Columbia Library columns (v.10(1960Nov-1961May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.10,no.1(1960:Nov): Page 3  


The Wide-Ranging Collector:
George Arthur Plimpton


OCATION and avocation do not usually complement
:)r compliment each other: Theodore Roosevelt's bird
watching, his cousin's stamp collecting, and Winston
Churchill's bricklaying and oil painting had little to do with their
respective governmental lives. Few men happily blend their busi¬
ness and non-business lives into a harmonious whole.

Columbia is, however, the beneficiary of a unique combination
of vocation and avocation — the George Arthur Plimpton col¬
lection of educational manuscripts and early printed books. This
was the gift of an educational publisher who, as he calmly put it
in the preface of his "The Education of Shakespeare", had

"the privilege to get together the manuscripts and books \\hich are
more or less responsible for our present civilization, because they are
the books from which the youth of many centuries have received
their education."

The Plimpton Library came to Columbia just before the do¬
nor's death in 1936; originally housed in Low Library, it is now
in the Special Collections Department in Butler Library. There a
striking portrait of the donor, by Blanche Ames (Mrs. Cakes
Ames) of Boston, presides benignly but searchingly over some
  v.10,no.1(1960:Nov): Page 3