Louisiana State University acquires large collection of African-American poetry

Iffirst published by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Louisiana State University acquired The Wyatt Houston Day Collection of Poetry by African Americans, one of the largest private collections of black poetry. The University Libraries’ Special Collections Unit will house more than 800 items previously owned by collector and book dealer Wyatt Houston Day. This collection includes works from the 18th century, the Harlem Renaissance, and later works, including up to the present day.

“This collection enables a dynamic understanding of canonical African American poets and offers many avenues for further research and appreciation of the poetic voice of African Americans throughout American history,” said John Miles, curator of books at the LSU Libraries Special Collections. “Acquiring these books makes LSU an important research site for anyone interested in American literature and African-American culture, while providing students with the opportunity to materially confront the great sweeping, political significance and outstanding intellectual contribution of its kind to the nation and the world.”

Among the objects in the collection are:

  • A first edition of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s rare 1895 second book “Majors and Minors” which was once owned by the family of Frederick Douglass and inscribed to his niece;
  • A collection of books by Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks;
  • The original typewritten manuscript of the musical cues for Langston Hughes’ 12-part poem, “Ask Your Mama”, inscribed by Hughes to the poet Amiri Baraka, also known as LeRoi Jones.

“More remarkable might be the many collections of smaller, almost ephemeral, but nonetheless important chapters, and other unannounced publications by minor and otherwise unknown authors. These rare materials add context to the most recognizable names and present a fuller sense of the scope and vibrancy of African American poetic achievement over 200 years. Beyond its mere literary value, this collection captures the life and culture of a people told in verse,” Miles said.

A video about the collection can be viewed below.

  • E-mail
  • https://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.a58e82e150afc25eb5372dd55a98b778.en.html#dnt=true&id=twitter-widget-3&lang=en&original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jbhe.com%2F2022%2F03%2Flouisiana- state-university-acquires-large-collection-of-african-american-poetry%2F&size=m&text=Louisiana%20State%20University%20Acquires%20Large%20Collection%20of%20African%20American%20Poetry&time=1647837203488&type=share&url=https%3A% 2F%2Fwww.jbhe.com%2F2022%2F03%2Flouisiana-state-university-acquires-large-collection-of-african-american-poetry%2F&via=jbhedotcom
  • https://www.facebook.com/v2.5/plugins/share_button.php?app_id=362418717198493&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb% 3Df2a902e7116829%26domain%3Dwww.jbhe.com%26is_canvas%3Dfalse%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.jbhe.com%252Ff2fdb9f9803392%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width%he.jb%he=0%F2%Ahref=https 2F2022%2F03%2Flouisiana-state-university-acquiert-large-collection-of-african-american-poetry%2F&layout=button_count&locale=en_US&sdk=joey
  • To share

Comments are closed.