Miniature Book News # 72: 1992 March Page: 1
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MINIATURE BOOK NEWS
Number 72 16 Dromara Rd., St. Louis, Mo. 63124 March, 1992
Our nation's capital encompasses a
lot more than politics. There are some
remarkable, and huge, libraries in Washington---Dumbarten
Oaks, Folger, and
The Library of Congress, to name three.
All are research libraries, not lending libraries
to the public, and we visited these
bastions of the printed word recently. The
latter two house miniature books, and we
hasten to report.
The Folger Shakespeare Library sits
on Capitol Hill, right across the street
from the Library of Congress (LC). While
the Folger, as one might assume, does
house the world's largest collection of
Shakespeare's printed words, it is much
more than that. The Library building
houses a museum, a theatre, and is itself
an international research institution for
Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies as
a center for the literary and performing
arts and for humanities education generally.
The Folger's "holdings include twothirds
of all known titles published in
England or in English before 1640," according
to its brochure.
Henry Clay Folger was bitten by the
Shakespeare bug while at Amherst College,
from which he graduated in 1879.
He also met his wife there and she was to
share both his interest in Shakespeare and
in the conception later of a Folger Library
inWashington, D.C. rather than Stratford,
England where they often visited. Folger
obtained ajob through his Amherst roommate
with a small company named Standard
Oil of New York. He worked his way
up the ladder, eventually becoming head
of the corporation which later became the
Mobil Oil Corp. Folger, who was also
distantly related to the Folgers of the great
coffee fortune, and his wife had no children
and accumulated Shakespearian
material omnivorously. This huge collection,
together with a large endowment,
became the basis for the Library which
was begun in 1932. Contrary to popular
impression, the Folger is an independent
research institution administered by the
Trustees of Amherst College, in Amherst,
On a recent visit to the Folger, its
energetic director, Werner Gundersheimer,
and his knowledgeable librarian, Nati
Krivatsy, were courteous enough to show
me some of their treasures as well as their
miniature books. &A
Wooden model ofGarrick's Shakespeare Temple in England, about 15 inches high
and holding miniature books.
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Edison, Julian I. Miniature Book News # 72: 1992 March, periodical, 1992; St. Louis, Missouri. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9426/m1/1/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Rare Book and Texana Collections.