Tag Archives: shaw collection

John MacKay Shaw: The Man Behind the Collection

John Shaw exhibit poster

Dr. Teri Abstein’s Spring 2014 Museum Object class, in collaboration with FSU’s Special Collections & Archives, is pleased to present its exhibit, John MacKay Shaw: The Man Behind the Collection. Shaw was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United States as a teen. After marriage and having his own children, Shaw began his collection of childhood poetry and literature in the 1930s. His collection grew to include all the masters of English literature who have written about childhood – and almost every English poet has.  The Shaw Collection was donated to FSU with 6,000 volumes; the collection currently comprises of over 35,000 volumes and 69 linear feet of archival material.

In the exhibit, you will be able to view Shaw’s own poetry written for his children, letters between Shaw and Dr. Seuss, first editions of books which turned into popular children’s movies, part of the largest Scottish collection in America and finally, the legacy Shaw has left to his children, to Florida State University and many others.

A digital exhibit to complement the physical exhibit can be found here.

John MacKay Shaw: The Man Behind the Collection is open from 10am-6pm in the Strozier Exhibit Room and will be available to view until Fall 2014.

A Poem for Mother’s Day

coverThis little book, My Mother: a Poem, by Ann Taylor, was published between 1825 and 1833.  It is from our John McKay Shaw Childhood in Poetry book collection and is only 1.75″ x 3″. The John MacKay Shaw Collection, includes over 22,400 books in the Childhood in Poetry Collection and over 46 linear feet of other materials that document the personal, business, and collecting activities of John MacKay Shaw, an internationally-known book collector. The Childhood in Poetry Collection is one of the foremost repositories of the poetry of childhood.  It includes the books by, for, and about children, as well as additional materials he collected relating to the themes (bibliography, biography, children,collecting, publication, and writing) of the collection.

While the emphasis of the John MacKay Shaw Collection is on poetry and children, it also contains the collector’s own notes and correspondence, as well as original drawings, proof sheets, catalogs, and other materials assembled during his many years of research. In these materials as well as in the books, history, sociology, music and theatre, art and education are well represented, with emphasis on the Victorian era.4 and 56 and 7