Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A treasure trove of books left to SFU by the late Emily McWhinney

The Special Collections Library at SFU received 2,600 books donated in memory of Emily McWhinney by her husband, international scholar Edward (Ted) McWhinney. Any book collector would be honoured to lay their hands on these wonderful books, and yet they will soon be available to the public. They include a set of Dickens' novels in the first edition, two inscribed first editions from Graham Greene, and a signed Gertrude Stein book, among other rare books.

Cecilia, or Memoirs of a Heiress (1782)

The body of the collection is literary in nature, including German children's books and Harlequin romances next to the Durrells and the Beardsleys. "Collecting books was an important intellectual escape for Emily. As her executor, it was important to reassure her that her library would be well cared for after her death," says Ted McWhinney. Emily's wish will come true: her beloved books will not only be well cared for, but also enjoyed greatly and cherished by those who now, thanks to her, have access to such exceptional books.

Junius. Stat nominus umbra (1813). Fore-edge painting of the Arundel Castle

For more about Emily McWhinney's life and her beginnings as a collector, go here.

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