Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2002 Issue

Arizona and the Southwest at the University of Arizona Library Special Collections


feature article

By Julie Carleton


Since its formation in 1958, the University of Arizona Library Special Collections has developed an extensive collection of materials on Arizona and the Southwest. At present, this collection includes 100,000 books and 3,000 feet of manuscripts. These materials are a valuable resource to researchers and scholars.

I visited the Library’s Special Collections on a cold (for Tucson) day in mid-December. Having undergone renovations last year, the building has improved in many ways. The exhibit hall and reading room have at least doubled in square footage. In addition, the reading room has private off rooms for the researcher to utilize. Glass walls and slate flooring present an atmosphere of elegance and openness. My meeting was scheduled with Shan Sutton, Archivist in Special Collections. As the initial tour began, we headed toward the vault. We easily could have spent hours talking about the collection of over fifty Incunabula or the Science collection, which includes Copernicus’’s de Revolutionibus, 1543. Remembering the real reason for the interview, I quickly brought my attention back to the focus of this article: notable books and manuscripts on Arizona and the Southwest, as contained in Special Collections at the University of Arizona Library.

Arizona, the Southwest, and Borderlands

For those readers that are new to Arizona and the Southwest as a collecting genre, suffice it to say that Arizona has a rich and varied history. Although the state was formed in 1912, published works about the region reache as far back as the 16th century, when the Spaniards first ventured northward from Mexico. There are several major subtopics within the history of Arizona and the Southwest, depending on the interest of the reader. These major areas include Native Americans, Spanish explorers, Missionaries, Pioneers, American explorers and natural history. One should also be aware that the term Southwest is subjective. Lawrence Clark Powell defined it as the area falling within Texas, New Mexico and Arizona1 . The borderland area refers to that part of Northern Mexico that runs from California to Texas.

The Interview

Note: all references to books, manuscripts and authors are listed in the bibliography following this interview. JC refers to the author of this article, Julie Carleton; SS refers to Shan Sutton, Archivist in Special Collections.

1 Lawrence Clark Powell. Southwestern Book Trails. Albuquerque: Horn & Wallace, 1963: 3.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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