Feb 26, 2009 - Sale 2171

Sale 2171 - Lot 213

Price Realized: $ 1,560
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
AN ATTEMPT AT THE FIRST ENCYCLOPEDIA (ENCYCLOPEDIA.) MURRAY, DANIEL R. Small archive concerning Daniel R. Murray's "Historical and Biographical Encyclopedia of the Colored Race Throughout the World." Consists of copies of the original prospectus, order forms and several Autograph Letters Signed to and from Murray and his contributors, including John E. Bruce (four pages with original envelope). should be seen. Washington, D. C., 1912-1942

Additional Details

A small but rich archive dealing with the proposal for a very ambitious six volume encyclopedia of the colored race, which was to embrace "over 25000 Biographical Sketches . . . [and] bibliography of over 6000 titles of books and pamphlets." Unfortunately this never came to be. Daniel Murray (1852-1925) was the librarian in charge of the "Collection of Books by Colored Authors" at the Library of Congress, a position that he more or less created after being taken on in 1871 at the age of 19 as an assistant to the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth R. Spofford. Murray began the project of an Encyclopedia of the Colored Race about 1899, when he was asked to prepare an exhibit of colored authors. After his passing in 1925, his widow continued the project, but was unable to find a publisher or raise the funds to self-publish. From the letter to Murray from John E. Bruce ("Bruce Grit") dated 19 September, 1912: "The work you have undertaken means WORK for all engaged in any way in its preparation and the greatest difficulties to be overcome will be fixing of dates of the events which it will record."