January 15, 2014 - June 30, 2014
In 2011, the Redwood Library received the bequest of the personal library of Mr. Robert Campbell (“Zup”) James, reflecting the varied and specialized interests of this dedicated Member and supporter of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. This exhibition in the Rovensky Delivery Room vitrines includes items from his South-East Asia collection, Greek and Latin classics, and a selection of numerous “nonsense” and humorous verse titles contained within his library. The exhibition is open to the public whenever the Library is open.
Mr. James shared his creative, linguistic, and bibliographic talents for close to two decades on the Library Committee and for six years on the Board of Directors. His longtime annual gift of new and updated Loeb Classical Library editions and his humorous, often erudite, observations in Latin reflected his training in Classics from Yale University.
A man of sensibility and practicality, Mr. James was a strong proponent of deaccessioning unnecessary library books, often delivering a “throw ‘em out” casual wave of the hand. He understood the need for a dynamic library, a library that kept important titles for posterity while removing trendy titles after fickle popularity waned. He was a vocal supporter of the Library, whether by hosting librarian Lynda Brounaugh’s farewell party in 2006, providing creative ideas such as producing silver bookmarks for the Library’s 250th anniversary celebration, or, as former Director Cheryl Helms recalls in a recent missive, “relentlessly teasing me about my footfalls through the Reading Room.” One can almost picture his signature monocle lowered with a raise of his eyebrow towards the noise that disturbed the renowned Redwood silence that he often enjoyed between sojourns to the Newport Reading Room. We are honored to provide lasting access to a valuable cross-section of R. Campbell James’ personal library.