Henry E. Huntington's Library of Libraries
Written by: Donald C. Dickinson
Category: About the Huntington
Format: 304 pages, 7 x 10, illus., index, appendix, paper
Release Date: 1995-01-01
About this Book
Henry E. Huntington was one of the most important book and manuscript collectors of the twentieth century. After making a fortune in the railroad industry, he set out to build a rare book and manuscript library. He succeeded in gathering his unequaled collections over a period of only fifteen years, a result not only of personal determination and almost unlimited means but of fortunate timing. In 1911, as he began to develop a serious interest in rare books, important private collections came on the market. In that year, Huntington acquired the most important rarities from the Elihu D. Church and Robert Hoe collections. When other libraries became available subsequently, he responded decisively with en bloc purchases, and the "library of libraries" was born. Between 1911 and 1917, Huntington dominated the book markets of New York and London.
This book recounts the story of those tumultuous years in the book trade. The reader is taken behind the scenes at the auction houses, and the strategies of the major book dealers of the early twentieth century—especially George D. Smith and A. S. W. Rosenbach—are revealed in fascinating detail.
About the Author
Donald C. Dickinson, Professor Emeritus of library science at the University of Arizona, Tucson, is the author of The Dictionary of American Book Collectors (1986), George Watson Cole (1990),The Dictionary of American Antiquarian Book Dealers (1998), Dictionary of American Antiquarian Bookdealers (1998), and numerous articles on book collecting and bibliography.
CHOICE Academic Book of the Year
Reviews of Henry E. Huntington's Library of Libraries:
"Sumptuously illustrated in black and white, this is a finely printed, wide margined, well-written study of the book-buying activities of the magnate Henry Edwards Huntington (1850-1927). Huntington's collecting is placed in the context of the book trade and its personalities during the first three decades of the 20th century. Dickinson's book is indispensable for all libraries with materials on the history of the book, the study of cultural artifacts, collecting, and cultural and library history."—Choice
"This handsome work merits the attention of anyone who can appreciate the role of libraries and literature in human affairs."—Books of the Southwest
"All lovers of great books will enjoy these pages, illustrated throughout with pictures of some of the Library's treasures."—California Historian
"Allows one to devote full attention to the story of the Huntington's rapid development into one of the great independent research libraries."—Libraries & Culture
"This is, first and foremost, a life of the great man in the context of
the formation of the greatest of all his monuments. It is based on, and
wisely never strays far from, the mass of documentation still preserved
at the Huntington."—The Book Collector