Past Library Gallery Exhibits | Burling Library, Lower Level – Grinnell, Iowa

Book Fool: Reading a Bibliophile’s Library | Fall 2021

Meet ‘the book fool’ and dive into the Salisbury House Library Collection’s next chapter. Learn more about the bibliophile who built this unique collection, the range of material that calls it home, and how it came to Grinnell College Special Collections. Featured items range from 1483 to the 1940s and include one-of-a-kind items, beautiful bindings, and a Shakespeare Second Folio.

September-January 2021

Visit the digital exhibit to revisit this exhibit.  Book Fool: A Digital Exhibit 

Past MagicBox Displays | Burling Library Lobby – Grinnell, Iowa

100 Years of Ulysses: in the Magic Box now.

Three special editions of​ Ulysses by James Joyce:

– Egoist Press, Paris. 1922. First English edition.

– Odyssey Press, Hamburg. 1932. Two volumes, first revised European edition. 

– Limited Editions Club, New York. 1935. Deluxe edition with illustrations by Henri Matisse. 

February 2022 marks 100 years of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the avant-garde novel considered his masterpiece. The novel is a modernist retelling of Homer’s epic Odyssey and follows the life of Leopold Bloom around Dublin on a fictional June 16, 1904. With a fraught publication history of censorship and obscenity trials, it is a primary example of modernist and experimental literature. See more of these and other unique copies at Grinnell in a digital exhibit, “100 Years of Ulysses.


The institution, laws and ceremonies of the most noble Order of the Garter. Collected by Elias Ashmole with illustrations by Wenceslaus Hollar. London: 1672.

This 1672 folio details the history of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and highest chivalric order in Britain. It features detailed illustrations of architecture of St. George’s Chapel, a location at Windsor Castle associated with the group, garb and processions of ceremonies, and more. This book most recently came off the shelf for a class visiting Special Collections this semester on the legacy of Saint George and we were wowed by the detail of Hollar’s illustrations.  Take a closer look!

October 2021-January 2022

Les Fleurs Animées by J.J. Grandville.

Published in Paris by Gabriel de Gonet 1847. Two volume set of satirical ‘flowers personified’ by a French caricaturist, both volumes are bound in a striking binding with gold stamping on the covers and spines. Printed lithograph illustrations throughout are hand tinted.

Take a look inside this edition in a project from Transylvania University Special Collections.

July 2021-September 2021


Ventures in Book Collection | Special Collections Reading Room

A selection of rare books from the 14th century to 1930. 

May 2021-August 2021

Past Salisbury House Library Features | Des Moines, Iowa

the boy in the bush (1924) by D.H. Lawrence & M.L. Skinner. 1924. First American edition published in New York: Thomas Seltzer. First English edition published in London: Martin Secker. 

Take a look at two first editions of the co-authored tale by Australian author Mollie Skinner and the infamous British author D.H. Lawrence. Published in 1924, The Boy in the Bush First American edition’s original dust wrapper was illustrated, a contrast to the simple, classic English design bearing only the title and authors. While both copies from the Salisbury House collection show signs of use, the English copy appears the most well-read with tears to the original paper wrapper and traces of past readers’ hands staining the cover.  

The novel follows Jack Grant, an English teen transplanted to Western Australia in 1882 and grows into young manhood amongst adventure and misfortune in the Australian bush among distant relatives. The British Lawrence was already an infamous author at the time of co-authorship and met Mollie Skinner on a visit to Australia in the 1920s when he and wife Freida stayed at her convalescent home and guest house in Perth. Born in Western Australia, educated in Britain and returning in the 1900s, Mollie was a relatively unknown author; during this first visit, she showed Lawrence the draft of a story that would become this novel, then called The House of Ellis. Impressed with Skinner’s mastery of describing the feeling of the Australian outback but finding her character development and imagination scattered, Lawrence remarked “You have been given the Divine Spark and would bury it in a napkin”. Together they co-authored the following novel with Lawrence contributing to Jack’s inner monologue, spiritualism, and desire known in his works. Their connection inspired Lawrence’s novel Kangaroo whose main character’s arc was inspired by Skinner’s brother. The story was adapted into a TV miniseries in 1984 starring Kenneth Branagh in one of his earliest film credits; he would portray D.H. Lawrence the following year in the TV film Coming Through.  

With parallels to Carl Weeks early life in the prairie and transplanting to live with relatives as a young man, did Carl see himself in Jack’s navigation and growing up in this novel? When he purchased these copies is not clear, but the American first edition passed through Harry F. Marks, a bookseller friend of Weeks whose silver sticker is visible on the back board. 

February-April 2024

The Iliad of Homer & The Notebooks from The Works of Samuel Butler
The Shrewsbury Edition
1923-1926. Edited by Henry Festing Jones and A.T. Bartholomew. London & New York: Jonathan Cape & E.P. Dutton & Company

Take a closer look at two volumes from a twenty volume set of the Works of Samuel Butler in the Salisbury House Library Collection. Printed in a collaboration between two publishers across the pond between 1923 and 1926, this set known as the Shrewsbury Edition created 20 volumes by the English novelist and scholar. A limited edition, 750 sets were printed, half to be for sale in Britain and the other half reserved for the American market–this is set #730.

This set holds a personal connection to Carl Weeks–while most of the volumes include a note that they arrived to Salisbury House December 12, 1927, 6 have Christmas greetings including from sons Bill, Lafe, and Everett and family friends. Were these gifts to complete a set? Did loved ones purchase this set for Carl as a group gift? No matter who gifted which, this was a well loved set by Carl! Many of the titles include his notes. One even holds a letter to be posted in Jamaica!

All books in the set are bound in blue with a vellum spine and gold tooled titles. The other titles in the set include: Canterbury Settlement, Collected Essays, The Authoress of the Odyssey, Alps and Sanctuaries, Erewhon, Erewhon Revisited, Evolution Old and New, Ex Voto, Life and Habit, The Fair Haven, The Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler, Luck or Cunning, The Odyssey of Homer, Unconscious Memory, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and The Way of All Flesh

December 2023-January 2024

The Paintings of D.H. Lawrence by D.H. Lawrence, with art by the author
1929. London: privately printed by Mandrake Press

A privately printed first edition printed for the Mandrake Press at the Botolph Printing Works in London. This edition was printed out of the series of 510 volumes and is one of 10 in an original vellum binding. The typography and publication was orchestrated by P.R. Stephensen with letterpress and color-work reproducing artwork done by William Dieper. Two letters from Lawrence to ‘Inky’ Stephensen are a part of D.H. Lawrence’s correspondence and part of the Salisbury House Library Collection. Much like his body of prose and poetry, Lawrence’s artwork–favoring oil paintings and watercolors–is explicit with eroticism and surrealist themes which faced contemporary criticism and censorship. A gallery exhibition of his work ended in a raid and seized paintings were returned to Lawrence only upon promise to never show his artwork in England again.

On display with an original piece by D.H. Lawrence in the Salisbury House art collection and 2 handwritten letters by the author.

September-December 2023

Moby Dick by Herman Melville, illustrated by Rockwell Kent

1930. Chicago: Lakeside Press

“Call me Ishmael.”

A special edition of Moby Dick in 3 volumes, produced by Lakeside Press of Chicago in 1930. Moby Dick was originally published in in 1851 by the American author Herman Melville. It’s acclaim as an American classic came after the author’s death and critical acclaim in the early 1900s.

This set is illustrated by Rockewell Kent, an artist and illustrator most well known for his woodblock prints. Salisbury House is home to a rare painting by Kent, hanging in Carl Week’s bedroom. The three volumes are in a deluxe publishers binding and stored in an original metal shelfcase.

June-September 2023

Salisbury Plain: Its Stones, Cathedral city, Valleys, & Folk by Ella Noyes with illustrations by Dora Noyes

1913. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Limited

This 1913 book chronicling the history, geography, folklore, and vignettes of life in Salisbury, England is one of many travel books the Weeks family collected. The family was inspired in their visits to the region for the construction—and name—of the future Salisbury House. Author Ella Noyes drew on expertise of the Salisbury region from Sir Richard Colt Hoare, John Aubrey, and the contemporary Magazine of the Wiltshire Archaeological Society and Wiltshire Notes and Queries among other sources on the local history and folk-lore. The book chronicles the geography, history, and life in Salisbury from the surroundings which include Stonehenge and the Avon River valley, smaller villages, and the cathedral town of Salisbury. Constructed in the 13th century, the Salisbury Cathedral holds the tallest cathedral spire in Britain and is the home to one four original Magna Cartas. Line drawings and reproduced watercolor illustrations throughout were produced by the author’s sister, Dora. The Salisbury Plain was published by J.M. Dent & Sons Limited, a British firm most well known for producing the Temple Press Shakespeare editions and Everyman’s Library.

March-June 2023

The Romance of Perfume by Richard le Gallienne. 1928. New York & Paris: Richard Hudnut, perfumer.

“Perfume is a poem to be breathed in.” This slim volume provides an overview of the romance surrounding perfumes, their origins and uses around the world, a glimpse into the crafting of scents, and lines from poets and authors across centuries describing scents and perfumes in their work. Written by Richard le Galliene, an English author and poet imbued in the bohemian lifestyle of Paris in the 1920s, this volume is completed with sumptuous art-deco illustrations throughout by George Barbier, a French illustrator. It was published by Richard Hudnut (1855-1928), an American cosmetics businessman based in New York and Paris. Included in the back of the book is a booklet featuring Hudnut’s Paris parfumerie shop and scents for sale from the brand. A contemporary of Carl Weeks, we don’t yet know when and where this book joined the Weeks library. Perhaps Carl and Edith picked it up at the No. 20 rue de la paix salon during a trip to Paris or Hudnut and Armand Company were swapping trade knowledge.  

On display with this book is a notebook of original perfume recipes from Carl’s time at Armand. This notebook remains in the Salisbury House archive.

January-February 2023

The Well at the World’s End by William Morris. 1896. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press.

The Salisbury House Library Collection features 14 titles from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, one of the most influential presses of the arts and craft movement. The Well at the World’s End is one of the press’s most famous works authored by Morris. The high fantasy novel draws from myth and was influential for the future of the fantasy writers and inspiring authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  

William Morris established Kelmscott Press in the 1890s to create beautifully crafted books. Inspired by the aesthetics and quality of medieval and Renaissance European books, many Kelmscott works were created on handmade paper with bespoke type and decoration applied by a handpress. This edition of Well at the World’s End is bound in limp vellum with green silk ties to imitate a historical book structure.  

September 2022-January 2023

English Gardens by H. Avray Tipping. 1925. London: Country Life, Ltd.

This large, glossy folio was produced by Country Life in 1925. Country Life Magazine was founded in 1897 and is still in circulation. From the introduction: “This volume illustrates and describes fifty-two English gardens as they are in our own times. Some of them are new creations, but many have links more or less strong with the past, so that, despite alterations arising from passage of time and change of taste, we can get, through them, a glimpse of what Tudor, Stuart, and Hanoverian gardening was like.”

The author H. Avray Tipping (1855-1933) was an Architectural editor for Country Life Magazine for 17 years. A French-born British writer, he was an expert on country houses and gardens as well as a garden designer and writer. His garden designs were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and his friends Gertrude Jekyll, Harold Peto, and Edwin Lutyens, the most famous horticulturists associated with the movement. His gardens frequently featured hedges as boundaries, long grass greens, lush planting and areas remaining wild alongside planned beds and sculpted topiaries.

Gardens and the English style were interests of the Weeks family and the topics are found in their library. These books and the family’s travels to Europe inspired their plans for the grounds and gardens of Salisbury House, visible through the library window.

June-September 2022

In 1944 Limited Editions Club created a photo album edition of Wendell Willkie’s One World, a non-fiction travelogue from 1943. Willkie documented a 49 day journey around a world in the midst of WWII. Spending four months at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, it remains one of the greatest nonfiction bestsellers and is credited as a perspective shifting book for many Americans. Trained as a lawyer, Willkie became a statesman first as a Democrat, then as a liberal Republican sharing many New Deal philosophies with President FDR. He countered many of the 

isolationist opinions about WWII, calling for internationalism abroad and equality in the US. In One World he sought to impart to Americans an understanding of an interconnected world and that “our thinking in the future must be world-wide.” Through his travels he met with citizens and world leaders of Allied nations, chronicling particularly his visits to Cairo, Russia, and China. In his writing he advocates for the end to colonialism, calls for international collaboration, and the necessity of civil rights in the US. Willkie would go on to run as a Republican candidate in the 1944 Presidential election. He died suddenly in the fall of 1944 but is remembered as an influential statesman and activist. In this volume Willkie’s groundbreaking account is accompanied by photographs assembled from press agencies and photographers around the world to document “the faces and the places that Willkie saw”. Designed by George Macy, the book was printed and bound by the American Book-Staford Press to include a leather spine and a reproduction of a painting of the cosmos by D. Owen Stephens. All 1500 copies are signed by the author. 

March-May 2022

A limited edition of Storiella as She is Syung, an excerpt from James Joyce’s “Work in Progress” which would become Finnegan’s Wake. A large 4to printed at Corvinus Press, first edition. Bound in a publisher’s design of orange vellum with gilt lettering on the cover and spine, with a gold bird on the back cover. Custom orange box. 175 were printed on Arnold handmade paper. Lucia Joyce, the author’s daughter, illuminated the initial letter of this edition. February 2022 marked James Joyce’s 140th birthday.

January-March 2022

Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl by John Greenleaf Whittier. This 1930s Limited Editions Club book features a long narrative poem of stories told around the fire by a family weathering a winter storm together in an idyllic rural New England home. Written originally as a gift from the author to his family, the poem was first published in February 1866—7,000 copies were sold on its first day of sale. Whittier was best known as an abolitionist and is remembered as one of America’s “fireside poets” of the 19th century. The poem can be read in its entirety at PoetryFoundation.Org.

November-December 2021

The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman. Limited Editions Club 1943 edition in a full tan saddle leather with stamping by illustrator Maynard Dixon, the artist of pen drawings and paintings throughout.

July 2021-August 2021


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This three volume set from the Limited Editions Club brings together favorite Sherlock Holmes mysteries like A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes as they were printed in the 1890s with original illustrations. The deluxe set was designed by W.A. Dwiggins and feature covers mimicking the infamous walls of 221B Baker Street–the ‘wallpapered’ boards feature bullet holes left by Holmes and a cameo portrait of his associate Dr. John Watson.

September-October 2021

Previous Salisbury House Library Features