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Walter Williams Library


Williams, Walter, 1864-1935.


Walter Williams Library



Walter Williams (1864-1935) was President of the University of Missouri from 1930 – 1935 and served as Dean of the School of Journalism from its founding in 1908. The Alumni Association of the School of Journalism established the library in 1934 and presented it to Dr. Williams for installation in the President’s House on the University of Missouri campus. The library’s original purpose was to house the best contemporary books, and additional selections for the library were made in May 1935.

The Alumni Association requested that each of the authors include a dedication addressed to Walter Williams and/or the students of the University. According to the original plan for the collection, the books were later transferred to Ellis Library. Those books containing letters or autographs were moved into the Rare Book Collection.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of books on journalism, politics, economics, and current events from the early 1930s. Each contains a dedication from the author. Some of the dedications are merely short notes or autographs, while others are longer and more substantial.

Holdings: 145 volumes


The books have been catalogued and are accessible through the library catalog, but the letters themselves are uncatalogued. These materials are available to all researchers for use in the Reading Room during the regular hours of Special Collections and do not circulate. Some materials in this collection are stored offsite. Please request materials at least 48 hours in advance.

Walter Williams Library finding aid


A short history and list of the entire collection is available in a brochure entitled The Walter Williams Library (Columbia, Mo., 1935), held at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

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