Middle East & Islamic Studies Collection

History and Development of the Cornell University Library Collections on the Middle East

© Cornell University Library, The Middle East & Islamic Studies Bibliographer, 1996


The beginnings of the Cornell University Library's collections on the Near East, like the beginnings of the Library itself, predate the October 8, 1868, opening of the University. Two years earlier, in the Report of the Committee on Organization, October 21, 1866 (Albany, 1867), Andrew D. White had discussed in thoughtful detail aims and methods for the formation of a library for the proposed university. The methods included the submission of booklists by faculty members, the checking of publishers' and booksellers' catalogs, and "the purchase wholly, or in part, of carefully gathered special collections of private individuals."

In March 1868, President-elect White set out for Europe to visit the leading institutions of agricultural and industrial education, to recruit professors, and to purchase laboratory apparatus, equipment, and most particularly books. Armed with booklists from faculty appointees and with an $11,000 library book appropriation voted by the Trustees in February 1868, White reported making "large purchases of books at Paris, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Berlin and London."

The Bopp and Anthon Libraries

In Berlin White found the first of a succession of scholarly private book collections which, as he envisioned it, would form a ready-made nucleus for the Library of the new University. The 2,500 volume personal library of the renowned University of Berlin philologist Franz Bopp was offered for sale en bloc by the scholar's widow. White reported to the Trustees that

Advice coming in upon me from many of our most esteemed scholars urging this step, and the printed catalogue showing it to be in many respects an unique collection and of a very high character, I entered into correspondence with those having it in charge, and finally secured it at a price considerably below my anticipation. I may say that immediately after the conclusion of our arrangement, a larger sum was offered by another institution. [1]

The printed Catalog der aus dem Nachlasse des in Berlin verstorben Professor's Franz Bopp zum Verkauf stehenden Bibliothek (Berlin, 1868), classified by subjects, divides the 1,478 titles into the following categories:

80 Orientalist and general philogical journals and series; 188 works of general and comparative mythology, history, cultural history, geography, etc.; 38 works on Oriental languages and literature in general, Buddhism, etc.; 39 works on Egyptian, Coptic, African, American Indian, and Polynesian languages; 40 works on the Tatar languages, Scythian, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Turkoman, Turkish, etc.; 129 works on the Semitic languages, Hebrew and Chaldee, Phoenician, Syriac, Assyrian and Arabic (including 15 Arabic grammars, dictionaries, and chrestomathies, and 51 works on Arabic literature); 360 works on Sanskrit philology; 31 works on Persian philology; 22 works on the Caucasian languages and Armenian; 179 works on Greek and Latin philology and classical archaeology; 30 works on Modern Greek, Albanian, Romance languages, and Basque; 101 works on the Germanic languages; 77 works on the Slavic and Lithuanian languages; 28 works on the Celtic languages; 61 works on theology, philosophy, belles lettres, and comparative literature; and 35 miscellaneous works.

At the Trustees meeting on July 29, 1868, at which White reported on his European acquisitions, the Trustees authorized the purchase of the 7,000volume library of the Columbia College professor of classics Charles Anthon. The Anthon library, dealing broadly with classical languages and literatures and ancient history, added to the University's holdings on the philology and history of the ancient Near East.

The Beginnings of Instruction Relating to the Near East

The first instruction in a Near Eastern language offered in the College of Languages of the University is listed in the Cornell University Register for 1868-69, which states that "Instruction in Hebrew is given by Professor Wilson." The recoed shows that Wilson did "occasionally" have a few students in Hebrew, but one might wonder as to the value of the instruction in view of Morris Bishop's characterization of the professor:

From the University's opening, the Reverend William D. Wilson had been in charge of Philosophy, the Registrar's office, and any miscellaneous subject that happened to be demanded. Most people agreed that he was a dear old white-bearded saint; but he represented the clerical amateurism of earlier times, when godliness redeemed every lack of intellectual rigor. [2]

In the 1870-71 Register, Wilson's Hebrew course was joined by a course in Persian taught by Professor (and Librarian) Willard Fiske. In 1871 the course is reported to have attracted six students, who met in Fiske's study in the evening. [3] Fiske, who was a remarkable linguist, had taken up Persian studies while employed by the Astor Library from 1852 to 1859, and a description of his personal library during that period refers to a number of Persian texts and philological works then in his possession. [4]

In response to these beginnings of Near East studies, during the 1872-73 academic year the Orientalist periodical Zeitschrift der Morgenlaendischen Gesellschaft made its appearance in the Reading Room of the Library, then located in the McGraw Building (now McGraw Hall).

Felix Adler

In the University's 1874-75 Register and Catalogue there appears a considerably more ambitious program for Oriental studies than anything appearing previously:

Instruction will be given in Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Hebrew, and the other Semitic languages as there may be classes of students requiring them. In the department of "Hebrew and Oriental Literature and History" instruction will be imparted chiefly by lectures. The main subject of study will be the literature and history of the ancient Hebrews. As, however, experience shows that the national idea of this people cannot be studied to advantage, in its growth and development, without some knowledge of the relations it bears to those eastern nations by which Palestine is surrounded, a preliminary course of lectures will be devoted to a discussion of such other forms of oriental thought and life as are important in this connection.

For a thorough appreciation of any literature a knowledge of the language it is written is indispensable. Those who desire to do so will have an opportunity to study the language of the Old Testament under the direction of the Professor of the department. It is to be hoped that in time, sufficient interest in this direction will be developed to warrant the establishment of classes for the Arabic, Syriac, and other cognate languages to the Hebrew, and that Semitic philology in the term's best and widest sense will find a home at the University.

The hopes expressed in these paragraphs were related to the offer in March 1874 of a group headed by the New York financier Joseph Seligman to endow for three years a Chair of Hebrew and Oriental Literature and History, on the condition that Seligman should nominate the incumbent. The negotiations were concluded just in time for President White to make a last-moment insertion in his July 1, 1874, report to the Trustees, describing the terms of the arrangement:

I wish to speak of the establishment of the new Professorship of Hebrew and Oriental Literature and History.

This was done by certain eminent gentlemen of the Hebrew faith in the City of New York. These gentlemen called to mind that provision i our Charter which declares persons of any religious sect, or of no religious sect equally eligible to all offices and appointments. They therfore proposed to found such a Professorship as that above named.

The gift conferred was the interest of $20,000.00 for three years, with the purpose of then turning over the principal sum above named to the University, if the arrangement should be found mutually satisfactory.

The arrangement was accepted by the Executive Committee, and Dr. Felix Adler was called to the Professorship.

Dr. Adler took his first degree at Colunbia College, and afterward studied at the University of Heidelburg, where he received his doctorate. His career even this far has shown very thorough scholarship, and his powers as a lecturer are of a high order.

Adler was young, handsome, and popular with the students. His lectures attracted large audiences and many visitors, especially among the ladies of Ithaca. His controversial and outspoken views on contemporary religious, philosophical and ethical matters made him a continual target of those who wished to attack the University. Although these attackers found it difficult to define exactly the heretical nature of Adler's lectures, in Acting President Russel's words "people talk about 'the tendency, the tendency!'" The Acting President was often hard pressed in defending Adler's right to express his views. In the judgement of Morris Bishop, however, from the point of view of the University administration, Adler's shortcoming was simply that "he would not stick to his subject," meaning instruction in Hebrew and related Semitic studies. After two years it became clear that the expectation of systematic instruction in Semitics was not being realized. Consequently, in 1876 the University quietly dropped Adler's services, to the considerable indignation of his sponsor Mr. Seligman. Adler returned to New York City where he later found the well known and still extant Society of Ethical Culture.

With Adler's departure the teaching of Hebrew reverted to Professor Wilson, who added to his repertory instruction in Chaldee and Ancient Syriac, "whenever there are classes desiring them."5 Professor Fiske's course in Modern Persian was listed in theRegister and Catalogue through 1879-80, but the wording of the offer--"The Professor is ready to begin a new class whenever there are students desirous of pursuing it"--makes it clear that the demand for this course was infrequent.

Frederick Louis Otto Roehrig

Throughout the 1870's, a startling proliferation of courses in Oriental languages resulted form the singlehanded efforts of one of the University's more colorful characters, the polyglot Frederick Louis Otto Roehrig. Roehrig was born in Germany and educated at the University of Halle, before taking an assortment of diplomatic, medical and language-teaching posts in Turkey, Greece, France, the American Northwest, and elsewhere. His recreation was the acquiring of languages, and his numerous publications ranged in subject from a Turkish grammar, which won him a decoration from the Sultan, to Smithsonian contributions on several American Indian languages. Roehrig came to Cornell in 1869 as Assistant Professor of French, and thereafter the University Register and Catalogueblossomed with the successive offerings of a bewildering array of Oriental languages. The Register and Catalogue for 1879-80 gives the following account of the development of this instruction:

Professor Roehrig gives the instruction in the living Asiatic Languages and in the Sanskrit, Old Persian and Arabic. Prof. Roehrig commenced with an elementary course in Chinese, which lasted two years. He then added instruction in Japanese (grammar, practical exercises in the Hiragana character, etc.) At the same time, he delivered lectures to the students on Mantchoos, Turkish, the Tartar languages, Turanian Philology, etc. A two years' course of Arabic followed, and finally Sanskrit has become one of the principal objects of this department.

The Professor also presents to his classes, in succession from year to year, grammatical outlines and philological sketches of such languages of the East, as may be most instructive and of particular interest to the student of ethnographical philology and general linguistic science.

While some of Roehrig's courses in seemingly exotic subjectc drew large numbers of students, for the most part the classes were small. For example, his annual reports relate that in 1878-79 the course in Ancient Arabic drew six students, while Modern Arabic drew three; in 1879-80 there was only one student in Arabic; in 1880-81 there were ten students; and in 1881-82 there were nine studentsthe first term, seven the second term, and four the third term. Roehrig commented that "though the classes were comparatively small--which cannot be expected otherwise in this elevated and difficult order of studies...these classes contained some of the best and [most] thorough studentsof the University." [6] Roehrig described as follows the varied purposes of students taking his Arabic courses:

Some of the students that studied Arabic had already studied Hebrew and had in view mainly a comparative study of these two Semitic tongues, others of the Jewish persuasion and well acquainted with Hebrew took Arabic to gain a broader foundation to their knowledge. One or two members of the class came with the intention of acquiring the language practically, as they were contemplating travel in the East, or doing business in those countries. [7]

Although Acting President Russel, contended that the Oriental language courses "cost the University nothing as long as Professor Roehrig remains Assistant Professor of French, which is his principal duty," [8] this was decidedly not the view of Professor of T. F. Crane upon becoming head of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in 1882. Crane wrote that "from the very outset it was the misfortune of the department to have those whose interests lay in other departments and whose time was occupied with other subjects. ...Professor Roehrig has long been engaged in teaching the Oriental languages and is able to devote but five or ten hours a week to French." [9] In 1884 Crane succeeded in having Roehrig relieved of his responsibilities for teaching the French language, and the 1885-86 Register revealed Roehrig undertaking an ambitious schedule of instruction in Sanskrit, ancient and modern Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Malayan.

In 1885 a Trustees' Committee on Salaries and Reorganization of Departments was appointed to enquire, among other things, as to "what instructors or employees can be dispensed with, without detriment to the success and and efficiency of the University." President Adams, in his 1885-86 Annual Report, summarized the conclusions of the Committee that

the demand for instruction in the Department of Sanskrit and Modern Oriental Languages during some years past has not been sufficient to justify the continuance of the professorship beyong the end of the present year. They [i.e. the Trustees' Committee] expressed the belief, that while it was by no means certain that the University ought not, ultimately, to have courses in Comparative Philology, such instruction, to be successful, must rest upon the broad basis of well-organized and well-equipped classical departments. In the interest of linguistic study they therefore recommended that the Classical department be strengthened by receiving one more instructor than is at present employed, and that the department of Sanskrit and Oriental languages be discontinued after the end of the present year.

As one historian of the University concluded,

The instruction was not co-ordinated with the courses in classics, and did not contribute to genuine phililogical study. Few students had the requisite preparation for their successful pursuit, and upon the resignation of the professor the department came to an end. [10]

Professor Roehrig was the object of many amusing stories, a few of which are recalled from the oral tradition by Romeyn Berry in his reminiscences Behind the Ivy (1950). Some of the anecdotes poking gentle ridicule at "this phenominal linguist, this abyss of learning" (in Morris Bishop's characterization) concern Roehrig's thick German accent in pronouncing English which led to grave doubts on the part of the administration with respect to his efforts to impart the true pronunciation of French and other languages (But bear in mind Professor Bishop's testimony on Professor Crane's own French, that "in the matter of pronunciation, Teefy made few concessions to foreign idiosyncracies." [11]). Other stories concern his personal eccentricities and his relationship with his volatile Yorkshire wife and their numerous children. But another side of Roehrig was also remembered, as in the recollection of Professor Hewett:

Those who studied with this gifted and genial teacher of French will recall his endless kindness, his bitter disappointment at the failure of their efforts to master the pronunciation and the grammar which he aspired to teach. [12]

There was poignancy in Roehrig's valedictory report to President Adams, as well as some commentary and counsel regarding the Oriental collections of the Library:

As the time has nearly come when this Department has to be discontinued, all there remains for me to say is, that I most sincerely regret to see what, during my life-time, constituted my favorite pursuits, crowded out of our curriculum by other unquestionably more urgent and practical demands of the age and country in which we live, and by studies more consistent with the presesnt and immediate wants of our University. One suggestion, however, I would make in closing this my last annual report. The studies which we now abandon may at some more or less remote future, become of great interest and real importance in another age and to succeeding generations. Here then is an instance where we ought to think also of posterity. Now, the Oriental section of our University is, so far as my personal observation extends, one of the best, perhaps the very best and most complete on this continent. It would be, therefore, very desirable indeed to increase, as heretofore, the number of its volumes steadily, systematically and regularly at periodic intervals, which can easily be done with the monthly bulletins of Truebner, Brockhaus, Reinwald, Christern and others. [13]

Library Reorganization and Creation of the Library Council

One of the more regrettable circumstances in the early history of the Cornell University Library is that through almost the entire tenure of Willard Fiske as Librarian, this great book collector had virtually negligible book funds at his disposal for building the Library's collections. In a report made in 1877 to Trustees' President Henry W. Sage, Fiske wrote:

The present situation of the University Library is really deplorable [with reference] to the meagreness of the annual appropriations. ...In the classics, for instance, the library contains scarcely a volume published since the death of Professor Anthon... The same thing may be said of comparative philology. There is little beyond the books collected by Professor Bopp, and everybody knows how many valuable, almost indispensable works have been issued since that date.[14]

In December of that year, under Sage's impetus, the Trustees' Executive Committee sppropriated something over $100,000 for the most urgent needs of the University. The appropriation included $20,000 for the University Library, and Fiske was relieved of his teaching duties in order to devote full time to the Library's reorganization.

During 1882-83 a Library Council was formed, chaired by the University President and including faculty and trustee representation, with the Librarian serving as Secretary. Following Fiske's resignation in mid-1883, the Library Council took control of all significant decision-making for the Library, particularly with reference to the expenditure of the book funds. Each year thereafter the Council voted appropriations to cover anticipated periodical renewals and binding expenses, a sum placed at the disposal of the Librarian for the completion of sets, and a small allotment to be expended upon the recommendation of each major teaching department, with the balance placed in a reserve to be spent at the discretion of the Council. The annual department allotments were intended to represent a minimum expenditure in each subject area in order to insure some degree of even and balances growth in the Library's collections. Departments needing additional funding were expected to apply to the Council for special appropriations from its reserved funds.

At the first meeting of the Library Council on January 29, 1883, out of a total book budget of $3,250, departmental allocations of $125 were made to 26 teaching departments, one of which was the Department of Oriental Languages and Comparative Philology. For 1883-84 the Department was one of 28 departments alloted $90 each; for 1884-85 the allotment was $100; for 1885-86 it was $75; and so on. For the first time a measure of systematic growth of the collections occurred, and the Council minutes show the regular submission and approval of lists of books to be purchasedfrom the allotment of the Department of Oriental Languages. (It should be noted that although the term "Oriental" was used by the Library Council and its successors over the years to refer mainly to the Near East, as is clear from the book requests considered by the Council, the scope of the term presumably extended to the Far East prior to the Establishment of the Wason Collection in 1918, and certainly extended to South Asia--particularly Sanskrit philology--until the provision of separate funding for Indian Studies in comparatively recent years.)

In 1886, after Professor Roehrig had left the University and his Department had been eliminated, there was a discussion within the Library Council as to the future of the departmental allocation. At its May 14, 1886 meeting the Council voted to turn over the direction of the unexpended portion of the 1885-86 allocation to Professor Benjamin Ide Wheeler of the Department of Greek. At its meeting in November 1886, when the annual allotments were made for 1886-87, the Council votes to continue an annual allocation for Oriental and Comparative Philology. For the next decade, although there was no teaching offered in this field, the Council maintained its support, and the funds continued to be expended under the direction of Profewssor Wheeler. Moreover, there were repeated requests to the Library Council by Professors Babcock, Burr, Wheeler, C. M. Tyler, and others for books in areas such as Islamic architecture, Old Testament History, or publications of the American Oriental Society. In 1889-90 a special grant for the purchase of books relating to Oriental and Medieval history enabled the Library to acquire many important works and sets, including the Zeitschrift fuer Aegyptische Sprache, Denderah, and the Papyros Ebers facsimile.

The President White Historical Library

In September 1891, with the provision of a specially outfitted room in the new Library building, transfer was made to the University Library of the 30,000 volume President White Historical Library, which had been formally presented to the University by former-President Andrew D. White in January 1887. Near Earstern history was one of White's interests, and his library included many major works on the history of the area, with particular strength concentrated on Palestine. In accepting the gift of the White Library, the University trustees agreed to make annually an appropriation of $800 for the continued development of the library in the subject areas in which White had collected actively. Professor George Lincoln Burr, who had been White's confidant and associate in building the library, was named Librarian, and a committee was appointed to direct its further development. On November 11, 1890, the University's Executive Committee designated the subject fields in which books might be purchased for the White Library, naming Oriental history as one of these fields. Professor Burr served as Librarian of the White Library more than thirty years, during which period his own interest in Near Eastern history is reflected both in the content of the course he taught in alternate years on ancient and Oriental history titled "The Beginnings of History": A. The Dawn of History. B. Oriental History: To the Advent of the Aryan Peoples. C. Oriental History: To the Conquests of Alexander; and also in his syllabus Outlines of Studies in the History of the Middle Ages(Ithaca, 1912?), in which one of the four major sections on the period 300-800AD is titled "The Saracens," with outlines and notes on published sources for course units on "Mohammed," "The Koran," "Islam," and "The Spread of Islam."

Nathaniel Schmidt

Early in his tenure as President of the University, Jacob Gould Schurman declared one of the University's primary needs to be "a professorship of the most venerable language and literature, Hebrew." [15] As with many other things President Schurman wanted, a way was found. In 1896 he persuaded Henry W. Sage to establish and finance for two years a chair of Semitic Languages and Literatures, for which he knew the University could secure on bargain terms the eminent scholar Nathaniel Schmidt, whose unorthodox theological views had gotten him into difficulties at the Colgate Divinity School.

At Cornell Professor Schmidt soon gained the respect and confidence of the University community for both personal and scholarly integrity. Shielded by a sympathetic University administration from the attacks made on his religious, ethical, and political views (particularly his pacifism during World War I), Schmidt served Cornell for thirty-six years, carrying an enormous teaching load while carrying out scholarly investigations and publishing studies on a range of subjects extending through the Prophet Jeremiah, Jesus, and the Arabic historian Ibn Khaldun.

The program of the Department of Semitic Languages and Literatures was described in the University Register of 1900-01 under the following categories:

The Languages. An elementary course in Hebrew will be given each year. The advanced work in this language is so arranged as to cover in three years the leading writers of the Old Testament and some parts of the Mishnaic and Talmudic literature. General students with linguistic interests, and those preparing to teach, are advised to begin their study of their Semitic languages with the Arabic, which will also be offered each year. Aramaic and Egyptian will alternate with Assyrian and Ethiopic. In the Semitic Seminary, one term each year will be given to epigraphical studies.

The Literatures. A course of lectures on the most important literary productions of the Semites will be given annually. For this course a knowledge of Semitic languages is not required. The lectures will be devoted in part to a discussion of questions of authorship, date, literary composition and historical value, and in part to a translation and elucidation of the texts themselves. Much attention will be bestowed on the Old Testament. Thus an opportunity will be afforded to become acquainted with the results of scientific Bible-study. The Hebrew apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, the Mishnah and the Talmud, the Quran and the Arabic poets, the Babylonian Gilgamish epic and the Book of the Dead will be discussed in a similar manner.

The History. In a series of lectures covering three years, an outline will be presented of the political and social history of Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, India, Armenia, Syria, Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Spanish Caliphate.

The course descriptions given in the University's Announcement convey something of the solid content as well as the prodigious range of Schmidt's teaching:

1. Hebrew: Grammar (Harper, Gesenius-Kautzsch). Genesis. Ruth and Esther at sight. Exercises in composition.

2a. Arabic: Grammar (Socin-Brokelmann, Caspari-Mueller). Selections from prose writers, poets, and the Qurân.

2b. Advanced Arabic: Grammar (Wright-DeGoeje). A group of early suras in the Quran. Selections from the Prolegomena (al-Muqaddimah)of Ibn Khaldun

3. Ethiopic: Grammar (Dillmann-Bezold). Liber Baruch in Dillmann's Chrestomathia Aethiopica, and the Book of Enoch, xxxvii-lxxi (ed. Charles). Study of Ethiopic manuscripts.

4a.Assyrian: Grammar (Lyon, Delitzsch). Selections from Meissner's Chrestomathie, Delitzsch's Leestuecke, and Rawlinson's Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia.

4b. Aramaic: Grammar (Nestle, Noeldeke, Duval). The Gospel of Matthew in the Sinaitic Syriac, the Curetonian Fragments, the Peshita, and the Evangeliarium Hierosolymitanum. Inscriptions in the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, and the Elephantine Papyri.

5a. Egyptian: Grammar (Erman). Hieroglyphic texts. Study of squeezes in the Eisenlohr collection.

5b. Coptic: Grammar (Steindorff). Selections from the Gospels and from Pistis Sophia.

6. Semitic Literature: General introduction to the Bible, including Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, and special introduction to each book. Designed to give in brief compass the results of scientific inquiry concerning the origin, date, composition, and character of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

7. Semitic Seminary: Study of the Syriac Odes of Soloman, and of the Hebrew text coming from the Ciovenanters of Damascus.

8. Comparative Semitic Philology: Study of certain morphological and syntactical peculiarities of the Aramaic dialects. Interpretation for purposes of comparison, of texts in Mandaic, Babylonian Talmudic, ancient and modern Syriac, Galilaean, Samaritan and Judean Aramaic, Palmyrene, and Nabataean.

9a. Oriental History: Introduction to the history of Asia. Designed, like course 9b, to acquaint the student with the great civilizations of the Orient; sources, methods of study, and present problems; the great epochs, the leading personalities, and the chief institutions. The history of Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia, Irak, Iran, India, China,, Japan, Central Asia, and Asiatic Russia will be presented in outline.

9b. Oriental History: Introduction to the history of Africa. The history of Ancient Egypt, Lybia and the Cyrenaica, Carthage, Mauritania, Nubia, Ethiopia, and the various Egyptian and Maghrebite Caliphates will be presented in outline, and the growth of European influence in Modern Africa will be traced. [16]

Through Professor Schmidt's energetic efforts, not only did his more popular courses and lectures reach a large share of the Cornell student body, but the accomplishments of his students gained the University recognition as a center for the training of Orientalists. In 1900 Cornell University was one of the twenty-one charter members of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and Schmidt spent the year 1904-05 in Jerusalem as director of the School. During this year he led a pioneering mapping and archaeological surveying expedition around the Negev and Dead Sea regions. On these explorations his knowledge of the topography and the local dialects not only aided his party in gaining access to the more remote areas of the region, but on at least one occasion saved their lives when they were set upon and captured by a Bedouin raiding party.

From his arrival at Cornell, Professor Schmidt pressed the administration to improve the Library's resources for Semitics and other Near Eastern studies. The year after Schmidt's coming, President Schurman in his Annual Report for 1896-97 described the teaching program of the new Department of Semitic Languages and Literatures, and reported that the professor "finds his work hampered by the lack of adequate library facilities, including both books and maps, upon which he considers $10,000 would be no more than an adequate expenditure."

Although a sum of this magnitude was not to be forthcoming, in November 1896 the Library Council granted $500--a considerable amount at the time--to Professor Schmidt for books in the field of Semitic studies. In addition the Council added fifteen periodicals requested by the Professor, at an annual cost of $55. The Librarian's Annual Report for 1896-97 refers to purchases during the year of such sets as the Society of Biblical Archaeology Proceedings, the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, the Assyriologische Bibliothek, the Altertuemer von Pergamon, and others.

In succeeding years Professor Schmidt continued to put forward the library needs of his department, and the Library Council listened to his requests and responded cautiously. In December 1897 Schmidt requested another $500. The Council voted him $100 and asked that he submit the titles of the larger works most urgently needed. At the following meeting of the Council in January 1898 Schmidt presented a list of seven major works, of which the Council granted two –– the Proceedings of the International Congress of Orientalists and the Journal Asiatique--and postponed consideration of the remaining sets for a later meeting. Gradually the larger gaps in the Library's holdings were being filled.

In November 1898 the Library Council voted a $100 annual appropriation (1 unit) for the Department of Semitic Languages and Literatures. Moreover, during almost every year following, there were requests by Professors Schmidt, Wheeler, Bristol, Sterret, Burr, and others, for special appropriations for publications dealing with various aspects of the ancient and medieval Near East. In October 1903 the Council granted Professor Burr's request that the $100 annual allotment for Ancient and Medieval History be increased and reapportioned to allocate $50 for Oriental History, $100 for Ancient History, and $50 for Medieval History. In the same month the President White Library Committee assigned $50 of its annual appropriation to Oriental history, placing the sum at the disposal of Professor Schmidt.

The Eisenlohr Collection

In 1902, during the summer recess of the Library Council, Professor Schmidt learned that the Egyptological and Assyriological library of the late Professor August Eisenlohr of the University of Heidelberg was being offered for sale for $2,800 through the Leipzig bookseller Gustav Fock. Schmidt canvassed the individual members of the Council, and succeeded in communicating to a majority of them enougj of his own enthusiasm for the purchase of the collection that, abandoning their customary caution, they agreed to devote the entire free balance of $617 from the 1901-02 budget to this purpose, with the remainder to come out of the following year's budget. In his Annual Report for 1901-02 the Librarian was able to announce that "this valuable collection, which, in the opinion of an eminent German authority, is the most important Egyptological collection which has come on the market since the death of Lepsius, was secured for the University in June, and the books are now on their way hither."

Undoubtedly, the willingness of the Council members to make so daring a purchase was at least partially prompted by President Schurman's assurance that he would personally attempt to find a donor for the collection. The University President had in mind a standing offer by Abraham Abraham of Brooklyn, founder of the department store Abraham & Straus. Although Mr. Abraham, a largely self-educated businessman, had not attended a university, his son was then enrolled at Cornell. When approached by President Schurman, Abraham readily agreed to make the University a gift of the collection. On October 4, 1902, President Schurman acknowledged receipt of Mr. Abraham's check for $2,307.03 which apparently amounted to the final adjusted selling price.

The collection was originally stated to contain 956 titles in Egyptology and 151 on Assyriology, but after removal of duplicates prior to completion of the sale, the books that arrived in September 1902 were numbered at "nearly 900 volumes" in the Librarian's Annual Report for 1902-03. The Librarian there describes the collection as "comprising complete sets of all the important periodicals, many costly facsimiles of Egyptian papyri, all the important works on Egyptian history, archaeology, and philology, and a considerable collection of works in the field of Assyriology.

The Fiske Arabic Collection

The four great collections given by Willard Fiske to the Library are well knows: Petrarch, Dante, Icelandic, and Rhaeto-Romanic. That Fiske presented a fifth collection to Cornell, the Fiske Arabic Collection, is less well known. Although considerably smaller in size--scarcely more than three hundred titles in all--and considerably lesser in stature, the collection significantly augmented Cornell's library holdings in its subject field.

The Arabic collection grew out of Fiske's long-standing interest in Egypt, its contemporary language, and the advancement of its national aspirations. His first visit to Egypt was during the winter of 1880-81, when he began his study of the Arabic language. On his return to Egypt in the winter of 1888-89 in company with President A. D. White, he renewed his Arabic linguistic studies, which increasingly supplanted excavations and antiquities as the focus of his interest on subsequent Egyptian trips in the winters of 1890-91 and 1896-97 and the spring of 1898.

During his stay in Cairo in the winter of 1880-81 Fiske, who was then Cornell Librarian, visited the Khedival Library and was shown around its collections and administrative operations by the director Wilhelm Spitta Bey. Spitta also showed and discussed with Fiske several publications he had issued in an effort to promote the use of Modern Arabic as a written language and the adoption of the Roman alphabet by the Arabic speaking peoples. The possibilities Fiske saw in Spitta's proposals, both from a linguistic point of view and as a means of advancing the educational, social, and eventually political modernization of the Egyptian nation, led him into the launching of a quixotic campaign toward the fulfillment of these goals. Throughout the rest of his life, with the collaboration of an Egyptian colleague, Socrates Spiro Bey, Fiske energetically compiled and published grammars, dictionaries, orthographies, tracts, and assorted leaflets to promote the proposed reforms.

During his initial burst of interest in the Arabic language Fiske began collecting books on the subject. When he left Cornell in 1883, most of this collection was left on deposit at the Library, subject to recall by him, but with the intention of eventually presenting the books to the Library. Subsequently, as Fiske pursued his interest in Arabic, he accumulated an even larger collection of Arabic books at his Italian villa. According to Halldor Hermannsson, who worked closely with Fiske on the organization of his library, these Arabic books were originally intended for the National Library of Iceland. [17] Whether or not this may have been at some point Fiske's intention, in early 1904 he donated "the major part of his Arabic collection, comprising classical Arabic works, grammars, and dictionaries of vulgar Arabic, and many works on the various methods of representing the Oriental languages by means of the Latin alphabet, more or less modified." [18]

The books arrived in Ithaca, and were accessioned on June 7, 1904. Fiske died September 17, 1904, and on October 11 the books that had been left on deposit in the Library in 1883 were accessioned. The remainder of the Arabic books, still at the Villa Landor, could have been claimed by the National Library of Iceland under the terms of Fiske's will. However, the National Library waived its claim, and after the necessary export permit was obtained, the Arabic books were shipped along with the Petrarch and Icelandic collections, arriving in Ithaca in March 1905. Partly in consideration of the National Library of Iceland's having relinquished its potential claim to the remainder of the Arabic books, in February 1916 the Library Council voted to honor its obligation under the terms of Fiske's will to offer to the National Library the duplicates from Fiske's Dante collection.

John Robert Sitlington Sterrett

In 1901 Professor J. R. S. Sterrett was elected head of the Department of Greek. As Hewett described his earlier career,

Professor Sterrett has won most distinguished honor by his archaeological explorations in Asia Minor. With rare courage and patience, and almost heroic sacrifice, he had for years conducted expeditions, the object of which had been to discover and translate the ancient inscriptions of this region and to fix the topography of cities, rivers and states. [19]

Professor Sterrett has been described as "a man of very conservative views, of extremely rigorous, even stoical ideal of duty." [20] He viewed the need for large scale archaeological exploration in the Near East as a moral imperative, and his promotional efforts have an evangelical fervor.

As a pilot project Sterrett planned and organized the 1907-08 Cornell Expedition to Asia Minor and the Assyro-Babylonian Orient. On this exploratory survey, Albert T. Olmstead, one of Nathaniel Schmidt's most promising students, "led an ascetic little group through wide ranges of the Turkish Empire--almost literally on foot." [21] On the basis of the finds of the Expedition Sterrett announced that a new corpus of Hittite inscriptions could be published. [22] After disappointing delays The Hittite Inscriptions(Ithaca, 1911) finally appeared, but the rest of the projected publications of the Expedition were never issued. A French reviewer wrote "Why have the members of the Expedition been so late in making known their findings? It is because they are professors in American universities, condemned to a crushing workload of lectures which are not imposed on the scholars of Germany or France. American science suffers from this state of affairs, which does not reflect honor on the richest country in the world." [23]

Sterrett was well aware of the conditions that had handicapped the contributions of American scholarship in the field of research on the Ancient Near East. He therefore drew up a detailed Plea for Research in Asia Minor and Syria (Ithaca, 1911?), in which he outlined the urgent research needs in the area; proposed the formation of an adequately financed and staffed institute to carry out a systematic program of explorations and excavations, and to analyze and publish the findings; and appended endorsements of his plan by a formidable array of scholars and academic bodies in this country and abroad. An edited version of his Plea, titled A Petition for a Subvention for Research Work in Asia Minor and Parts of Syria (Ithaca, 1911?) was directed to the Rockefeller Foundation, which was being organized at the time. The Foundation did not act on his Petition, and the death of Professor Sterrett in 1914, and the outbreak of World War I, put an end to the hopes embodied in Sterrett's plan. When a similar proposal by James H. Breasted was funded by John D. Rockefeller in 1919, and subsequently assisted rather generously by the Rockefeller Foundation, it was the University of Chicago and not Cornell to which the Oriental Institute was attached.

The Cornell Papyri

In the early 1920's, the Library Council devoted several large special appropriations to the purchase of Greco-Egyptian papyrus manuscripts.

However, the Library's collection of papyri had begun many years earlier, with the gift in March 1889 by former President Andrew D. White of a magnificent papyrus Book of the Dead of the Ptolemaic period. Written in a combination of hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts, this long roll, mounted and framed, hung for many years over the main entrance of the Library building (now Uris Library).

The papyrus was purchased by White for the equivalent of about $125 from the Cairo dealer in furniture and antiquities L. Philip, during the trip to Egypt that White made in the winter of 1888-89 in company with Willard Fiske. White was careful to collect documentation on the papyrus, including information on when and where it had been discovered, and a photograph of the tomb and the mummy with which the papyrus roll had been found.

Before the purchase White had the piece taken to the Egyptologist Emil Brugsch-Bey of the Egyptian Museum for examination and authentication. Based on this report White was able to describe his purchase in a letter of March 15, 188, to University President Charles Kendall Adams:

Most prominent among the illustrations is that of the 125th chapter, representing the dead man standing before Osirus while the god Arubus weighs his heart in one scale of the great balance against the image of the Goddess of Truth in the other. Above sit the 42 avenging deities or Jurors, and below the four funereal genii, etc. etc.

With obvious satisfaction White boasted: "It is really a fine specimen--complete in itself--and the only such a present on the market--the one at Luxor having been bought, it is supposed by Krupp of Essen."

In a letter of March 18, 1889, to Adams, formally presenting the papyrus to the University, White adds a note that

I have also sent to the University a collection of about one hundred and forty photographs to illustrate Ancient and Modern Egyptian Art (especially architecture) and Life; and with these a collection of the more recent and valuable books upon Egypt, which will, I trust form a useful supplement to the noble works on that subject which the University already possesses.

The next installment of papyri to be received by the Library was a collection of 23 Greco-Egyptian papyri from Oxyrhynchus and the Fayum, presented to Cornell in 1904 by the Egypt Exploration Fund. This constituted Cornell's share of the Fund's distribution of its papyri, sent in return for contributions that had been made to support its work of studying and editing the texts for publication. The small collection, which arrived at Cornell in June 1904 and was described in the Librarian's Annual Report for 1903-04, was particularly noteworthy for its literary papyri, including no less that nine fragments of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

In his Annual Report for 1907-08 the Librarian advised that Dr. A. D. White, the Assistant Librarian and a capable classical scholar, had mounted the Library's Greco-Egyptian papyri between plates of glass and had assigned call numbers to the collection.

In November 1920 the Library Council was persuaded by Professor William Linn Westermann to appropriate the large sum of $2,000 for the purchase of papyrus manuscripts, in order to "enable the Library to add materially to its resources in this field." The transaction was conducted through the London-based "Cartel" for purchasing papyri, run by officials of the British Museum, and including among its other members the University of Geneva, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Cornell acquired 138 papyri in this purchase, including two particularly long and important rolls, one containing a register of tax payments at Philadelphia (Egypt) in 25 A. D., and the other containing declarations of land for the census of 302 A. D. at Arsinoe. At its meeting in November 1921 the Library Council voted $25.12 to cover the Librarian's costs of securing the papyri in New York.

In February 1922 Professor Westermann asked the Council for $3,000 for the purchase of a portion of the Zenon papyri, then coming into the hands of the "Cartel" in London. The Council decided after considerable discussion that at the time it could afford a maximum of only $1,000 from the reserve fund. Since the need was considered urgent, however, it was voted to send the matter to the Board of Trustees with the request for a special grant for the full amount. In April President Farrand reported to the Council that the Board had sent the request to its Budget Committee without recommendation. He stated that he did not feel the University had the money for this purpose. When it was clear that no help would be forthcoming from the Trustees, the Council voted Professor Westermann $1,000. At its October 1922 meeting the Council was informed that Henry J. Patten ('84) of Chicago had forwarded $500 to be added to the papyrus fund, and that the total of $1,500 had been transmitted to the British Museum for the purchase.

The Librarian's Annual Reportfor 1922-23 advised that "the second installment of Egyptian papyri was received during the year, and it has been carefully worked over by Professor Westermann and his assistants." This lot consisted of 48 papyri, including the most important of all of Cornell's Greco-Egyptian papyri, a roll from the Zenon archive containing a lamp-oil account of 256 B. C. for the retinue of Apollonius, finance minister to Ptolemy Phadelphus (The Henry J. Patten Papyrus). The Librarian reported that the Cornell papyri had been photographed, so that Westermann could continue his work on them at Columbia University, where he had been appointed Professor of Ancient History.

A selection of some 55 of Cornell's Greco-Egyptian papyri from the Ptolemaic and Roman Imperial periods, plus a few from the reign of Diocletian, were published in transcription and translation, with facsimiles, by Professors Westermann and Casper J. Kraemer, Jr., under the title Greek Papyri in the Library of Cornell University (New York: Columbia University Press, 1926). The texts of these published papyri present a remarkable cross-section of the life of ancient times, ranging from accounts and business records, official documents, petitions, and a variety of public and private correspondence, to a contract for the services of a trio of castanet dancers.

In January 1972, faced by an increasingly evident need for restoring and ;mounting the papyri, the Library administration gave away all but one of Cornell's extant papyrus manuscripts to the University of Michigan, retaining only the A. D. White Papyrus that had been given to the Library over eighty years earlier.

The Cornell Cuneiform Tablets

On October 1926 the Librarian reported to the Library Council the gift by Henry J. Patten of 317 cuneiform tablets and cones. These had been delivered to Professor Edward Chiera of the University of Pennsylvania, with whom Patten had arranged for the tablets to be inventoried and translated. The Librarian's Annual Report for 1929-30 states that Patten had "provided for the firing of the unbaked clay tablets in the collection that he gave to the Library several years ago." At its meeting on November 12, 1929, the Library Council empowered the Assistant Librarian to send the clay tablets for firing and classification to Professor Chiera, who was then affiliated with the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Although the collection was little used for many years and is now badly in need of restorative treatment, in 1974-75 the re-introduction by Professor D. I. Owen of the teaching of Akkadian has sparked new interest in and use of the Cornell cuneiform tablets.

Early Twentieth Century Developments

During the first third of the twentieth century, the efforts of various faculty members to build up the Library's collections on the Near East are reflected in the requests for special appropriations that turn up regularly in the minutes of the Library Council. Along with these, there are renewals of the annual allotments for Semitic Languages and Literatures, Comparative and Oriental Philology, and Oriental History.

As Professor Schmidt approached retirement age –– he reached 65 in May 1927 –– Robert M. Ogden, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences began to evince concern as to the future of the Semitics Department.

It is unlikely that we shall be able to find a successor to Professor Nathaniel Schmidt who, like himself, will prove competent in the fields of Oriental Languages, Biblical Literature, and Oriental History. Professor Schmidt has remarked that "a division of the department will probably be unavoidable in the future. I should be glad" he says, "if the work in Oriental History could be carried on along the lines I have laid down, but enlarged and intensified. A well-trained Semitic scholar would almost of necessity be sufficiently familiar with Biblical Literature to lecture on that subject and, in addition, give such supplementary and advanced courses in this field as have been recently urged."

I would suggest that these important questions be considered by members of the History group, with reference to the development of Oriental History, and by those interested in courses on religion, with reference to the continuance of Biblical Literature. [24]

But when Professor Schmidt retired in 1922, the University, along with the country, was in the grip of the Depression. In response to prodding by Dean Ogden and Professor M. L. W. Laistner, Chairman of the Department of History, President Day replied:

As matters now stand in the budget, I do not see how we can wisely undertake to restore any program of Semitic studies at the University. ... I am not yet persuaded that, if we have a full professorship to locate somewhere in the general field of history and the social sciences, such a professorship should be put at present in the field which Professor Schmidt occupied. I say this despite the fact that I think there is a strong case for making available to our students at least a limited offering in the History of the Near and Middle East. [25]

The Depression was followed by World War II, and even after the end of the War a further decade passed without the restoration of courses in Semitic studies. The only break in this hiatus occurred in 1949-50, when Professor Milton Cowan offered a year of Arabic under the auspices of the Department of Linguistics.

Rather remarkably, as in earlier periods of the University's history when there has been an absence of formal instruction in Semitics and related fields, the Library Council continued its annual allotments for Semitic Studies and Oriental History, with designated faculty members given responsibility for the expenditure of the funds.

One of the few changes concerned the annual allocation for Oriental and Comparative Philology. After the retirement in 1921 of Professor G. P. Bristol, who had selected books in this field, the Library Council appointed a four-man committee to carry on that selection responsibility. A year later the annual allocation was cut in half, from $100 to $50. At this reduced level it was renewed annually by the Council until 1940, when it was finally dropped from the list of annual appropriations. Simultaneously, however, the Oriental History allotment was increased from $50 to $100. The arrival in 1947 of Felix Reichmann as Acquisitions Librarian marked a new era for the Library. Under his direction the library staff gradually assumed responsibility for the systematic development of the book collections. Collection building on the Near East, as in most other fields, has become part of the Library's systematic overall coverage of the world's book publishing, and no longer occurs mainly as the result of sporadic bursts of faculty interest and activity.

The Revival of Semitic Studies

In the mid-1950's a few concerned faculty members led by Professor Milton Konvitz, through persuasion and fund-raising with the Danforth Foundation and elsewhere, were instrumental in establishing a Professorship of Biblical and Hebrew Studies, to which in 1957 was appointed Isaac Rabinowitz, an authority on Biblical literature and particularly the Dead Sea Scrolls. The promise was made at this time that a Semitics department would be established as soon as it was feasible.

In 1965 this promise was finally redeemed, and the Department of Semitic Languages and Literature was created, with Professor Rabinowitz as Chairman, and with the appointment of Professor A. L. Udovitch as the first of what was to be a succession of Arabists. Further faculty appointments followed, although many of the appointees stayed relatively briefly. Through the late 1960's and early 1970's there were generally between four and six faculty members and between two and three dozen course offerings listed in the University's annual Announcement.

Cornell and Sardis

In 1958 the Cornell-Harvard Expedition to Sardis, under the auspices of the American Schools of Oriental Research, began its work of excavation and reconstruction at that ancient city in Turkey. The project has continued every season to the present, with a number of Cornell faculty members being involved in various capacities. Cornell's participation was the result of the interest of Professor A. Henry Detweiler of the College of Architecture, who was Associate Director of the Expedition from the beginning through his death in 1970. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 1939, he had spent most of the previous decade working at excavations and architectural reconstructions at Gerasa, Samaria, Dura, Seleucia, Isfahan, and other ancient sites in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere.

Library Developments to the Seventies

Following the appointments of Stephen McCarthy as Library Director in 1946 and Felix Reichmann as Acquisitions Librarian in April 1947 (Assistant Director for Technical Services 1948-1964, and Assistant Director for Collection Development 1964-1970), there was a dramatic upturn in the size of the Library's annual budgetary appropriation for books. Some subject areas felt this sooner, but apart from minor fluctuations, the annual allotments for Semitic Languages and Literature and for Oriental History remained static from the 19th century into the 1950's.

In 1953 the annual allotment for each f these two areas was increased from $100 to $150. Two years later the 1955-56 allotment for Oriental History was increased to $200. For 1956-57 it was increased to $250, while the Semitic allotment was raised to $200.

The resumption of instruction in Semitics in 1957 resulted in the increase in the Semitic Studies and Oriental History annual allotments to $500 each for 1958-59. The Library Director's Annual Report for 1957-58 refers to special grants from the Hebrew Culture Foundation, the Gussman Foundation ($600), and the Nadal Foundation ($250) obtained by Professors Konvitz and Rabinowitz in support of the Hebrew and Biblical Studies program. The 1958-59 Annual Report lists a $1,200 gift from the Gussman Foundation in support of the Hebrew collection, secured through the efforts of Professor Konvitz.

In June 1959 the Library Board (formerly the Library Council) made a $750 appropriation for Hebrew studies "because the gift fund for next year will be reduced." The next year provision was made for an annual appropriation for Hebrew Studies, allotting $350 for 1959-60. The amount of this appropriation was increased to $500 for 1960-61 and to $800 for 1961-62, while the Oriental History fund increased to $600 in 1960-61 and to $700 in 1961-62. Caution should be exercised, however, in interpreting figures for the Library's subject allocations from the 1950's to date, as the allocations have increasingly become an internal monitoring device used with a considerable degree of flexibility, in accordance with the overall needs of the book collections.

Professor Rabinowitz, from the beginning of his tenure, has been active in the shaping of the collections in those aspects of Hebrew literature and Biblical studies in which his principal interests lie.

Dr. Richmann's informed understanding of the crucial historical role of the great civilizations of the ancient Near East and his appreciation of the influences of the Islamic civilization upon medieval and Renaissance European culture ensured the vigorous and systematic strengthening of the Library's Near East collections through the 1950's and 1960's. During the 1970's the Library's holdings on the ancient Near East were sufficiently strong to bear comparison with any collection of the first rank, and the holdings on the medieval Arabic civilization are serviceable enough for most purposes.

Previously, however, certain major weaknesses were evident in the Library's Near Eastern collections. Firstly, although the collections on the high Arabic civilization were developed to a greater extent than those on the Persian and Ottoman (Turkish) empires, they were not strong in the texts of the writings of Arab scientists, philosophers, historians, belletrists, geographers, and others whose works have been published only in the Arabic language. In the second place, the collections were weak in vernacular source materials on contemporary social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of the peoples of the Near East. Following the final collapse of the Arabic Caliphate at the beginning of the 16th century, Arabic history virtually came to an end. Only with the revival of Arab nationalism in the 20th century has there been a revitalization of Arabic history that is reflected in significant publication; similarly, the success of the Zionist movement in creating the state of Israel has revived publishing on the contemporary history of the Jewish people in the Near East. Although the major American and European studies on these developments had been bought steadily by the Library, there was not much precedent for regularly acquiring the indigenous publications from the region of the Near East itself.

A development that has enabled the Library to make significant gains in strengthening these weaknesses in its Near Eastern holdings –– both in Arabic texts and sources from the golden era of Arabic civilization, and in vernacular materials from the countries of the contemporary Near East –– has been the PL-480 Program.

The PL-480 Program

In 1962 the Library of Congress set up programs in the United Arab Republic (Middle East Program) and in Israel under Public Law 480 to use the United States Government's excess local currency reserves to purchase current books and periodicals for American research libraries.

On January 1, 1964, Cornell entered the Middle East PL-480 Program on a selective English language basis. On January 1, 1967, Cornell's participation was expanded into full-coverage membership. As of the end of January 1975 Cornell has received 21,628 pieces in categories including monographs, serials, and non-book materials, plus 12,310 newspaper issues. Of these, 5,625 Arabic language monographs and 225 monographs in other languages have been cataloged or put in-process to date for the Olin Library and other libraries served by the central technical processing division; 741 Arabic language monographs and 10 monographs in other languages have been sent to other campus libraries for cataloging. As of December 31, 1974, Cornell's participation in this program was terminated. (Resumed in the 1980's)

In 1965 Cornell joined the PL-480 Program for Israel on a selective English language basis. On January 1, 1966, Cornell's participation was expanded into full-coverage membership. Over the course of its participation Cornell received 32,042 pieces in categories including monographs, serials, and non-book materials, plus 9,711 newspaper issues. Of these, 7,290 Hebrew and Yiddish language monographs and 474 monographs in other languages have been sent to other campus libraries for cataloging. Because the U. S. Government's excess local currency reserves in Israel were depleted, the program for Israel was phased out, and it ended on May 31, 1973.

With Cornell no longer receiving books through these two programs, the Libraries' acquisitions of vernacular publications from both the Arabic countries of the Near East and from Israel has been scaled down to a level to support undergraduate instruction only.

(To be continued)


[1] Cornell University, Report to the President to the Trustees, July 29, 1868. A. D. White Papers (C. U. Archives)

[2] Morris Bishop, A History of Cornell (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1962), p. 275.

[3] Horatio S. White, Willard Fiske, Life and Correspondence, a Biographical Study (New York: Oxford University Press, 1925), p. 60.

[4] James Wynne, Private Libraries of New York (New York, E. French, 1860), p. 193.

[5] Cornell University, Register and Catalogue, 1877-78, p. 52.

[6] Report of the Department of Sanskrit and Oriental Languages, 1881-82. Bound with Cornell University, Annual Report of the President, June 15, 1882. A. D. White Papers.

[7] Ibid., 1880-81 Bound with Cornell University, Annual Report of the President, June 15, 1881. A. D. White Papers.

[8] Cornell University, Annual Report of the President to the Trustees, June 15, 1881. A. D. White Papers.

[9] Report of the Department of French, 1881-82. Bound with Cornell University, Annual Report of the President, June 15, 1882. A. D. White Papers.

[10] Waterman, Thomas Hewett, Cornell University, a History (New York: University Publishing Society, 1905), II, 2.

[11] Bishop, History of Cornell, p. 109.

[12] Hewett, Cornell University, II, 32.

[13] "Report of the Department of Sanskrit and Living Oriental Languages," in Cornell University, Annual Report of the President, 1885-86, p. 62-63.

[14] White, Willard Fiske, p. 92.

[15] Cornell University, President's Report, 1892-93, p. 13.

[16] Cornell University, Announcement of the College of Arts and Sciences, 1913-14, p. 399-400, and 1914-15, p. 431-32.

[17] Halldor Hermannsson, "Willard Fiske," Eimreidin XI (1905), 108.

[18] Cornell University Library, Librarian's Report, 1903-04, p. 3.

[19] Hewett, Cornell University, II, 12.

[20] Cornell University, Faculty Records, Oct. 14, 1914, p. 645.

[21] John A. Wilson, "Albert Ten Eyck Olmstead, 1880-1945," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, V (Jan. 1946), 2.

[22] J. R. S. Sterrett, "The Cornell Expedition to Asia Minor," The Nation, LXXXVI, no. 2222 (Jan. 30, 1908), 100-01.

[23] Revue Archéologique, 4. sér., XIX (Jan.-June 1912), 172. (My translation)

[24] "Report of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 1927-28," in Cornell University, President's Report, 1927-28, p. xv.

[25] Letter of Edmund E. Day to M. L. W. Laistner, Oct. 29, 1940. Laistner Papers (C. U. Archives).


Middle East & Islamic Studies, http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast


Ali Houissa, The Middle East & Islamic Studies Bibliographer.