Vartan Gregorian said:
"I am delighted that Chester Kirk, who has done so much for higher
education in general and for research in drugs and alcohol abuse in particular,
has now enabled Brown's libraries to build an important archive of materials
that will illuminate the history and development of sensible policies and
attitudes toward alcohol."
Mr. Kirk included in his gift monies to maintain and catalog this vast collection. Once cataloged it will be distributed among several of the University libraries according to subject or rarity. As Merrily E. Taylor, Joukowsky Family University Librarian stated, "This is the type of collection that's of interest to all different fields, because of its sociological aspects, medical aspects and cultural aspects. It's also a very significant acquisition for people interested in the history of self-help groups in America."
It is hoped that this gift will encourage other donors to contribute like materials so that the collection will continue to grow and serve the academic community at Brown and beyond.