Donors and Support

A strong library is essential both to the intellectual vitality of the University and to the quality of the education it provides. Our library cannot remain strong without the continued support from people like you, who share our goal to prepare students for life-long learning. The needs of the library are many — building and preserving the collection, adapting new technologies, providing the library staff with adequate professional development and training, enhancing scholarship and research opportunities for our students and faculty, and most importantly, building our educational programs. A gift to the library supports all academic disciplines and programs. We are grateful for your contribution.

The Friends of the Library

The easiest way to support the library is to join the Friends of the Library. The Friends provide the generous support needed to make the library a place of growth and scholarly engagement. By pooling large and small donations, the Friends make an essential contribution to meeting current needs and building the collection.

The Friends of the Library is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to raise money for the complete renovation of the lobby outside of Special Collections and Northen Auditorium. This space, loved by students, has not seen any improvements since the building opened in 1979. A challenge gift from Frank Barron ’52 kicked off the campaign in January 2017. The Friends of the Library was successful in raising the initial $10,000 for construction costs, but now money is needed to furnish the space with state of the art furniture and exhibit cases. Construction starts in June 2017, and we hope by summer 2018 to show off our modernized, brighter, and inviting lobby! Learn more about the “Light it up” project!

Visit the Friends of the Library site

Endowments and Major Gifts

Endowments

The University Library enjoys the support of many donors who have established, or contributed to, named endowments. These funds provide annual support for specific purposes defined by the donors. Donors may choose to designate their funds to purchase library materials, to support programmatic activities, or both.

Giving to Endowments: How it Works

When you give to an endowed fund, the University invests your gift as part of its overall endowment portfolio. Each year, a portion of the value of your endowed fund is paid out to support the fund’s purpose (collections, programs). Any remaining earnings are used to build the endowment’s value. In this way, an endowment fund can grow and provide support for its designated purpose in perpetuity.

Why minimums?

Endowments work best when the size of the endowment is large enough that its earnings can truly underwrite its intended purpose. The Board of Trustees approves all of W&L’s endowment minimums. The minimums are calculated based on how much it costs annually to fund the activity the endowment is supporting. However, a new donor may join existing endowments that share the donor’s goals and objectives if the gift is not able to meet the minimum needed within the specified time allowed. This allows existing endowments to grow and thus support the entire campus.

Major Gifts

Major gifts can be in the form of a one-time monetary donation or in the form of a gift-in-kind, which is usually an important collection of books or media in a specific field of study. Memorial funds and gifts may be set up to acknowledge and honor a person close to the donor.

Please contact John Tombarge, University Librarian, to discuss monetary gifts.

Gifts-in-Kind

The University Library maintains a gift policy for the donation of gifts-in-kind such as books, manuscripts, journals, media, digital files and other works. Materials are designated for addition to the collection based on the recommendations of subject specialist librarians and faculty input. They will examine donations and evaluate them in accordance with the library’s collection development policies and priorities.

If you are considering making a gift-in-kind to the University Library’s circulating collection, please contact Elizabeth Teaff, Head of Access Services (540-458-8645).

If you are considering making a gift-in-kind to Special Collections & Archives, please contact Tom Camden, Head of Special Collections & Archives.

Adopt a Piece of History

The library has implemented a preservation program to ensure that the items in Special Collections will be there for future generations. If you would like to combine your support for the library with a special interest, consider adopting a piece of history by sponsoring, or contributing towards, the restoration of an item in need of preservation.
Please contact Tom Camden, Head of Special Collections & Archives, to discuss this opportunity.

Pieces Waiting for Adoption

Auli Persi Flacci Satyricorum Celeberrimi Granissimi & Difficillimi. Satyrae VI

Book

This small book contain works by Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus), an first century Roman poet and satirist of Etruscan origin. In his works, poems and satires, he shows a stoic wisdom and a strong criticism for what he considered to be the stylistic abuses of his poetic contemporaries. His works, which became very popular in the Middle Ages, were published after his death by his friend and mentor, the stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Cornutus.

The book was bound with remnants of a handwritten music sheet (likely a hymn) dating from medieval times. It is possible that the book, published in Amsterdam in 1595, is not as old as the manuscript it was bound in. The binding is broken and one can see that a music manuscript was also used for the spine piece.

Before Restoration

Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, 6 vols. London: Thomas Roycroft, 1655-57.

Folio Book

Thomas Roycroft (d. 1677) was conspicuous in the 17th Century for the excellence of his work. Adept in working with non-Roman types, he also produced a series of the classics under the editorship of John Ogilby. On the accession of Charles II, Roycraft was appointed King’s Printer in the Oriental Languages. He was Master of the Stationer’s Company in 1675.

At his death the Bishop of Chester, Brian Walton (1600?-1661), the editor of the Biblia Sacra, studied at Magdalen and Peterhouse, Cambridge. An adherent of Laud, he offended his parishioners by demanding more munificent tithes. After a brief span in prison because of this impertinence, he went to Oxford and was made D.D.  A portrait of Walton is on the flyleaf of each volume.

The Bible (this Biblia Sacra set) was one of the first books published by subscription in England, at a putative price of 10 pounds. Eight thousand pounds were collected to finance the printing. Two dedications were affixed, the first to Cromwell, superseded by one to Charles II.

The bindings have been covered with two different upholstery (!) leathers and printed marbled endsheets have been added. The orginial sewn endbands are missing.

Restoration cost per volume

  • Volume 1 = $3,045
  • Volume 2 = $2,428
  • Volume 3 = $3,140
  • Volume 4 = $2,380
  • Volume 5 = $2,808
  • Volume 6 = $2,998

Before Restoration

Letcher Pamphlet Collection

Folio Book

The Letcher Pamphlet Collection belonged to Governor John Letcher (Civil War governor) and is a unique collection of pamphlets bound specifically for him. This collection is an important primary source for Civil War research.

Estimated cost of restoration: $4,013.00

Precious Faith

Book

“Precious Faith” by Edward Polhill (1675) is the oldest book in the Liberty Hall Collection, purchased almost in entirety by the school’s first rector, William A. Graham, on a trip to Philadelphia in March, 1776. Liberty Hall was the first academy on the grounds of what is now Washington and Lee University. The 240-year-old library has survived academy fires, Hunter’s raid in 1864 and normal attrition.
Slightly more than one half of the 270 volumes purchased remain in Washington and Lee’s current library. It is our intent to restore all Liberty Hall Collection volumes in disrepair. 

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $4,142.00

Venetian commissione issued by Doge Marcantonio Giustinian, dated ca. 1688

Book

Marcantonio Giustinian (March 2, 1619 – March 23, 1688) was the 107th Doge of Venice, reigning from his election on January 26, 1684 until his death. Giustiniani was the quintessential Doge of the Republic of Venice, taking little interest in affairs of state. He had little role in the conduct of the Morean War (1684-1699), which was raging during his time as Doge, though a number of military victories were secured by provveditore Francesco Morosini, who would later be Giustinian’s successor as Doge.

This book is handwritten on vellum pages, and bound in a beautiful silk brocade over wooden boards. The vellum textblock is intact and in excellent condition. The silk fabric covering the binding has frayed at the edges, and the spine has been rebacked with bookcloth. The original endbands are present but show degradation. The book needs extensive restoration of the binding.

After restoration, the book will be placed in a protective clamshell box, specially made for this volume.

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $1,158.00

Epistolae Diversorum Philosophorum. Venice : Aldus Manutius, Romanus, 1499

Book

Aldus Pius Manutius (Italian: Aldo Manuzio; 1449 – February 6, 1515) was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice. He is sometimes called “the Elder” to distinguish him from his grandson Aldus Manutius the Younger. His publishing legacy includes the distinctions of inventing italic type, establishing the modern use of the semicolon, developing the modern appearance of the comma, and introducing inexpensive books in small formats bound in vellum that were read much as modern paperbacks are.

Manutius settled in Venice in 1490. The city by this time was not only a major printing center but it also had a large library of Greek manuscripts from Constantinople and a population of Greeks who could assist with their translation. He began gathering Greek scholars and compositors around him, employing as many as 30 Greeks in his print shop and speaking Greek at home. Instructions to typesetters and binders were given in Greek. The prefaces to his editions were written in Greek. Greeks from Crete collated manuscripts, read proofs, and gave samples of calligraphy for casts of Greek type.

This extraordinary semi-limp vellum incunable is among the earliest printed books in history. It is printed in Greek.

After restoration, the book will be placed in a clamshell box specifically made for this volume.

 

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $1,025.00

L.A. Florus: cum notis intergris Cl. Salmasii et selectissimis variorum accurante S.M.D.C. additus etiam L. Ampelius ex bibliotheca Cl. Salmasii. Amstelodami: Ex officina Elzeviriana, 1674

Book

Lucius Annaeus Florus (c. 74 AD – c. 130 AD) was a Roman historian who lived in the time of Trajan and Hadrian. He was born in Africa.

This beautiful book, published in Amsterdam in 1674 by Elzevier, is an account of the history of Rome.

The textblock is intact and in good condition. The original endbands are also extant. The binding has been rebacked with upholstery (!) leather and paper labels applied. An early manuscript fragment has been used to reinforce the interior rear hinge.

 

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $844.00

Laus Asini. Lugd. Batavorum: Elzeviriana, 1629

Book

This lovely book by Daniel Heinsius, a Latin scholar from Germany, was published in 1629. The book is written in German and published in one of the early established centers of scholarship and publishing, Leiden, the Netherlands, which in that time was known as Lugdinum Batavorum.

This book was donated to the Washington and Lee library by William Wilson Corcoran (December 27, 1798 – February 24, 1888), who was an American banker, philanthropist, and art collector. He started the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The textblock is intact. The full calf binding is worn but intact, and appears to date from the late 18th to early 19th century. The endbands are present, but partially detached. A paper label is adhered to the spine.

 

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $949.00

Washington and Lee/ Jacob Fuller Scrapbook, 19th century

Folio Book

This rich volume originally served as a Ledger for the town of Rockbridge Baths, near Lexington, but was repurposed by Jacob Fuller as a scrapbook/commonplace book to contain numerous documents and other materials important to the history of Washington and Lee University. The original ledger information is written in iron gall ink, and is partially visible. Fifty-seven attachments remain in the volume, many of them adhered in a staggered fashion to allow for access of materials. The binding is worn and fractured along the spine, and two large printed clippings have been mounted to the front.

The volume will be fully restored, and will be housed in a custom-made clamshell box.

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $8,220.00

Pieces Already Adopted or Restored

Adopted

Ciceronis Opera (Works of Cicero), vols. III and V

Book

These two volumes of a multi-volume set of Ciceronis Opera (1749) bear the beautiful and distinctive bookplate of John Park(e) Custis, the stepson of George Washington. In addition, the books carry the signature of Mary Anna Randolph Custis, the granddaughter of John Parke Custis and the wife of Robert E. Lee. The two small volumes became part of the library collection when G.W.C. Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, left the President’s office in 1897. The provenance from the Washington family to the Lee family is startlingly clear from the ownership stamps and signatures present on both volumes.

Before Restoration

Generously adopted by Ms. Lisa Moore of Staunton, Virginia

Restored

Lee letter from Arlington, 12 July 1853

Letter

This 1853 letter by Robert E. Lee is currently laminated with a material that has been proven destructive to the document.

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aqueously . Guard folio and insert in polyester film sleeve.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Ms. Susan Lee Harris in honor of Dr. Samuel A. Syme '56, and in memory of her father, Lt. Col. Robert B. Lee, U.S. Army.

Restored

Lee letter from West Point, 1 September 1852

Letter

This 1852 letter by Robert E. Lee is laminated with a material that has proven to be destructive to the document.

 

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aquously. Guard folio and insert in polyester film sleeve.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Dr. Samuel A. Syme, W&L ‘56

Restored

Lee letter from West Point, 14 April 1853

Letter

This letter by Robert E. Lee is currently laminated with a material that has been proven destructive to the document.

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aqueously. Guard folio and insert in polyester film sleeve.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Dr. Samuel A. Syme, W&L ‘56

Restored

Lee letter from West Point, 2 February 1853

Letter

This letter by Robert E. Lee is currently laminated with a material that has proven destructive to the document.

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aqueously and insert in polyester film.

 

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Dr. Samuel A. Syme, W&L ‘56

Restored

Lee letter from West Point, 29 March 1853

Letter

This letter, written on blue paper by Robert E. Lee, is currently laminated with a material that has been proven destructive to the document.

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aqueously. Guard folio and insert in polyester film sleeve.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Dr. Samuel A. Syme, W&L ‘56

Restored

Lee letter from West Point, 3 March 1853

Letter

This letter by Robert E. Lee is currently laminated with material that has proven destructive to the document.

Restoration:

Delaminate in solvent bath. Deacidify non-aqueously and insert in polyester film.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Dr. Samuel A. Syme, W&L ‘56

Restored

Lee's First Report to the Board (1866)

Letter

In June 1866, scarcely eight months after assuming the presidency of Washington College, Robert E. Lee wrote his first official report to the board of trustees.  Lee goes into great detail describing the rebuilding of a school that had been decimated by the late war.  His first paragraph sets the tone:    
Owing to the impracticability of completing the repairs to the College buildings, and of restoring the furniture & apparatus destroyed by Genl. Hunter’s Army in 1864, the
exercises of the session did not commence till the 2nd of October 1865.
An official document which has always resided in the University Archives, this seven-page report, recorded entirely in Robert E. Lee’s impeccable script, had been folded, docketed and filed away for the past 150 years.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Parents Leadership Council 2015--2016 in honor of President Kenneth P. Ruscio on the occasion of his retirement and in recognition of his support of parents and families. March 12, 2016

Restored

The Beauties of Johnson, Consisting of his Maxims, Observation, et. & et. , 5th edition, Vol. 2, 1782

Book

W&L University received this copy of The Beauties of Johnson from its president G. W. Custis Lee in February 1894. The original signature of George Washington appears on the title page’s upper right corner, thus qualifying this as one of Washington’s personal books. While we have no further information on its pedigree of ownership, we can infer that the book descended through the Washington, Custis, and Lee lines. There is evidence to show that the book was rebound likely in the 1870s.

Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”. He is also the subject of “the most famous single biographical work in the whole of literature,” James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson.

Samuel Johnson by Joshua ReynoldsBorn in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write for The Gentleman’s Magazine. His early works include the biography Life of Mr Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the play Irene.

After nine years of work, Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship”. This work brought Johnson popularity and success. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson’s was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary. His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare, and the widely read tale The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th- and 18th-century poets.

Johnson was a tall, robust and witty man. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Ms. Lisa Moore of Staunton, Virginia

Adopted

Bible, New Testament [Greek], printed at the Louvre, 1642

Folio Book

This large volume was printed for Louis XIII, King of France 1610-1643, by the king’s bindery at the Louvre. Two of the validating clues are the half-dollar sized, original and intact crimson wax seals exhibiting the king’s coat of arms on the title page. This important historic artifact has been the focus of two Spring term classes and numerous department “open-houses” since 2013 when it was rediscovered in the collection. While the binding is in dire need of conservation, the deckle edged print block is sound and the quality of the paper within is outstanding. The book was given to W&L Special Collections by Friend of the Library James L. Green, ‘84L.

Before Restoration

Generously adopted by Jonathan Banks of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in appreciation of the Washington and Lee University Deans and Staff of Residential Life

Restored

George Washington to his nephew George Augustine Washington, August 6, 1787

Letter

George Washington wrote this three page letter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Constitutional Convention. The recipient was his nephew, George, who was overseeing affairs at Mt. Vernon. In this letter, Washington inquires about interior maintenance projects in the main house, crops, livestock, a well digging project, and the arrival and installation of the famous cupola which adorns the main house to this day. Estate craftsmen, possibly slaves, are mentioned by name. Washington does not mention the convention, likely due to the gag order in place for the attendees.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by The Goodrich Family: Julie, David, Katherine '06 and Christian

Restored

Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments…, London, 1863

Book

Reverend Moses Drury Hoge returned to Richmond from England in 1863, having overseen from London the Atlantic crossing of some 300, 000 religious printed materials. Besides his baggage from the extended overseas mission, he had with him an important delivery for General Robert E. Lee – a small, finely bound, embossed Bible, complete with brass edging, a clasp, and both Testaments. As you can imagine, having both Testaments printed in a “pocket” Bible makes for very small print. A year later, in August 1864, that unbearable font inspired Lee to write his daughter Mary and ask that she exchange the little Bible for one “more agreeable to my eyes.” Spring forward thirty years, Robert’s son Custis, then president of W&L, was the keeper of the Hoge Bible until its presentation to Professor Addison Hogue, nephew of Moses Hoge. Addison owned the book until 1920 when, upon his retirement, he gifted the heirloom to the University.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by The Goodrich Family: Julie, David, Katherine '06 and Christian

Restored

The generall historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles : with the names of the adventurers, planters, and governours from their first beginning ano. 1584 to this present 1626…, by John Smith, Printed in London, 1627

Book

Like so many of the treasures found within the rare book holdings of W&L Special Collections, this book possesses attributes well beyond those of the more common existing copies of this scarce and historically important volume — the 1627 printing of John Smith’s personal history of the Virginia Company and its territories with its maps and fold out illustrations intact. Its Virginia map is one of the most sought after maps in existence amongst western institutions and collectors. So, what makes our copy unique among others? Our golden attribute is the book’s provenance — the detailed lineage of ownership that is inscribed throughout its opening leaves by its many caretakers beginning in 1782 and spanning 114 years. For its first 150 years of existence, though, including its Atlantic crossing, mystery still shrouds its history. Our book’s lineage begins in 1782. One handwritten inscription tells us it was owned by the sixteenth governor of North Carolina, Benjamin Smith, who had been George Washington’s aide to camp during the Revolution. Later the book was purchased by another North Carolina family, the Clitheralls, who made note of each transfer of ownership for many years and, who, through an Army surgeon in the family, shared the book with future U.S. President Zachary Taylor and General Winfield Scott. Taylor and Scott’s bold Mexican — American War era signatures, among others, grace the fly leaf. It is likely that through an Army association, the book found its way to one of Virginia’s most famous families, the Lees. It was in their Lexington library until its presentation to Washington and Lee University in 1896 by G.W.C. Lee, at the point of his retirement as University President. He personally penned the book’s final inscription.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Walter J. Maytham '52 and Donna Maytham

Restored

Washington and Lee’s Cornerstone Document

Letter

For every alumnus and friend of Washington and Lee, the story of George Washington’s generous and timely benefaction to Liberty Hall Academy in 1796, is one of those pieces of history that define the character of our great University. Likewise, the letter from Washington to the Liberty Hall Board of Trustees, dated June 19th, 1798, in which he thanks them for renaming the school Washington Academy in his honor is one of the University’s signature cornerstone documents. In spring 2014, that remarkable single-page letter underwent a complete restoration by the Etherington Conservation Services of Greensboro, North Carolina. The conservation treatment involved the removal of cellulose acetate lamination (applied in an earlier conservation treatment) and aqueous deacidification. Repair work to the folds using Japanese tissue paper and a linen case pamphlet enclosure with leather label completed the work.

A generous donation from J. Thomas Touchton ’60 and Lavinia Witt Touchton in honor of Farris Pierson Hotchkiss ’58 covered the cost of the restoration and rehousing.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by J. Thomas Touchton ’60 and Lavinia Witt Touchton

Restored

Lee Letter to Trustees of Washington College

Letter

On August 24, 1865, in response to the news from Washington College Rector, Judge John W. Brockenbrough, that the board of trustees of Washington College had unanimously elected him president of the College, Robert E. Lee wrote his reply to the trustees. He explained that because he was unable to teach courses and because he did not want “to be the cause of animadversion”, Lee believed he should decline the presidency. Then, in effect, he accepted the position. “Should you however take a different view,” Lee wrote, “& think that my services in the positon tendered me by the Board will be advantageous to the College and Country, I will yield to your judgment and accept it. The board did indeed think that Lee’s services would be most advantageous and told him so.

One of the most important cornerstone documents in Washington and Lee’s collection, this piece was restored in 2014 through the generosity of Walter J. Maytham ’52 and Donna Maytham of Sarasota, Florida.

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Walter J. Maytham ’52 and Donna Maytham

Adopted

Cicero's Epistolarum ad Familiares, vols. 1 and 2

Book

Before Restoration

Generously adopted by Ms. Lisa Moore of Staunton, Virginia

Featured Pieces

Washington and Lee/ Jacob Fuller Scrapbook, 19th century

Folio Book

This rich volume originally served as a Ledger for the town of Rockbridge Baths, near Lexington, but was repurposed by Jacob Fuller as a scrapbook/commonplace book to contain numerous documents and other materials important to the history of Washington and Lee University. The original ledger information is written in iron gall ink, and is partially visible. Fifty-seven attachments remain in the volume, many of them adhered in a staggered fashion to allow for access of materials. The binding is worn and fractured along the spine, and two large printed clippings have been mounted to the front.

The volume will be fully restored, and will be housed in a custom-made clamshell box.

Before Restoration

Estimated cost of restoration: $8,220.00

Restored

Lee's First Report to the Board (1866)

Letter

In June 1866, scarcely eight months after assuming the presidency of Washington College, Robert E. Lee wrote his first official report to the board of trustees.  Lee goes into great detail describing the rebuilding of a school that had been decimated by the late war.  His first paragraph sets the tone:    
Owing to the impracticability of completing the repairs to the College buildings, and of restoring the furniture & apparatus destroyed by Genl. Hunter’s Army in 1864, the
exercises of the session did not commence till the 2nd of October 1865.
An official document which has always resided in the University Archives, this seven-page report, recorded entirely in Robert E. Lee’s impeccable script, had been folded, docketed and filed away for the past 150 years.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Generously adopted by Parents Leadership Council 2015--2016 in honor of President Kenneth P. Ruscio on the occasion of his retirement and in recognition of his support of parents and families. March 12, 2016