In the Founders’ Footsteps: Builders of the Cornell University Library


Trionfi, sonnetti e canzoni
Francesco Petrarca. Trionfi, sonnetti e canzoni Italy (Florence), ca. 1465-70.
From Cornell’s Petrarch Collection.

This exhibition celebrates the dedicated collectors and donors who have enriched Cornell University Library’s magnificent rare book and manuscript collections. Cornell’s first president, Andrew Dickson White, and first librarian, Willard Fiske, donated their unsurpassed collections to Cornell more than a century ago. Generations of devoted alumni have followed in their footsteps, building Cornell’s collections with gifts that have made the Library a vital center for the preservation, study and enjoyment of our cultural heritage.

In the Founders’ Footsteps showcases rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts donated or funded by Cornell’s generous alumni and friends. Spanning three centuries of literature, history, and art, the exhibition features selections from superb collections on the history of science, woman suffrage, slavery in America, crime and punishment, food and wine, Russian fables, and Victorian fiction. Also on display are gifts to the Library’s remarkable literary collections, including original books and documents by or about Vladimir Nabokov, E. B. White, George Bernard Shaw and Herman Melville.

Cornell University Library gratefully acknowledges the generosity of its many donors and friends.

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