Acquisition of the 4 millionth volume for the Texas A&M University libraries will be commemorated Thursday (March 26) marking a major milestone for the state's oldest public university.
The acquisition ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. in the Kelsey Reading Room of the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.
Texas A&M's ceremonial 4 millionth publication is a rare copy of "Don Quixote de la Mancha," parts I and II, comprising the first complete edition of Miguel de Cervanes' classic work published in 1617.
The two-volume set is a gift from Sara and John Lindsey, a 1944 Texas A&M graduate, of Houston. University officials noted the Lindsey's have contributed to all three of Texas A&M's previous ceremonial millionth volumes, all of which are housed in the Cushing Library, the section of University Libraries reserved for rare books and special collections.
Texas A&M acquired its millionth volume in 1976, its 2 millionth volume in
1992 and its 3 millionth volume 12 years later.
Library and university officials will be joined at the acquisition ceremony by Nicholas Basbanes, author and rare book specialist, and Lionel Garcia, award winning fiction writer. Events will continue through Saturday (March
28) at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives and the Sterling C. Evans Library.
The series begins with a scholarly symposium, "Anatomy of a Classic: Don Quixote, the Book and the Myth," at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Organized by Eduardo Urbina, director of the Cervantes Project and professor of Hispanic Studies, the event will take place in the Mayo-Thomas Room. Featured scholars include Anthony Close of Cambridge University, Frederick de Armas of University of Chicago, and Edward H. Friedman of Vanderbilt University. The symposium is sponsored by Cushing Memorial Library, University Libraries, the Melbern G.
Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, the Department of Hispanic Studies and the Cervantes Project.
"A Conversation with Nicholas Basbanes" is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday in Evans Library, Room 204E. The event is an informal dialogue with Basbanes, author of numerous books and articles on rare books and book collecting. His first book, "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books" (Henry Holt, 1995) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Since 2004 he has written a bi-monthly column, "Gently Mad," for Fine Books & Collections magazine.
The "4 Millionth Volume" exhibit and program will follow at 3 p.m. in the Kelsey Reading Room. The celebration will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Cushing Library's renovation and feature Basbanes as keynote speaker. Dr. Lionel Garcia, a 1956 Texas A&M graduate, veterinarian and award winning writer of Mexican American fiction, will provide a dramatic reading from "Don Quixote." The Century Singers will perform a medley centered on "The Impossible Dream." Exhibits of "Don Quixote"
editions and other selected rare materials will be on display throughout the building.
The Friends of the Sterling C. Evans Library annual luncheon meeting will cap the week's festivities at 11 a.m. Saturday outside Cushing Library.
Guest speaker Eduardo Urbina will share his scholarly adventures in collecting rare editions of "Don Quixote." Exhibits and tours will take place in Cushing Library, and the meeting will take place under a tent outside Cushing's entrance.
The campus community and the local community are invited to all events, but reservations are required for the Friends annual meeting.