Cornell’s First University Librarian

Letter from Abolitionists. October 1, 1874.

With the support and counsel of Andrew Dickson White, Fiske continued to acquire major scholarly collections, including the Franz Bopp philological library, the library of Goldwin Smith, the Kelly Collection on the history of mathematics, and the Samuel J. May Antislavery collection. Many of these collections contained valuable and scarce materials that remain the nucleus of Cornell’s rare book and manuscript collections today.

Once collections arrived, Fiske remained active in managing their growth and support. As this letter of 1874 shows, Fiske worked with leading nineteenth-century abolitionists to bring additional books and papers to Cornell to augment the Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection.

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