On exhibition in the upper Treasure Room in Widener Library, is a collection of books once belonging to different presidents of the United States, recently given to Harvard by H. S. Howe '69. The collection contains volumes from the libraries of many of the presidents from George Washington to Herbert Hoover, and books varying from "The Dangerous Age" to a life of our first president in Latin prose. There are also many autographed letters of every president on display with the books from the White House libraries.
John Quincy Adams is represented in the collection by "Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets" by Samuel Johnson. A volume on worms, entitled, "A General System of Nature: IV--Worms", by Sir Charles Linne, once belonged to James Monroe. Madison owned a book on antiques, "The Antiquarian Repertory", which is part of the collection. The presidents Jefferson, Garfield, Taft and Harrison all were represented by long books on government, the first named owning a book entitled, "Proceedings of the Government of the United States in Maintaining Public Rights to the Beach of the Mississippi against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston."
Interested In Own Lives
Many of the presidents seemed interested in their own lives. Andrew Johnson owned "The Trial of Andrew Johnson", published by order of the United States Senate. Jefferson Davis is represented by Colonel Craven's "Prison Life of Jefferson Davis."
The much-discussed President. Harding contributed Karin Michaelis' "The Dangerous Age", while the Father of our Country was represented by "The Private Life of Lewis XV." Will Durant's "Story of Philosophy" was the volume given by Calvin Coolidge, while "American Individualism" by Herbert Hoover is our own latest president's donation.