Information Update - Spring 2001

Leahy Exhibition Catalog Available

Weinberg Memorial Library, the University Art Gallery, and the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library recently published A Modern Renaissance Library: 200 Selections from the Collection of Edward R. Leahy. This catalog documents two exhibits from the private collection of Edward R. Leahy held at The University of Scranton in 2000 and 2001. Mr. Leahy, a 1968 graduate of the University, began collecting books in the late 1960s while in law school and has created a personal collection of the highest quality. His collecting interests are broad but have focused on five major areas: Medieval and Renaissance Books 1475 to 1600; English Literature and Printing; Cosway and Other Fine Bindings and Modern Illuminated Manuscripts; Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction; and Children's Books.
Mr. Leahy's collection of early printed books includes Bibles, the Nuremberg Chronicle, early editions of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and books printed by Aldus Manutius. The English literature section includes first editions of noted authors such as John Donne, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, John Milton, and Ben Jonson, as well as a second and fourth folio of William Shakespeare, along with an impressive collection of the works of Samuel Johnson and James Boswell (including a unique group of seven copies of Boswell's Life of Johnson) and an equally thorough collection of Charles Dickens (including many titles in the original monthly parts). The Cosway bindings and modern illuminated manuscripts feature spectacular book bindings containing miniatures painted on ivory and books with jeweled bindings featuring the artwork of Alberto Sangorski, the 20th century's finest book illuminator. The horror and fantasy collection features first editions of Frankenstein, Dracula, and other masterpieces of the genre. The catalog culminates with selections from Mr. Leahy's fine collection of children's books, which features first editions of A. A. Milne's most famous titles, autographed by Milne and illustrator Ernest Shepard with additional drawings added by Shepard, and a superb collection of Beatrix Potter titles, including twenty-five first-edition Potters housed together in a custom-made box and personal copies owned by Noel Moore, the little boy for whom Potter first developed the idea of Peter Rabbit.
The catalog was edited by Michael Knies and designed by Lynn Sfanos. The historical biographical sections of the catalog were written by Michael Knies, Betsey Moylan, and Michelle Peet. The preface was written by Charles E. Kratz, the Foreword was written by Francis J. Wahlgren of Christies auction house in New York and Edward R. Leahy provided an introduction. The 176 page catalog contains 135 black and white illustrations and 56 color illustrations. It costs $30.00 (plus postage) for the general public and $27.00 for Friends of the Library and students. The catalog is available at the Circulation Desk of the Library, by contacting Pat DeSarno at 570-941-7816
Michael Knies