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UNT library to display Vann Victorian Collection

The Vann Victorian Collection held by the UNT Libraries is on display through Jan. 9. The exhibit will be in the Judge Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room of the libraries’ Special Collections Department, located on the fourth floor of Willis Library. This exhibit is the first UNT Special Collections exhibition to feature a digital video component that can be displayed on a smart phone or tablet. 

The exhibit will feature rare first editions and part-issue editions of works by Victorian authors including Charles Dickens, George Meredith and William Makepeace Thackeray. J. Don Vann, UNT professor emeritus in the Department of English, a Victorian literature scholar and founder of the Denton Dickens FellowshDon and Dolores Vannip, curated this exhibit.

“You can actually walk around and look at each item in more depth with your phone or tablets,” said Morgan Gieringer, head of special collections. “We have several videos of Dr. Vann that go along with different items and elaborate on how he found them.”

J. Don Vann and his wife, Dolores Vann, right, 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 Dickens and Thackeray. During their subsequent trips to London, the Vanns came to know many of the city’s booksellers and were offered first editions the sellers kept hidden from all but their favored customers.

The digital portion of the exhibit features videos of Vann talking about his life as a collector and photos of the rare books from several angles and different page views. The online component can be viewed here.

In 2004, the Vanns 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 this year

—Natalie Caballero, student assistant, news promotions

Posted on: Mon 06 October 2014

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