Rare book acquisitions

Author: School of Architecture

The School of Architecture Library has acquired some impressive pieces, currently housed in the library’s Rare Book Room. Beginning in the late 1990s, gifts from donors have facilitated the acquisition of over 65 titles from the Helen Park List of architecture books. Park List titles are rare and known to have been in the country prior to the American Revolution. More recent acquisitions include a first edition of Andrea Palladio’s I Quattro Libri Dell'architettura … (1570), a first edition of all five volumes of Stuart and Revett’s The Antiquities of Athens… (1762-1830), and a first edition of Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus or the British Architect… (1717-1725). The School gratefully recognizes the generosity of the late Jim Ryan and his wife Colleen, as well as that of Gwendolyn and John Burgee and Mary O’Shaughnessy who supported the acquisition of over 250 titles from the Hitchcock List of American architecture books published between 1775 and 1895. Advisory Council chairs Joyce and Matthew Walsh funded the acquisition of The Antiquities of Athens, a first-edition book that is one of the most important travel books of the 18th century. One of its volumes contains four plates engraved by William Blake. Benjamin Franklin was a subscriber to the initial volume and Thomas Jefferson was known to own a copy as well.