Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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Atlanta University Center will receive $1.2 million from the Coca-Cola Company to upgrade the Robert W. Woodruff Library’s IT infrastructure and enhance the ability to manage and provide access to critical archival documents, such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. papers.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) has received two grants. First, the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection has been awarded a National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) grant of $28,000 for the preservation of Carib Gold (1956), an African American crime drama set among the shrimpers of Key West, starring Ethel Waters and Cicely Tyson. The film is notable for its documentation of the Key West waterfront and shrimping fleet as they existed more than a half-century ago. The NFPF funds will allow the Jones Collection to use their print to create a new negative, prints, and videos. SMU’s second grant was to the Central University Libraries (CUL), which received a $9,000 grant and $3,000 training stipend from the Texas State Library and Archive Commission’s “Train to Share: Interoperability Training for Cultural Heritage Institutions—Texas” program. The partnership includes CUL’s Bywaters Special Collections of the Hamon Arts Library and the Norwick Center for Digital Services, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Public Library’s Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division and Fine Arts Division. The collection will comprise digital paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that are held by the three institutions and make them freely accessible around the world. CUL’s 14 digital collections can be viewed at


E. Conyers O’Bryan Jr. Collection of Winston S. Churchill has been acquired by the University of South Carolina Libraries. O’Bryan assembled this collection of the British statesman’s writings, signed books, artwork, and memorabilia over several decades so that “hundreds of people could have the opportunity to see and use the things from this collection about Churchill who I regard as the most important man of his century.” The O’Bryan Collection includes more than 80 volumes of Churchill’s (1874–1964) writings published during his lifetime, many of which are first editions. Among these are a rare copy of Churchill’s first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1897), a true-life adventure story of British military activity on the Indian frontier; copies of Churchill’s only novel, Savrola (1899); several of his books on the Boer War in South Africa; signed presentation copies of his multivolume biography of his ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough; and his multivolume histories of World War I and II. Also part of the collection are five volumes from Churchill’s library at Chartwell, which were passed down to his only son, Randolph, and bear the bookplates of both men. One is a presentation copy of a work on Danish history given to Churchill by the King of Denmark in 1950. There are several contemporary photographs of Churchill in the collection, including one signed portrait. There is also a gentleman’s silver pillbox with the initials “WSC” owned by Churchill and given to him as a birthday gift by a friend. Two highlights of the collection are art works, an original oil painting by Churchill, and a large limited-edition mezzotint portrait of him in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence at Number 10, Downing Street.

An inscribed photograph of Churchill taken during the war years

The Laurence Urdang Archive has been acquired by the Cunningham Memorial Library of Indiana State University. The archive is currently contained in 30 cartons and measures 900 cubic feet. Urdang, who passed away at the age of 81 in 2008, developed the first successful program to automate the preparation of dictionaries, resulting in the first edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language. In 1974, he founded Verbatim, a newsletter on language, which was an amalgam of scholarly and popular writing. The archive contains these materials and copies of the many books that Urdang wrote. It also contains correspondence between Urdang and notable individuals such as Erica Jong and William Safire, who shared common interests with him. At the time of his passing, Urdang, who was a Navy veteran, had been working for many years on a maritime dictionary. These and other materials are part of the archive and available for research. A guide to the archive is under development and will be mounted on the library Web site at

Two John Milton portraits have been acquired by the University of South Carolina Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. The portraits of the poet John Milton and his mother Sara have been given to the University of South Carolina’s rare book collections by art collectors Peter and Caroline Koblenzer of Philadelphia. The portrait of John Milton at the age of 21, by Benjamin Vandergucht (1753–1794) is one of two made in 1792, and is based on the earlier “Onslow” Milton portrait of 1629, now in the National Portrait Gallery in London. The portrait of Sara Milton, dating from 1621, has been identified in recent scholarship as the only known portrait of the poet’s mother. This painting has an ownership provenance tracing back to the estate of John Milton’s widow, Elizabeth. Both portraits will be on permanent display in the library’s new Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, to open in May 2010.

Portraits of poet John Milton and his mother Sara Milton
Copyright © American Library Association, 2009

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