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60501-65500, 1908 - 1910

 Item — Box: 13, ledger: 1
Identifier: Ledger 1

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Northwestern University Library Accession Records document the growth of the Library's collections over the course of sixty-three years, spanning the careers of seven librarians, and representing the holdings of four successive library spaces. The Accession Records contain lists of the books and other Library materials acquired between December, 1878 and July, 1941.

Twenty-five custom ledger boxes contain individual bound volumes comprising the first official records of the library's acquisitions. They start with the first number assigned on December 1st, 1878--Butler, History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (Cincinnati, 1836)--and end with accession number 130500. Marginal notes indicate that the listings were often consulted, and were repeatedly updated with notes on the state of the original binding, re-binding, withdrawals, cost of replacement, and in many cases, the general physical condition. Donors mentioned in the early volumes include many now well-known Northwestern names, including William Deering, Orrington L. Lunt, Herbert F. Fisk, George Lunt, John Evans, the Hon. John Sherman (Secretary-Treasurer of the United States), Henry S. Noyes, R.S. Foster, and W.H. Rand.

The three custom ledger cases contain the accession records of the Greenleaf Collection. The ledger books are similar in format to the preceding ledger books in the series, though they often list books that were printed in the 1600s and include first editions of then promising young writers like Goethe and Hegel. The first volume of this group also contains a handwritten history of the collection. Numbers 3401-4000 in the first volume were mistakenly omitted, so the numbering proceeds from 3400 straight to 4001, but after 5000 the missing 3401-4000 were added.

Six final boxes contain unbound accession logs of a similar format to the bound editions. The entries in these books are somewhat abridged, lacking descriptions of the books' dimensions and bindings. The unbound logs also differ in that they are type-written, while the bound ledgers contain many examples of beautiful penmanship. The unbound volumes detail accession 130501 through 377,200, which was entered on 25 July, 1941.


  • 1908 - 1910


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


From the Collection: 34 Boxes

From the Collection: 6 Boxes (28 ledger cases)

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US