Each year around this time, the Folger hosts Acquisitions Night benefiting the Library’s Acquisitions program. Showcasing some of the most interesting, beautiful, and rare items we’ve purchased for the collection in the past year, the event invites donors to “adopt” selected items by reimbursing the Library their purchase prices. The money made through adoptions is put back into the Acquisitions budget and used to purchase more rare materials for the remainder of the fiscal year. In addition to a tax deduction, adopters also receive recognition in our online catalog.
Sixty-one items—including some multi-piece art sets, a set of Shakespeare translations, and a range of conservation treatments—will be available for adoption this year. Curators and reference and acquisitions staff focus on selecting items for the event throughout the year. From that initial pool, each person writing descriptions for Acquisitions Night picks approximately 15-20 items for display and we then weed out items deemed too fragile to show or materials that have already been “adopted” by Folger donors seeking a unique gift to commemorate a birthday, retirement, or a gift in memoriam. The only type of acquisitions we do not offer up for adoption are items that are given to us as gifts. We are very lucky to receive donations of rare and modern materials and we may not and do not ask for reimbursement for something we didn’t purchase ourselves. (See Erin’s post from 2012 on the process she works through in making Acq Night selections.) Below I highlight 3 items up for adoption this year and explain the method of their acquisition. Continue Reading →