What to do with inherited Civil War library

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CivilWarTalk

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I have a friend who recently inherited a large library of Civil War books, over 100 total. The collection is mostly contemporary books (last 75 years or so), with no known rares.

They contacted me to see if we could donate the books to a worthy library or institution.

Since the father was in the Air Force, the first thought was the Library at the Air Force Academy, but we are looking for ideas and suggestions.

Please help with your suggestions!
 
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Spoken as a librarian (and in the hope that giving it to a library is your friend's first choice):
a list should be made containing the following details:
  • author or editor
  • title
  • year of publication and publisher
  • edition (if not 1st ed)
  • ISBN ( if applicable)
You can give the list to several libraries telling them either that you want to donate the collection as a whole or that they can choose what they want (on a first come, first serve basis). I don' know if you have a special library system in the U.S. but your nearest library will know. If so, you can offer the books to those libraries specializing in Civil War books - but as you say the books are not specially rare, then these libraries maybe will have already copies of them all and an “ ordinary“ public library would be the best choice.

If your friend wants to get some money for these books, this list will also definitely help used book stores to make an offer. Also maybe an ad in a CW journal could help and the books sure will make some CW buff happy.

Think about who will have to pay for shipping or if the new owner should come and transport the books himself (or herself).

Good luck and I hope the books will find a nice new home!
 
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Chattahooch33

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I can't imagine any situation where I would want to get rid of any books. Between my wife and I we have somewhere north of 550 books. 2/3 are history, the rest are science, novels, and classics.
We see books as something you collect and read. We are averaging 3 new books a week so check back in 20 years and we will have our own library.
 

Paul Windels

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Location
Scarsdale, NY
I would recommend the library of a school that believes in teaching history as a possibility. I helped two friends donate part of their library to a high school and an elementary school in the NY area and the books were received enthusiastically.

Another possibility would be to donate the books to a local roundtable to be auctioned off.

Good luck in finding a nice home for these books.
 
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Phiip McBride

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Lockhart, Texas
I look to be facing the same dilemma in 20 or 30 years with my own Civil War collection that centers around Texas soldiers, but naturally includes a whole lot more. I was once a high school principal and my wife was a high school librarian at a different school, and while I'd love to donate or will my Civil War book collection someday to the school where I was principal for ten years, we both fear the collection would be accepted politely, shelved for a few years, then thrown out or sold for pennies a book at the next great weeding of the collection. Same for our local city library. I know that sounds pessimistic, but...

Even though I hate to think of the core books about Texans and Texas in the CW being broken up and dispersed, the idea of an auction at a Civil War roundtable, proceeds going to battlefield preservation is a good one I haven't thought of. Thanks for planting that seed.
 
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suzenatale

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I've done that a number of times before. Surprisingly it is a challenge to find a place that will take books for free and give them a good home. I finally found a library that would take them, but they wouldn't help carry them in, so while I struggled with the boxes a number of library patrons ran off with several books, but oh well, I hope they enjoy them.
 

Nathanb1

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Philip...I apologize for having missed it, but is your book on Kindle? It's summer, and teachers can read!

And secondly, don't see if you saw the bit a bout a get-together, but it's not far from Lockhart to Ft. Worth (especially on that toll road!). We'd love to have you at our Texan get together on July 26th.

And third, do you know Cowboy Powers? Man, if you want to hear some stories that should be in a book, talk to Cowboy! I believe he drinks coffee almost daily at the Chisholm Trail. :smile:
 

Nathanb1

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I've done that a number of times before. Surprisingly it is a challenge to find a place that will take books for free and give them a good home. I finally found a library that would take them, but they wouldn't help carry them in, so while I struggled with the boxes a number of library patrons ran off with several books, but oh well, I hope they enjoy them.
LOL. If they were running, I bet they did! I once got in a sort of tug-of-war over a free copy of The Judas Field by Howard Bahr--with a woman whose son was in prison at Huntsville. I decided I needed it more and sorta directed her attention to another novel I'd read. Snapped that thing up and took off so fast it would make your head spin. That completed my Bahr trilogy on Franklin!
 
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Phiip McBride

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Lockhart, Texas
Yes, Whittled Away is available on Amazon for $2.99. Thanks for asking. And Howard Bahr's books are as good as they get. Whittled Away includes Franklin and after reading The Black Flower I was petrified to throw my characters into that battle, fearing the comparison, but that's where the Sixth Texas went, so my guys did too. Please, just don't compare my telling of that story to Bahr's. He's better. Way better.
 

major bill

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There is nothing wrong with selling them. In the end sell them will allow people who want Civil War books to purchase them.
 

frankconrad

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Sep 19, 2009
Location
Iowa
Before I just gave them away I would be absolutely positive that no one in the family had a interest .in them. We all know of items that have been sold thrown in the dump and likewise destroyed that someone in the family would give there eyeteeth for.
In this area Modern Librarians seem to look at how many times it has been out, throw some wonderful books and replace with trash. I know you cannot keep every book, but some wonderful books are thrown.
I have books, guns,and tools that some day will have to find a new home but fortunately I have a Son and Grand children who have a interest in them.
 
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I wanted to donate my collection to our local library, since they only had one shelf of Civil War Books.....I am adamantly AGAINST donating to the local library, after they said they would sell them for 50 cents or a dollar a piece INSTEAD of putting the books on the shelf to loan out......I'll burn them before I'll let my library refuse to loan them out....
 
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