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News and events from DePaul University Libraries

From the library of Florence Kelley

by Michelle McCoy 11/7/2012 12:38:00 PM

 Report and Findings of the Joint Committee to Investigate the "Sweat Shop" System: Together with a Transcript of the Testimony taken by the Committee.In 1894, despite confirmed cases of small pox in a first floor Chicago apartment and a yellow card announcing the disease’s presence on the side of the building, four families remained in the rear upper floor of a frame tenement house. These same occupants also continued to enter and exit the building to procure the tailoring and other piecework sewing jobs that sustained their families. This is just one of the harrowing accounts described in a recently acquired selection of books once owned by American social and political reformer, Florence Kelley (1859-1932).

As the first woman factory inspector in the United States, appointed in Illinois by Governor John Peter Altgeld in 1893, Florence Kelley was highly influential in implementing minimum wage, eight-hour workdays and children’s rights in Illinois workplace law. During her time in Chicago from 1891 until 1899, Kelley conducted a wage and ethnicity census of the slums and tenements in Chicago; the reporting of cases and contagion in the smallpox epidemic of 1893; the enforcement of the universal primary education laws, and, most importantly, enforcing the provisions of the Illinois Factory Inspections Law of 1893.

Among the titles acquired with Kelley’s name penned across the top and the word “private” below are three accounts of the work of the Illinois Factory Inspectors for the years 1893, 1895 and 1896. In a similar vein are two special reports; one on the Sweat Shop System from 1893 and another that looks at the extent of small pox in tenement house sweat-shops. Despite the use of Illinois in the title, the properties, businesses and individuals are almost exclusively in Chicago. The contents include transcripts of testimony with various shops and individuals; surveys of homes, shops and factories with notes on conditions; accident reports, recommendations; and a summation of the new inspection laws.

Illinois. Joint Committee to Investigate the "Sweat Shop" System. Report and Findings of the Joint Committee to Investigate the "Sweat Shop" System: Together with a Transcript of the Testimony taken by the Committee. Springfield, Ill. : The Committee, 1893. SpC. 331.2509773 I29r1893

(3 volumes) Illinois. Office of Inspectors of Factories and Workshops. Annual Report of the Factory Inspectors of Illinois. [Chicago : Office of Inspector of Factories and Workshops, State of Illinois], 1894-1908. SpC. 331.8 I29a (vol. 1, 1893; vol. 3, 1895; vol. 4, 1896)

---. First Special Report of the Factory Inspectors of Illinois on Small-pox in the Tenement House Sweat-shops of Chicago. Springfield, Ill. : H.W. Rokker, State Printer and Binder, 1894.  SpC. 331.8 I29f1984

Chicago (Ill.). City council. Committee on Crime. Report of the City Council Committee on Crime of the City of Chicago / Alderman Charles E. Merriam, chairman. [Chicago : Press of H.G. Adair], 1915. SpC. 364.977311 C532r1915

These purchases are in direct support of DePaul’s curricular programs and reflect student research interest. For more information about this text or other titles in our Chicago collections, contact Special Collections & Archives at

John T. Richardson Library Open 24 Hours for Finals, Closed 6/9-6/10

by Alexis Burson 5/30/2012 9:00:00 AM
Looking for a quiet place to study for finals in the wee hours of the morning? Look no further!  The John T. Richardson Library will be open for DePaul students 24 hours a day from 10am Sunday June 3 ending 6pm Friday June 8.

Neon Sign reading "Open 24 HRS"The entrance of the library will be locked at 11:00pm and library access will be restricted to the DePaul community at this time.  Students can enter the library by swiping their DePaul IDs through the card reader located to the left of the main entrance. At the same time, during the hours of 11:00am-7:00am, the outer doors of the building will be locked and students may enter the building using the cardswipe entrance on the west (Quad side) doors only. DePaul security will be patrolling the library throughout the night to ensure safety.

For study breaks, DePaul Dining Services will be offering coffee, tea, and other beverages as well as a variety of snacks for purchase in Kelly Hall (outside the main entrance to the Library) from 11:00pm until 7:00am.

Good luck, students! 


*The John T. Richardson Library will close at 6pm Friday June 1 for Fest and will close early at 6pm Friday June 8.  The library will remain closed Saturday and Sunday June 9-10.

Napoleon Rides Again: New Donations in DePaul's Special Collections

by Michelle McCoy 4/30/2012 10:00:00 AM

While the events surrounding the feats and follies of Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power and remarkable military campaigns are some 200 years in the past, their history continues to live on through continued donations to DePaul's Special Collections and Archives. A recent transfer of rare book materials from Christian Brothers University in Memphis has augmented the already significant collection on Napoleon, which now stands at approximately 4,500 volumes of books, pamphlets, maps, broadsides, and artifacts. The initial volumes of the Napoleon Collection were acquired in 1936 from the estate of Otto Lemke with later enhancements of estate gifts from Chicagoans Max Thorek and Milton Lewis. 

Interior illustration from cigarette manufacturer's: The Napoléon Album. Richmond : Allen & Ginter, [188-?]
This recent accession was originally collected by noted Napoleonic bibliophile, Leslie H. Kuehner. He became interested in Napoleon as a young man when he learned he had a maternal ancestor who served in the Napoleonic Old Guard and fought alongside Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. When Christian Brothers University needed to find a new home for Kuehner's collection, DePaul was chosen for its existing collecting interests in Napoleon scholarship and also because Kuehner, in his service to the Catholic Church, once served as President of the Particular Council of Memphis of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a noted charity organization.

The primary strength of Kuehner's Napoleon Collection lies in its wealth of English language first editions and its emphasis on the British reaction to the events in France. This includes several titles that support academic research with DePaul's existing collection of circa 1803 English broadsides that warn of impending invasion from France. The Substance of Mr. Pitt's Speech in the House of Commons provides early documentation of England's concern by concluding that, "The security at present is certainly not solid…"

Cover from the Arabic title: A. Eskandar Bayati's. The Final Events of the Life of Napoleon. [S.l.] : Hekmat Book Store, [1940?].Among the other highlights from Kuehner's collection are such novelty titles as an Arabic biography of Napoleon Bonaparte and two volumes of "clippings" collected and assembled by a citizen during the early years of the 19th century from English periodicals and other news sources. The donation also contains some original American imprints that record positive and negative reactions to these European events. The speech of American statesman and author of large sections of the Constitution of the United States, Gouverneur Morris, printed in 1814, exalts the restoration of the Bourbons and the fall of "gloomy tyrant." In 1880, however, the Allen & Ginter Manufacturers of Cigarettes in Richmond, VA created an illustrated color "gift book" that promotes Napoleon's victories by concluding that had Napoleon succeeded, "Europe would be more advanced in civilization and in happiness that she is to-day."

Holdings are cataloged and searchable in DePaul Library's online catalog. For further information about the Napoleon Collection, please contact Special Collections and Archives at 773-325-7864, or email


Bayati, A. Eskandar. The Final Events of the Life of Napoleon. [S.l.] : Hekmat Book Store, [1940?]. (Arabic)
Call Number: SpCN. 944.05 B356f1940

Morris, Gouverneur. An Oration, Delivered on Wednesday, June 29, 1814, at the request of a number of citizens of New-York: in celebration of the recent deliverance of Europe from the yoke of military despotism / by the Honorable Gouverneur Morris ; published at the request of the committee of arrangements. New York : Printed and published by Van Winkle and Wiley, 1814.
Call Number: SpCN. 944.05 M875o1814

The Napoléon Album. Richmond : Allen & Ginter, [188-?]
Call Number: SpCN. 944.05 N216aL1880

Pitt, William. Substance of Mr. Pitt's Speech in the House of Commons, on Monday, the 3d [sic!] of February, 1800, on the subject of his majesty's message respecting the late overtures for peace from Bonaparte: in which are clearly developed the origin and the progress of the war and proving, that on the part of this country it is a war of defense only. Bristol : J. Rudhall, 1800.
Call Number: SpCN. 940.27 P688s1800

Ex libris: Stuyvesant Peabody

by maggie 6/4/2009 2:55:00 PM

As the quarter ends and summer approaches, we are all thinking about how to spend time outside, get some sun, and spend time with our friends. We will play frisbee, swim, play volleyball, basketball, and tennis...How about foxhunting? Any plans? Perhaps we are a few hundred years too late – foxhunting was an important sport for the English aristocracy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This sport was so important in fact that prized books and periodicals were written about it.  Stuyvesant Peabody collected such things.  

Chicagoan Stuyvesant Peabody was a wealthy man who headed several coal firms such as the Peabody Coal Company, founded by his father. Although his work was in the coal industry, his passion was for sports. He owned his own horse stable and was active in many riding clubs and associations in the Chicago area. In addition to being an athlete himself, Stuyvesant Peabody collected materials from the nineteenth century on a range of sports.  His extensive assembly included periodicals, novels, and books on the history of a variety of sports and competitive leisure activities such as foxhunting, horseracing, and gambling.  

After his death in 1946, Mr. Peabody's widow, Anita, donated the Stuyvesant Peabody Sports Collection to DePaul University. This collection of more than 900 items includes books and periodicals printed in England in the nineteenth century on a variety of sports-related topics, and specifically caters to those interested in materials on foxhunting and horseracing – activities that were representative of the daily lives of the upper classes. Many of the materials are richly illustrated by Victorian artists such as Robert Seymour and H.K. Browne ("Phiz"), whose work are also featured in DePaul’s Dicken’s Collection. Currently, a selection of these illustrations are on exhibit in Special Collections and Archives through August 2009.


Many book collectors paste bookplates inside the front covers of their books and the Latin words ex libris, meaning "from the library of," were often used.

Ex libris: The American Irish Historical Society (Illinois Chapter)

by maggie 3/4/2009 9:55:00 AM

In 1927, a collection of books and documents was transferred to DePaul University's Library from the American Irish Historical Society Illinois Chapter.  This small donation of less than 50 items peaked DePaul’s interest in Irish Studies which eventually resulted in the Irish Studies Minor begun in 2006.

This collection of books has expanded in these eighty years, mirroring faculty and student interest in and enthusiasm for Ireland and the Irish.  In the 1940's, a separate Irish Library was created to hold the books added to this collection.  When the Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) was built in 1967, space was set aside for the newly formed Special Collections Department and rare books from the Irish collection were placed here, while many others remained in the circulating collection.  Even today, you can find books with the Irish Library book plate out in the circulating stacks.

The collection that remains in Special Collections contains more than 200 volumes on topics ranging from history to literature to art history.  Authors from the Irish Renaissance (mid nineteenth century), such as Yeats and Lady Gregory, are represented, as are the works of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. 


  from "The Village" Jack B. Yeats, printed by Cuala Press 

The collection also contains histories of Ireland and important historical texts such as the first edition of Michael Collins' The Path to Freedom, published in 1922.  You will also find anthologies of Irish poetry, works of literature and facsimiles and materials regarding the famous early medieval manuscript, The Book of Kells.


Many book collectors paste bookplates inside the front covers of their books and the Latin words ex libris, meaning "from the library of," were often used.

Ex Libris: Gilbert Sims Derr

by maggie 1/29/2009 2:56:00 PM

Starting in the 1960s, DePaul Professor and Alumnus Gilbert Sims Derr strove to inspire mutual understanding between African-Americans and whites by providing resources for African-American studies at DePaul.  In his words, "When the whites get a better idea of what the blacks have contributed to our mutual culture, many of the problems of race relations will be eased."

Gilbert Sims Derr (1917-1989) grew up in Durham, North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate work at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia in 1939 and received a Masters Degree from DePaul University in 1948.  While researching his thesis on interracial education, he discovered that DePaul University's library lacked materials on African Americans.  He vowed to provide these materials by creating a research center for African-American studies at DePaul.  Then, while teaching part time at DePaul in the School of Education and serving as a human relations coordinator in the Chicago public school system, Derr contributed his DePaul salary to the Verona Williams Derr Fund.  The money from this fund went towards a scholarship fund, lecture series and the Verona Williams Derr Collection (named for Derr's wife) now housed in DePaul University’s Special Collections and Archives. 

The Collection contains books relating to African-American culture, Negro Life and History, Black-White Experience, and the Area of Black Studies. The publication dates for the books range from the 1790's through to the 1960's.  Professor Derr collected books that presented both sides of the race issue.  The collection contains pro-slavery book titles such as An Enquiry Concerning the Intellectual and Moral Faculties, and Literature of Negroes, 1810 by H. Gregoire and Cotton is King, and Pro-Slavery Arguments; Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy, Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartwright, 1860.  On the other side, the collection also includes anti-slavery publications such as Lydia Maria Francis Child's 1833 An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans and texts by Abolitionists and African American authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Check out some selections from the Derr Collection on exhibit on the third floor of the library through February 28, 2009.


Many book collectors paste bookplates inside the front covers of their books and the Latin words ex libris, meaning "from the library of," were often used.





Ex Libris: Estelle Doheny

by maggie 9/8/2008 2:17:00 PM

One of the earliest female book collectors in the United States, Estelle Doheny, purchased her first rare book in 1931 and continued buying books and manuscripts until her death in 1958.  She is the only woman collector who developed a library notable for both its scope and quality. 

Estelle Doheny (1875-1958) married the wealthy oil man and philanthropist Edward Doheny (1856-1935) in 1900.  Her great collection was for many years housed at the Vincentian Seminary of St. John's in California.  She also gave parts of her collection to the Vincentian Seminary of St. Mary's of the Barrens in Perryville, Missouri as gifts and some of these came to DePaul University through a sale at Christie's Auction House in New York.

In 2001, over 400 pieces of art in the form of rare books and objects d'art from St. Mary's of the Barrens, were sold at Christie's.  DePaul University bought seventeen books in this auction.  One of these books was an 18th century book of poetry.  



This work is significant because it is the first book of poetry written by a slave, published by her owner.  It is a first edition of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, 1773, written by Phyllis Wheatley, who was brought as a slave from Senegal in 1761 to Boston. 



Many book collectors paste bookplates inside the front covers of their books, and the Latin words ex libris (meaning "from the library of") are often used.



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