Stephen Ennis, director of special collections at Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Library said Thursday the gift was made by Raymond Danowski, an art dealer who became interested in books as a teenage book-shelver at the Columbia University library in New York.
The collection includes the first printing of the 1855 edition of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and rare volumes of poetry by Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, and William Carlos Williams.
Danowski, 61, who has led a peripatetic life as a prints dealer and political activist, told the New York Times he bought most of the collection over a period of 30 years with money from his third wife, Mary Moore, a daughter of British sculptor Henry Moore. She sold the core of the collection to the Poet's Trust, a charitable foundation based in Britain, he said.
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