Hermon Dunlap Smith Gallery
When Chicago steel magnate Everett D. Graff walked into Wright Howes’ bookshop on Michigan Avenue in the 1920s he sparked one of the most important friendships in the book world. Their four-decade partnership, which included cross-country road trips in search of books, manuscripts, and maps, resulted in a world-class American history collection, which Graff donated to the Newberry in 1964. Some of the Graff Collection of Western Americana’s major strengths include Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the early Midwest, the mining and cattle frontiers, the Mormon trek westward, and the “cowboys & Indians” of pop culture. The friendship also facilitated Howes’ creation of U.S.-IANA, a single-volume bibliography of nearly 12,000 entries on Americana that remains one of the most essential resources for people interested in acquiring, studying, or evaluating materials on American history and culture. This year marks the 50th anniversary of U.S.-IANA’s definitive edition.
View the digital version of the exhibition.