WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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This collection, and others that illuminate the black experience through history, tell a crucial American story — giving faculty, stu- dents, and researchers rich opportunities for scholarship and learning." Professor William E. Cain, a Mary Jewett Gaiser Professor of English, has been teaching at Wellesley College since 1978 and uses many pieces from the Elbert Collection to make history come alive for his students. "I have made use of the Elbert Collection in my own work, and students in my courses have benefited from it as well," Professor Cain remarked. "The many books and materials are richly complex and illuminating, and often deeply troubling, for both their individual and collective insights into and lessons about race, racism, and race relations. The Elbert Collection is extraordinary — a mag- nificent resource for the study of American and African-American literature and history." The expanse of the Elbert Collection is impressive, containing far too many valuable pieces to list or discuss here. Among the noteworthy items is a copy of Twelve Years a Slave, a slave narrative by Solomon Northup. A movie based on the book won a Best Picture Oscar in 2014. Other notable titles are: Collect Pamphlets, v.3, Speeches of John Quincy Adams; several books on the Grimke Sisters, the first American women to advocate against slavery as well as for women's rights; The Heart of Happy Hollow by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1904); and Shakespeare in Harlem by Langston Hughes (1942). The collection also contains auto- graphed copies of works by prominent African American poets and writers that were given to Mrs. Elbert, a friend to many in the Washington, D.C. black literary community. By 1938, the Elberts had amassed their largest collection and pre- sented it to Wellesley College in 1938 at Mrs. Elbert's fiftieth class reunion. The works therein documented the first African American newspapers including Freedom's Journal (1827); The Weekly Advocate (New York, 1837); North Star (Rochester, New York, 1847-65); and The Colored American (Augusta, Georgia, 1865-67), the first African American newspaper published in the South. Uncle Tom's Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Boston: J.P. Jewett; Cleveland: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852. C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y C O L L E G E L I B R A R Y , S P E C I A L C O L L E C T I O N S , E L L A S M I T H E L B E R T C O L L E C T I O N 112 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 Making History Come Alive

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