From The Toledo Blade
Scholars come from all over the country to view materials housed in The Blade Rare Book Room at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
The visits include one from a University of Iowa student who was working on his doctorate in English.
“His dissertation concerned the reaction of the Progressive Movement to the poetry of Walt Whitman,” said Michael Lora, the library’s special collections coordinator and the Rare Book Room curator. “He examined the six volumes written by Whitman in the personal library of Samuel ‘Golden Rule’ Jones, Toledo mayor and early proponent of the Progressive Movement.”
Mr. Jones’ personal library is housed in The Blade Rare Book Room. The fact that he marginalized and underlined much of his reading makes it useful to scholars studying him or the Progressive Movement, Mr. Lora said.
The Blade Rare Book Room gets about 10 visitors each week, he said.
Both the wood-paneled reading room and the vault behind it where about 1,500 books are stored are climate-controlled for temperature and humidity to better preserve the materials. Books in the vault, which only library staff can enter, are stored on their sides to better preserve the bindings.
The collection began when Edward Drummond Libbey died in 1925 and left a bequest for reference books that would stay in the collection. He also left his personal book collection to the library.