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Books with Personality-The Final Sneak Peek!

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Inventory of the General Library-Jesse Hall-University of Missouri, 1897

Before online catalogs and barcodes, librarians had to manage library collections and inventory by hand.  This 1897 inventory of the General University of Missouri Library contains records of the books, magazines, and journals that belonged to the University.  And, as many would suspect, librarians in the 19th century were just as detail oriented as those in the 21st century.  The inventory even includes the contents of the “Dark Room” which, among many other things, contained one hatchet, a spittoon, and 40 old Savitars.

This volume also holds a letter written by Walter K. Stone, the University Librarian, which was tucked inside the text block.  This letter, written in 1899 to the Executive Board of Curators, notes some library issues and the need for a “competent person” to be employed to help manage the collection.

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Books with Personality-Sneak Peek 5

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Homer Croy

Our Will Rogers, c. 1953

Homer Croy, the author of “Our Will Rogers”, was an MU student from 1903-1907, where he was heavily involved in the publication of the school yearbook, the Savitar. Although Croy did not graduate from the University, he achieved great success as a playwright and novelist. In 1956, Elmer Ellis, the University of Missouri President, bestowed Croy with an honorary degree. Elmer Ellis donated this copy of “Our Will Rogers” to the University library. This volume gives us a wonderful peek into the friendship between Croy and Ellis. Throughout the book there are many notes and clippings from Croy to Ellis, which seem to be a gathering of inside jokes and friendly jabs. One can imagine what witty response Croy received in return.

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Book with Personality-Sneak Peek 4

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Victoria, Queen of Great Britain

Leaves from the journal of our life in the Highlands, from 1848 to 1861…

This published journal contains excerpts from the personal accounts of Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. Perhaps one of the most interesting details about this particular volume is the signature on flyleaf. It reads, “To Robert Downie from Victoria Queen. Sandringham Jan. 2 1872”. Scottish-born Robert Downie was a “footman” or “equerry” to Victoria’s son, Prince of Wales. Downie’s duty was to support the Prince in official duties and private life and may have also been responsible for the Royal horses. Downie, 47 years old at the time, must also have held a high rank in the military as it was a requirement of employment.

In the signature, Queen Victoria notes, Sandringham, a privately owned Royal residence located in Norfolk, England. The property was purchased in 1862, however, the Queen made her first visit to Sandringham in 1871, only a year before the book was signed.

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