The Vann Victorian Collection is a treasure of the University of North Texas Libraries and an exceptional resource for the study of Victorian literature. This exhibit showcases some pieces from the collection, including rare first editions, part-issue editions and association copies. Dr. J. Don Vann, Professor Emeritus at UNT, curated this exhibit.
Don and Dolores Vann began collecting Victorian books in 1962, when they acquired a first edition of Dickens’s Bleak House. They spent the summer of 1965 in London, conducting research in the British Library and buying first editions of works by Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. During their subsequent trips to London, the Vanns came to know many of the city’s booksellers and were offered first editions they kept hidden from all but their most favorite customers.
In 2004 Don and Dolores established the Vann Victorian Endowment to provide a permanent fund to purchase Victorian books for the Vann Victorian Collection in Special Collections at the University of North Texas Libraries. Since 2004 the Vanns have made additional contributions to the collection, most recently in 2014.
The exhibit runs September 2nd – January 9th in the Judge Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room of the Special Collections Department, located on the 4th floor of Willis Library. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the normal hours of the reading room. Please check the reading room schedule in advance before planning a visit.
A digital version of the exhibit, as well as videos of Dr. Vann talking about his life as a collector may be viewed at University Libraries Exhibits, The Vann Victorian Collection.
To learn more, see the UNT News article: UNT library to display Vann Victorian Collection through Jan.9. 2015.