Bookplates for Knox College Collections & Organizations

The bookplates found inside the front covers of tens of thousands of books in Knox’s Seymour Library are an invaluable history of both the book collectors who have given their personal libraries to Knox College and of benefactors who have established endowments either to purchase books on particular subjects or to honor the memory of someone near to them. Some of the bookplates are plain, some of them are fancy, but all of them continue to link their donor’s good intentions with the academic missions of the college and its library.

  • Earnest Elmo Calkins (1868-1964) pursued an extremely successful career in advertising after graduating from Knox College in 1891. He was keenly interested in all aspects of graphic design and printing.
  • John Huston Finley graduated from Knox College in 1887 and returned a few years later as the college's president from 1892 until 1899. He produced the first printed catalog of the college's library in 1887.
  • Edward Caldwell attended Knox between 1881 and 1885. Though he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, he served for more than twenty years on Knox's board of trustees, married Knox graduate Lucy Morse, and founded Seymour Library's Finley Collection in honor of his undergraduate friend and Knox president, John Huston Finley.
  • Albert Hurd taught both natural sciences and classical languages at Knox from 1851 until 1906. Along with George Churchill and Milton Comstock, Hurd was one of the "Great Triumvirate" of Knox's most distinguished 19th century professors.
  • Ray D. Smith of Chicago gave his extensive collection of books on the American Civil War to Knox in 1961. Other than the Finley Collection, the Smith Collection is today Seymour Library's largest rare book collection.
  • Eugene Field attended Knox from 1869 until 1871 and later became an enormously popular children's poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He died in 1895 at the age of 45.
  • Hardin Wallace Masters was the son of Edgar Lee Masters. In 1960 he gave a large collection of his father's books and papers to Seymour Library.
  • Lysander Cassidy and his sister Elizabeth were 1889 and 1891 graduates of Knox. He became an attorney, she a physician. In 1911 Elizabeth Cassidy became the first woman elected to the Denver board of city and county commissioners. Following the death of her brother in 1926, she gave his collection of books on the history of books to Seymour Library. A book endowment for the acquisition of books on world peace and international relations was established in memory of Ms. Cassidy after she died in 1935.
Bookplates for Knox College Collections & Organizations