A Unique Atlas and Rare Enos Mills Among Recent Special Collections Acquisitions
Every year, the acquisitions specialists at the Special Collections and Archives (SCA) at Denver Public Library add hundreds of new items to the collections. A large percentage of these acquisitions are the latest scholarship from university and commercial presses on our core collections such as the Western History Collection, the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, and our Conservation Collection. Here are a few of our latest acquisitions.
1. World geo-graphic atlas : a composite
of man's environment, Bayer, Herbert, Container Corporation of America, 1953
This ground-breaking atlas was privately printed for the Container Corporation of America (CCA) in 1953 and was edited and designed by the influential Bauhaus designer, Herbert Bayer. Bayer worked as a consultant for the CCA starting in 1940 and continued working with them until the 1980s.
While the pairing of a Bauhaus artist and a giant corporation that makes boxes seems odd, it was made possible by CCA head Walter P. Paepcke. Paepcke and Bayer had similar notions about where industry and art intersected and CCA adopted many of Bayer's designs and concepts into its containers over the decades.
The idea behind the atlas was to create a work where traditional maps would be showcased alongside graphical presentations of information. For example, a map of The World's Prominent Economies is accompanied by a graphical interpretation of the Occupational Structure of Selected Areas. This idea would eventually be known as the infographic by later generations.
CCA originally published 30,000 copies for private distribution and it seems as though most of those are still in private hands. WorldCat lists just 30 libraries holding this title, including DPL.
We purchased this item for $388.00 from an eBay listing that was actually spotted by one of our sharp-eyed customers. We'd tried unsuccessfully to purchase the Atlas a couple of months back but weren't quick enough to acquire it at auction.
The Atlas is in fair to good condition and did not need any conservation. This a great addition to the collection that's available for viewing at the Central Branch.
2. 北米每日年鑑 = Hokubei Mainichi year book, Hokubei Mainchi, 1951
Published on what is now extremely brittle newsprint, this directory of Japanese American people and Japanese American-owned businesses is a valuable research tool for historians and genealogists. The year book presents a snapshot of America's post-war Japanese American community and includes biographical information such as whether or not the person or their parents were born in Japan. Though the year book focuses mainly on the West Coast, its 770 pages cover the entire country.
Because of its extremely fragile condition, the Hokubei yearbook cannot be made available to the public in its current state. After consulting a conservator, we made the difficult decision to remove the pages containing Colorado residents and businesses and sleeve them individually so that researchers can work with them. Until the remainder of the conservation work is done, this is the only portion of this item that is available to researchers. We hope to have the rest of the book available at a later date.
3. Grand Canyon river guide scroll map, Jones, Leslie A., Jones, Leslie A., 1962
Measuring at a massive 51 feet, this extraordinary piece of cartography is no ordinary Colorado River map. Depicting 330 miles of the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead, Jones presents a mind-boggling amount of information that includes data such as water depth and speed, as well as journal notations such as a note pointing out where Jones lost a camera.
This is believed to be one of the first guides to the Colorado River published specifically for those who planned to ride the river in a kayak or raft.
It's unclear how many copies of the map were originally produced, but WorldCat lists just three other copies of it in libraries worldwide.
4. Trees That Twist, Mills, Enos, privately published, 1931
Originally published as an article in Country Life Magazine, Trees That Twist is the father of Rocky Mountain National Park's classic ode to high altitude trees. This particular edition was privately printed by the Mills family and was handed out to visitors at the Longs Peak Inn. WorldCat lists five other libraries that hold this particular item, and we are fortunate to be able to add it to our Conservation Collection.
5. Matsutaro Hirano Change of Address Receipt (M2281)
On February 25, 1944, Matsutaro Hirano wanted to let the appropriate authorities know that he was moving. Hirano's move, unfortunately, was from barracks 25-6-A to barracks 7-14-E at Heart Mountain, an American concentration camp in Wyoming. This simple form shows the daily indignities that the incarcerated American citizens — despite having committed no crimes — were subjected to on a daily basis. We don't know much about Hirano, but this is an important piece of documentation capturing one of our country's most shameful moments.
In addition to these, SCA has purchased over 100 new titles for our collections this year that are available to researchers at the Central Library.
Are any of the books from the Donald Draper Campbell collection available to the public yet?
Hi Julie - Thanks for reading and commenting. We've started adding materials already. You can view an updated list by searching "Draper Campbell collection" on our catalog.
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