Founding Collections

Arthur H. Dean ’21 and Mary Marden Dean

Arthur H. Dean
Arthur H. Dean ’21

Attorney, ambassador, United Nations delegate, Cornell University Trustee, and for seventeen years the chairman of the Cornell Library Associates, Arthur Dean, along with his wife, Mary, indelibly enhanced the excellence of Cornell’s rare book and manuscript collections. Their contributions to Cornell University Library are almost too numerous to list, spanning more than thirty years of dynamic involvement. To stimulate the love of books among Cornell’s students, the Deans inaugurated Cornell’s undergraduate book collecting contest in 1966. They provided funds for the building of Olin Library and for the renovation of Uris Library, and they purchased thousands of rare books and manuscripts for the Library’s Department of Rare Books, including collections on the French Revolution, Lafayette, Franco-American relations, and English literature. The Dean Rare Book Endowment Fund continues to enrich the rare book collections today, carrying forward the Deans’ legacy of generosity and foresight.

King James Bible. The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New. London: By Robert Barker, 1611.

First printed in 1611, the King James Version of the Bible has remained the most significant version of the Bible in English, influencing not only the interpretation and reception of biblical scripture, but the literary style of writers and poets ever since. The text is still in use today, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it remains the authorized version of the Bible.

Acquired in 1969 by a gift from Arthur H. Dean ’21 and Mary Marden Dean

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