T H E M E S S E N G E R , W I N T E R 2 0 1 3
Rare Book Collection
by Theresa Hogue, Life at OSU
new collection of rare books with an appraised
value of more than $320,000 has been added to
the Oregon State University Special Collections &
rchives Research Center.␣
The collection, donated by OSU alumnus Albert Parr
and his wife Ruth, contains more than 350 titles, ranging
in subject from religious thought to literature to the his-
tory of science. Highlights include a 1498 printed version
of the Bible and the first English translation of Sir Isaac
, titled “A Treatise of the System of the
World,” and dating from 1728.
The Albert and Ruth Parr Rare Book Collection will
join the McDonald Collection, OSU’s original rare book
collection, which contains more than 2,500 rare books,
artifacts and fine bindings.
The Parrs spent more than 30 years collecting the titles,
and were impressed when they visited the OSU Special
Collections & Archives Research Center last year, espe-
cially when they viewed the McDonald Collection. Parr,
who graduated with a bachelor’s of science in 1964, went
on to work as a physicist in the Sensor Science Division at
the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He
and his wife wanted their collection to be used for research
and teaching purposes, and felt that OSU would both
carefully preserve their donation as well as make it available
for educational purposes.
“This is a superb col-
lection that has significant
research value for students
and scholars in a wide
range of disciplines,” said
Faye Chadwell,␣
Donald and Delpha
Campbell University
Librarian and director of
the OSU Press. “We are
honored that the Parrs
chose Oregon State as the
recipient of this gift. Their
generosity allows the
students and faculty of Oregon State to benefit for genera-
tions to come.”
Larry Landis, director of the Special Collections and
Archives Research Center, said the Parr Collection fits
particularly well with existing rare book collections in the
center’s holdings.
“Like the McDonald Collection, the Parr Collection
will be of interest to students of book history and print
culture, art history and illustration, scientific invention and
discovery, and the history of travel,” Landis said. “We look
forward to making the Parr Collection available to support
teaching and learning at OSU.”
Spanning seven centuries and diverse subjects, the
collection is particularly strong in the history of printing,
the history of science and technology, travels and explora-
tion, and literature. Notable highlights include:
• a 1571 edition of Strabo’s Geographia with woodcuts by
Sebastian Munster;
• a first edition of the monumental Cambridge edition of
the King James Bible, printed in 1659 and 1660 and
illustrated with splendid engravings by John Ogilby;
• numerous art nouveau publishers’ bindings.
Many volumes are the only recorded copy in Oregon or
the Pacific Northwest.␣
The collection will be cataloged and made available to
scholars and students. OSU Libraries held a celebratory
display and reception to observe the gift in December,
The Parrs’ gift is part of The Campaign for OSU, the
university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign has raised
more than $888 million of its $1 billion goal.
Al and Ruth Parr flanked by members of their family at the reception celebrating
their gift, December 2012.
Versailles and Windsor
, by Ritchie,
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