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About the Exhibition

This online exhibition is dedicated to the memory of James Davis.

L-R: Lawrence Clark Powell, James Davis, Robert Vosper

In the year 2000, the UCLA Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Department of Special Collections located in the basement of the Charles E. Young Research Library. This year also marked the 49th anniversary of the library’s acquisition of the Michael Sadleir Collection of fiction published between the 1790s and the turn of the twentieth century.  In addition, 2000 marked the 55th anniversary of the founding of the journal, Nineteenth-Century Literature (originally called The Trollopian) by Bradford Booth, of the UCLA English Department. Dr. Thomas Wortham and Dr. Joseph Bristow, both of the UCLA English Department, organized a conference in celebration of the Sadleir Collection, the journal, and the study of nineteenth-century fiction in February 2000.

Rare Book Librarian James Davis from Special Collections inspired Suzanne Tatian, Miriam Dudley (Librarian retired) and Claire Bellanti of the UCLA Libraries to organize as a companion to the conference, an exhibition of the Sadleir Collection, which was mounted from January through March of 2000.

The information and photographs from this exhibit provided the basis of several talks and two later exhibits of the Sadleir Collection. Tatian and Bellanti presented an illustrated talk at the VISAWUS (Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States) meeting at UCLA 2001. In October 2004, the Jane Austen Society of North America held its Annual General Meeting in Los Angeles at the Biltmore Hotel downtown. Tatian and Bellanti mounted a new exhibit of the Austen materials from the Sadleir collection and gave an illustrated talk at a post-conference meeting at UCLA, allowing visitors the opportunity to view the entire Sadleir 19th century novel collection behind floor-to-ceiling glass-fronted bookcases in the Bradford A. Booth Room itself. For the April 2008 meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region, Tatian, Dudley and Bellanti gleaned new material from the Sadleir collection, for a talk on Silver Fork novels. An exhibition in Special Collections accompanied the illustrated talk, which was presented at the meeting earlier that by Dudley and Bellanti at the UCLA Faculty Center.

The information and photographs from all of these talks and exhibits has been combined into this web commemoration of the Sadleir Collection.

The organizers wish to thank the staff in UCLA Library Special Collections, especially Octavio Olvera, for his assistance over the years. Thanks also to Duff Tatian, who photographed many of the materials for this electronic exhibit.