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   from the issue of January 5, 2006


Libraries dedicate new Cather collections


Two new collections on Willa Cather have been dedicated at the UNL Libraries, bringing the total number of Cather collections on campus to 11.

HISTORIC SELECTIONS - Some of the items in the UNL Libraries' newly dedicated Cather collections include (clockwise from top left) a...
HISTORIC SELECTIONS - Some of the items in the UNL Libraries' newly dedicated Cather collections include (clockwise from top left) a colorful, handdrawn letter from Stephan Tennant, a letter by Cather to her father, Cather's bank book cataloging income from her books, a number of photos of Cather, some posed, others of a trip to Virginia, and a letter from Cather to her sister. All 11 of the Cather collections are available in the University Archives.

According to UNL Libraries officials, that makes UNL the world's center at which to study the life and work of Cather, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and 1895 University of Nebraska graduate.

The James R. and Susan J. Rosowski Cather Collection, was given by a private and anonymous donor who wished to give the collected materials in honor of the Rosowskis. The collection is composed of correspondence and other primary source materials written by Cather and members of her circle, including Edith Lewis, Stephen Tennant and family members. According to Katherine Walter, chair of the Libraries' Digital Initiatives and Special Collections Department, this collection reveals, in many cases, Cather's feelings and thoughts. Walter said it may be one of the UNL Libraries' finest Cather collections.

The Susan J. Rosowski Papers and Library features Rosowski's scholarship and library of materials on Cather gathered in her more than 30 years as a professor of English at UNL, when she became one of the world's leading Cather scholars. Her collection joins that of other important Cather scholars represented at UNL.

"Sue's papers and library are a true resource for students and researchers," Walter said.

Jim Rosowski, a professor of biological sciences at UNL, said he felt it was a wonderful tribute to his wife that the UNL Libraries was keeping Susan's scholarly materials together, as they illustrate her own "pathway of discovery" into the work of Willa Cather.

During the dedication, Jim Rosowski made an additional contribution to the Cather Collections. Although Susan was interested in artifacts and ephemera related to Cather's writing, she was not a collector of Cather's first editions or other material, with one exception, he said. He told the story of how a good friend notified them about some books in an antique mall that were possibly owned by Willa Cather but were unrecognized as such. The Rosowskis drove to the mall and purchased, for $8.50, a leather-bound booklet of poems, "Glorious Mother," that contained the inscription in Cather's hand, "From The Four: Willa, Loretta, Emma, and Arthur."

During Susan Rosowski's years at UNL and under her leadership of the Cather Project, collections at UNL and respect for Cather as an author grew exponentially.

"Susan's death last year (2004) touched everyone deeply, but through this gift, her contributions to Cather scholarship will continue on into the future," Walter said.



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Libraries dedicate new Cather collections
Chancellor outlines endeavors for 2006