Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lafayette College Purchases Rare Antislavery Book

Someone recently donated a rare set of two early abolitionist texts (bound together) to the Bethlehem Area Public Library (PA) for its book sale: an 1833 first edition of Lydia Maria Child's An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called African and an 1840 second edition of The Slave: Memoirs of Archy Moore.

Due to the attention the book received, the library arranged a sealed-bid auction; the high bidder was Lafayette College's special collections librarian Diane Shaw, who purchased the book for use in the college's upcoming exhibit on the end of the slave trade, "For Captive Africa," which opens 11 October. The Allentown Morning Call has a short report. Shaw said of the purchase "What's so wonderful was that literally right down the road was a book perfect for what we're doing here in Easton."

The coordinator of the Bethlehem library sale said she got many calls expressing interest in the book, but was glad it would be staying in the region and that it will be housed at an educational institution. "That was my hope to begin with. It will be taken care of and more people will have access to it."

The amount of Lafayette's bid was not disclosed.