Yesterday, twenty-six boxes of rare books, journals, diaries, manuscripts, photograph albums, and prints arrived from Boston, courtesy of long-time Wolfsonian supporters Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf. Mr. Sharf, a serious collector and scholar, has devoted decades to amassing an impressive collection of rare materials documenting the various wars and colonial adventures of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries and organizing exhibitions and publishing scholarly books on the same. So when Fred asked me to come up to Boston to help him select and pack up some books to be donated and shipped to our own rare books and special collections library, I gladly reserved a day out of my planned trip to visit relatives in Massachusetts to meet with him.  

Although I had previous visited their home and had the opportunity to peruse the shelves of his vast library collection, the “task” of sorting through and selecting books was a lot like the proverbial adage about being a “kid in a candy store.” Mr. Sharf generously culled hundreds of books from his private library collection which graphically document the Boxer Rebellion, the Second Anglo-Boer War, the Spanish-American War and the rising naval power of the United States; the Philippine-American War, the Russo-Japanese War, and various Japanese conflicts in Manchuria. As fast as we could pull them from the shelves, movers came to load them into boxes.

My next series of blogs will be devoted to providing interested scholars and readers of my blog with a glimpse of these new acquisitions that comprise the ever-expanding Jean S. and Frederic A. Collection at The Wolfsonian-FIU library. Today’s items focus on the expansion of American influence in the Caribbean during the Spanish American War of 1898.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude to the Sharfs for their unabated generosity and support. As Teddy Roosevelt might have put it, “Bully! Bully, for you!”

~ by "The Chief" on July 30, 2010.


  1. That’s quite a find! Congrats to the Wolfsonian-FIU on such a great acquisition. I came across your blog while doing some research on the Fil-Am War. I’m working with the director John Sayles on promoting his new feature AMIGO, which dramatizes events on the island of Luzon during the war. This film deals with one of the most common
    but least-examined aspects of human experience -the story of the people caught in between. The film strives to be incredibly historically accurate, so I’m sure its one you’ll be interested in catching! If you have any questions, let us know, and I’m looking forward to seeing photos of your new acquisition. If you’re interested in any sort of collaboration, please don’t hesitate to email.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: