Home Libraries: A Cat To Complete The Collection

Lily in the library

No library is complete without a cat…

My home library boasts about 1500 volumes. About half of that is Civil War books. Unfortunately, as my collections has grown the burden has been moving it many times. I am certain some of my back issues are a direct result of these efforts. Still, as Jefferson—and Chris Mackowski—have said, “I cannot live without books.”

One thing that I think is notable about my library, aside from its sheer bulk – is the provenance of a large chunk of it. When I was a senior at SUNY Cortland my mentor and great friend, Dr. Ellis Johnson, passed away. Before his passing, as he was planning to retire, he gifted me a substantial number of books from his office collection. These treasured volumes feature marginalia that Doc recorded, significant inscriptions or author autographs, and many other surprises.

Doc Johnson’s gifted books became the core of my library and began me on the path to becoming a historian. For that I will always be grateful.

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