WHERE: Cornell University Rare Books and Manuscripts Vault, Cornell University
WHEN: Saturday, June 10, 2012

Cornell University Library owns one of the richest collections of anti-slavery and Civil War materials in the world, thanks in large part to Cornell's first President, Andrew Dickson White, who developed an early interest in both fostering and documenting the abolitionist movement and the Civil War.

In 1870, White was instrumental in bringing an extensive collection of slavery and abolitionist materials gathered by his close friend, Reverend Samuel Joseph May, to the Cornell Library. Numbering over 10,000 titles, May's pamphlets and leaflets document the anti-slavery struggle at the local, regional, and national levels. Much of the May Anti-Slavery Collection was considered ephemeral, and today many of these pamphlets are scarce. Sermons, position papers, offprints, local Anti-Slavery Society newsletters, poetry anthologies, freedmen's testimonies, broadsides, and Anti-Slavery Fair keepsakes all document the social and political implications of the abolitionist movement.

Archived website for a 2002 exhibition on our Abolition Collection here.
Shot one is a small section of the pamphlets. Shot two shows my dear friends Mike Parker and Lee Greene being schooled along with myself by Ben Ortiz (Ass't. Curator, Cornell Rare Books and Manuscripts Archive) and Lynda Costen (Class of 1973, Arts & Sciences) on the significance of these papers to American history, Cornell University, and the history of the American abolitionists. Incredible…