John Needels Chester collection, 1703-1939 | University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library
John Chester, a member of the University of Illinois Class of 1891, gave portions of his collection to the University Library over a twenty year period. Among his early gifts was a first edition of Sir Walter Raleigh's The History of the World (1614). This volume was the first gift made to the Library through the University of Illinois Foundation. His other gifts included a collection of material concerning the period of World War I, books on Napoleon Bonaparte, his family, and his era, fifteen volumes of literature, including a first edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and two manuscript letters written by James Whitcomb Riley. Approximately 175 manuscript items are located in the Rare Book and Special Collections Library (MS944.05n16wche) as well as the more valuable monographs.
Some items individually described in the Letters card catalog.