The one and only Mark Twain autograph in Special Collections

A letter from Samuel Clemens to journalist Walter Williams, who served as the founding dean of the Missouri School of Journalism in 1908, and was University of Missouri president from 1931 to 1935.

March 4/94

Dear Mr. Williams:

I shouldn’t be able to do it, for if I should be in America in July it would be on business & my time would be fully occupied. I am leaving for Europe day after tomorrow. The compliment of your invitation gratifies me exceedingly & I want to thank you for it notwithstanding I am debarred from taking advantage of it.

I seem to have written this letter to you before; or something like it. But surely that is not possible.  I don’t know how I get the impression; & yet it is a quite strong one.

Truly Yours

S. L. Clemens  

This letter is pasted onto the front endpaper of Walter Williams’ personal copy of Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World - one of a couple of notable copies of that text in Special Collections.  Take a look at the catalog record for information on the others.  The text on the photo frontispiece is printed, not handwritten – but you can compare Samuel Clemens' signature to that of Mark Twain.

Twain_letter_2 Twain_letter_3 Twain_photo_1

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Remembering Lauren Bacall

Actress and icon Lauren Bacall passed away yesterday at the age of 89.  Well-known for her film roles, she also appeared in various stage productions, including Cactus Flower (1965), Applause (1970), and Woman of the Year (1981).  These are a sampling of the covers available in the Theater Programs Collection here in Special Collections, which numbers over 2,300 programs (and counting).  They document Bacall throughout her stage career, from the 1960s to her appearance at Powell Symphony Hall in Saint Louis on November 17, 1997.

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Find them in the MERLIN catalog: Cactus Flower, Applause, Woman of the Year, and Grand Center is proud to present a Grand Evening with Lauren Bacall.

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Everyone out of the water! It’s Shark Week!

In honor of Shark Week, we thought you would enjoy a few colored plates from A History of the Fishes of the British Isles by Jonathan Couch, 1877.








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Special Collections and Rare Books

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