American Antiquarian Society Adopt-a-Book Accomplishes Fundraising Goal


A screenshot of the AAS Adopt-a-Book online catalog. Credit: BBRichter

                                                                                                                                                                  On April 6th in Worcester, Massachusetts, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) announced that its tenth annual Adopt-a-Book fundraiser hit its goal of raising $10,000. In years past, donations went towards acquisition support, but this year the AAS decided to use the funds to co-curate an exhibition dubbed Radiant with Color and Art, slated for December 2017 to be held at the Grolier Club in New York.

The exhibition will be an exploration and celebration of the work of children's book publisher McLoughlin Brothers, which operated in New York between 1828 and 1920 and pioneered the use of color printing technology with chromolithographs and photo engravings while also introducing Americans to illustrators like Thomas Nast, Palmer Cox, and Ida Wox. The AAS is home to 1,700 unique pieces of McLoughlin Brothers, and 150 games, books, toys, prints, and watercolors from its archives in support of the show, and the fundraiser helped defray some of the costs associated with packaging and shipping the delicate items.

The Adopt-a-Book event listed items up for "adoption," that is, books and other materials slated for the Grolier exhibition that needed help getting to New York. AAS curators had fun creating witty donation captions--the catalog entry for The Prodigal Son (Henry Dulyken, McLoughlin Bros., 1882) includes the heading, "He just wants to go home!" Each catalog entry was accompanied by a short explanation of the item up for adoption and why it was selected for the show. Suggested donations started at $50 to over $200 per piece. The hard work paid off: every item slated for adoption found a home, and will be traveling to New York in the fall.

If you missed the event, don't fret: the AAS Adopt-a-Book fundraiser would greatly appreciate funds for packing tape, bubble wrap, and book cradles. See the online catalog here: