August 12, 2009
Revisiting the Gift of Anne and Robert Levine
Twenty years ago, the Special Collections Research Center was presented with a gift of interesting and unusual items from the estate of Anne and Robert Levine, founders of Cleveland's legendary Publix Book Mart. Among the assorted volumes is a collection of american commonplace books, friendship albums and diaries from the mid 19th century. Aided by a growing number of resources available online, we recently began researching and describing these materials in greater detail than has been practicable.
Of note are three items written by William Edward Coale, M.D.,(1816-1865), Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Maryland and U.S. Navy Surgeon. Adding depth and breadth to our research were the following advertisement for one of his publications, found in a literary journal of the day, and, The Transactions of the American Medical Association's obituary printed in 1886.
The Coale manuscripts consist of:
• A Friendship album inscribed on flyleaf October, 1833 and William Edward Coale stamped in ink on the first page. 10 x 16.5 cm. 1833-1858. MS 1 bound volume with inscriptions and verse written by friends and relatives of the owner. Stamped on spine: Stam-Buck. Also with letters, plant leaves and some ephemeral items tipped in.
• A Common Place Book of Poetry Commenced September 12, 1833 by William Edward Coale inscribed on p. 3. 19.5 x 23 cm. 1833-1858. MS 1 bound volume with inscriptions and verse written by friends and relatives of the owner. Stamped on spine: Poetry and Belles Lettres. Also with some loose manuscript pages.
• A Private Journal of a Cruize(sic) around the World during the years 1838, 1839, 1840. 28 x 22 cm. entries for 1838. MS 1 bound volume describing the voyage of the U.S.S. Columbia from the Gosport Navy Yard to the Indian Ocean with accounts of time spent on shore in South America and Africa. Stamped on spine: Index Herum.
We will post more information and images as these charming pieces of Americana are studied in greater detail.