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Collections

Letter from Oscar Wilde
Summer 2012

Paul Philemon Kies Autograph Collection

From “Historically Yours”, by Hannelore Sudermann:

Paul Philemon Kies, a popular professor of English, was one of the keenest collectors at Washington State College. When he wasn’t teaching, advising, or shooting photographs on campus, he was filling his office and home with rare books, autographs, letters, and photographs…

…He started his collecting habit with first edition books, which he bought to show students. That led him to rare book catalogues, which led him to the autographs.

Browse a few of the items from Kies’s collection below, part of a digital collection at WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

The full collection is … » More …

Paul Kies and parts of his autograph collection at WSU
Summer 2012

Historically Yours

Paul Philemon Kies, a popular professor of English, was one of the keenest collectors at Washington State College. When he wasn’t teaching, advising, or shooting photographs on campus, he was filling his office and home with rare books, autographs, letters, and photographs.

Robert B. O’Connor, a student, profiled Kies in 1970. It’s a portrait of “a unique personality” whose “office was so crowded with a lifetime of accumulation of everything imaginable that there was never any available chair space.”

As a young scholar from the rural Midwest, Kies learned his culture in Chicago from the Ringling family (as in the Ringling Brothers Circus) in … » More …

Summer 2012

The Collectors

A tale of tenacity, obsession, and ancient texts

The papers were yellowed, fragile, and disorganized, but in December of 1941, on a search for rare books and documents in Mexico, Spanish professor J. Horace Nunemaker found his treasure.

A long-time collector who spent many hours searching for old Spanish texts and papers through booksellers and dealers in Spain and the United States, Nunemaker had just turned his efforts to Mexico City. There he made the find of his life, a collection that dated almost as far back as the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and contained the business dealings of one central elite family … » More …