The Gift to Sing: Exhibit in The Bancroft Library Gallery

The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack & Bancroft Library African American Collections

When: September 23, 2016 – February 17, 2017
Where: The Bancroft Library Gallery, 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday (excluding holidays)

The Gift to Sing - Exhibit in The Bancroft Library Gallery
Home to Harlem. By Claude McKay, 1965. From the collection of Leon F. Litwack. Digitally altered from the original for the exhibition texts.

For decades professor emeritus of history Leon F. Litwack has been accumulating what is arguably the world’s finest private collection of books on African American history and culture. This exhibition displays highlights of the collection that will be coming to The Bancroft Library as a bequest. The Litwack collection is particularly noteworthy for its Harlem Renaissance first editions in strikingly illustrated dust jackets. The exhibition includes books with distinguished provenance such as a copy of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave with an inscription by the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Complementing the Litwack books are treasures from Bancroft’s significant African American holdings, including the first book by an African American, Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, published in 1773.

Post submitted by:
David Faulds, Curator of Rare Books and Literary Manuscripts, The Bancroft Library