Library News (Spring 2005)

by Francis Campbell

During the past few months, there has been somewhat of a return to routine Library functions at our new quarters. Projects begun prior to the move are being resumed, as is regular reference service. Library visitation is returning to normal and even experienced a boost during the recently held New York International Show. New fund-raising efforts for the Library Chair are being planned in the form of benefit auctions and special events and a new approach to augmenting library holdings via solicitation in the Society’s electronic newsletter are proving very successful.

Kary Collado organizes Chapman Archive

Although much of the Librarian’s time over the past several months has been spent settling in at the new Fulton Street location, the Library has been able to move ahead with a project that was interrupted by the move to our new location; the organization of the Chapman correspondence that was received while we were still located on Audubon Terrace. Kary Collado, the Library’s part-time assistant has been removing these items from their original boxes and organizing the letters by name of correspondent. This gift originally came to the Library as a generous donation from the Estate of Mrs. Henrietta Chapman Judson and contains a substantial quantity of the correspondence and other papers of the coin auction firm run by Henry and Samuel Hudson Chapman, which began operations in 1879. As a partnership, the Chapman brothers conducted some 83 sales over a 24-year period. In 1906, they decided to dissolve the partnership. Samuel Hudson continued his proprietorship until retiring in 1929. Henry carried on until his death in 1935. Among the great collections sold by the Chapmans were those of Thomas Warner, John G. Mills, Thomas Cleneay, Edward Maris, Harlan P. Smith, William F. Gable, George H. Earle, W. H. Hunter, John Story Jenks, Charles I. Bushnell, Mathew A. Stickney, Andrew C. Zabriskie, Elisha Turner, and Allison W. Jackman. We fully expect to find many interesting exchanges between some of these collectors and the Chapmans when all of these materials are gone through.

This year’s Annual Dinner Gala proved more enjoyable than usual for the Librarian in that the honoree was Library Committee member George F. Kolbe. For more than a quarter of a century, the Kolbe firm has played an important part in the acquisition history of the ANS Library in that the library has been able to significantly enrich its collection with the quality items that George has made available in his sales. Through his catalogs, his advice, and his personal generosity, George has proved to be a major factor in the Library’s collection development. As Librarian, I am extremely proud to be able to occupy the George F. Kolbe Librarian’s Office.

On January 12, 2006, in conjunction with the Society’s Annual Dinner Gala, we plan to hold a book auction that will benefit the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair. Prior to that event, items to be auctioned off will be solicited so, if there are some attractive volumes among your personal library holdings that you think would generate income for this sale, please send them to us. You can send all such volumes to the Librarian’s attention here at the Society. Rick Witschonke of the Library Committee and Pamala Plummer-Wright, Director of Development and Public Relations, will be coordinating auction-related activities for this event as we move closer to the date.

I would like to thank those who have responded so enthusiastically to our solicitations, in the ANS electronic “Newsletter,” for items needed by the Library to complete certain periodical and auction holdings. Thus far, we have received issues of “Coinage” magazine, “The Asylum,” and “Essay-Proof Journal” that we lacked. In future issues of the “Newsletter” we will continue our attempts to make the Library as complete as possible.