19th and 20th Century Collections

Learn more about the 19th and 20th centuries through personal and scholarly papers, limited-edition books with annotations and inscriptions and other specialized collections donated by individuals. Most of the materials in this collection can be located through Library Search.

World War II propaganda from Das Reich dated March 19, 1944.World War II Propaganda Collection (1904-64)

Based on WMU Professor Howard Mowen’s (1922-2009) research collection on N.S.D.A.P. (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei), these materials include Nazi German and Allied Forces publications, photographs and ephemera (collectible memorabilia). Edwin W. Polk (-2002), a former student of Dr. Mowen’s, also made significant contributions to this collection, as well as other donors.

Stack of books written by Charles Bukoswkui from the Black Sparrow Press Collection.Seamus Cooney Black Sparrow Press Collection (1966-2006)

The Black Sparrow Press was a small independent press established in 1966. This collection contains its business archive until 2006 and copies of almost every edition the press published until 2006 including typescripts for books, editors' copies of manuscripts, proofs, catalogs, screenplays and much more.

Katharine M. Briggs Collection (1806-1980)

Typescripts and manuscripts of folklorist Katherine M. Briggs including plays she and her sisters wrote and performed, family letters, correspondence with her publisher and more can be found in this collection.

Comic book with Wonder Woman on the cover.Comics Collection

From DC and Marvel comics like Batman and Captain America to Dutch-language Donald Duck comics, the A & E Lean Comics Collection has something for every lover of comic books.

Page from East Africa book with tribal warrior.Alan H. Jacobs East Africa Collection (1929-2010)

WMU Professor Alan H. Jacobs collected these materials for his research on the cultural, historical, political and geographic study of East Africa. Several books relate to other regions of Africa. Most of the collection is in English, but some items are in Dutch, German and French.

Graphic art by Ben Tibbs of First Savings & Loan Association flier with person in a woman's shoe with an eye for a head. Ben Tibbs Collection (1907-1995)

Ben Tibbs was a Kalamazoo-area poet who was also known for his work in graphic arts. His family donated his extensive poetry collection to Special Collections, the majority of which are signed or inscribed by the authors. Tibb’s own poetry, book design and other graphic art is also part of this collection.

Cover of A Child's Christmas in Wales book by Dylan Thomas.Edward Callan Papers and Miscellaneous Authors Collection (1903-2000)

Edward Callan’s personal research and writings on Irish, British and American literature is comprised of photocopied articles, sheet music, research notes, correspondence and ephemera. The research notes and articles are primarily concerning Irish author James Joyce and poet W.B. Yeats.

Edward Callan Collection: Alan Paton Archive (1920-94)

This archive primarily contains articles from a variety of journals, magazines and newspapers by Alan Paton and correspondence between Edward Callan and Paton, as well as Paton's wife and son. It also contains correspondence between Callan, Nadine Gordimer, Albert J. Luthuli and other prominent South African anti-apartheid activists.

Cover of The Griffin, a mail-order pamphlet.Edward Callan Collection: W.H. Auden Archive (1928-93)

This archive consists of materials gathered by Edward Callan containing critical and biographical articles concerning W.H. Auden and his work by various authors, including copies of articles about Auden written by Callan himself, and copies of articles, reviews and verse written by Auden, as well as interviews with the author. The collection also contains correspondence, including a letter addressed to Callan from Auden, and copies of The Griffin (1954-1960) and The Mid-Century Review (1960-1963) with Auden on each publication's editorial board. Along with this archive, Callan also donated books by or about Auden.

Hand written poem by John Warren woods.John Woods Papers (1948-96)

This is a collection of the personal papers of American poet and Western Michigan University English professor John Warren Woods. His papers include manuscript drafts of individual poems and books, correspondence, records of contract, copyright agreements and other documents related to his publishing activities. Also included in this collection are 25 cassette tape recordings of poets giving readings or lectures, including Robert Frost, Alan Ginsberg and others.

Donald Hall Collection

Articles by or about Donald Hall, copies of poems of Hall published in various journals, copies of book reviews written by Hall, collections of poetry edited by Hall, and correspondence, as well as copies of many of his published works,  can be found in this archival collection.

Promotional flier for Ben Tibbs poetry reading at John W. Rollins Bookseller in Kalamazoo Michigan.Ben Tibbs Archive (1958-77)

This small archive primarily contains issues of literary magazines in which Ben Tibbs's poetry was published. It also contains a list of the books included in his family's initial donation of books, promotional photographs of Tibbs with corresponding negatives, and several ephemeral items.

Handwritten postcard from Jack London dated November 1910.Fred Hartenstein Collection of Autographs (1898-1911)

This collection consists of over 80 autographs of famous people gathered by librarian Sophie Levin. The autographs are from political figures, writers, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Auction Catalog Collections (1815-1997)

This collection is made up of records for auctions that took place mainly through Bloomsbury, Sotheby's and Christie's. It includes manuscript and book auction catalogs, jewelry auction catalogs and catalogs with miscellaneous items for auction.

Promotional photo from the 1994 film The Shadow featuring Penelope Ann Miller and Alec Baldwin. The Shadow Archive (1932-94)

A Universal Studio press kit for the 1994 film The Shadow including the screenplay, storyboards and concept art as well as photos of actors and other promotional materials are part of this collection. It also includes four issues of the detective fiction serial The Shadow published in 1932, 1939 and 1940.