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John Bennett Shaw Collection of Printed Ephemera for Modern Authors

Identifier: EPH 5015

Scope and Contents

Although this collection contains, as the title implies, much that is ephemeral and prosaic, there are many items of interest: from early publications of Eliot's "The Waste Land" in The Dial (November 1922) and Yeats's "Leda and the Swan" in To-Morrow (August 1924) to the initial publication of Waugh's The Loved One in Horizon, February 1948. There is a playbill from I Am a Camera, which is based upon Isherword's Berlin Stories and which subsequently became the film Cabaret to a moving recording of Gertrude Stein reading her tribute to Sherwood Anderson, "Valentine for Sherwood." More obscure figures are also represented, for example: Harvey Breit's There Falls Tom Fool inscribed by the author and the "crime dossiers" of Dennis Wheatley.


  • Creation: 1897-1986
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1900-1970s


Language of Materials


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

John Bennett Shaw (1913-1994) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the U. of Notre Dame (A.B., cum laude, 1937), pursued graduate work at Columbia U. (1937-1938), and completed his masters degree in literature at the U. of Tulsa in 1940. He held positions with the Bennett Drilling Company as well as with the Fitzgerald Funeral Service (both in Tulsa); however, his passion was always books, bookstores, and libraries. He was a bibliophile and collector, owned and managed his own bookstore in Tulsa, and served on library councils from the Oklahoma Library Association to the American Library Association. When Shaw retired from business in 1970 to pursue his passion full time, he and his wife Dorothy moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There he continued to share his knowledge and collections with other book lovers who visited Santa Fe or who contacted him by mail or telephone. He was well known across the US and abroad for his lectures and seminars, particularly on the subject of Sherlock Holmes. Throughout his life Shaw maintained close ties with his alma mater, the U. of Notre Dame. From the 1950s through the 1980s, he sold or donated over 20,000 volumes to the Hesburgh Libraries, among these the Eric Gill, G. K. Chesterton, and Cuala Press collections. The Modern Authors collection, which is comprised primarily of American and British authors, features: James Farrell, Lafcadio Hearn, Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, Arthur Machen, Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats, Evelyn Waugh, and many others. With regard to the books, some were cataloged for the general collection, while many more (first editions, limited editions, and private press books) were cataloged for the rare books department.


24.5 Cubic Feet


Collection consists of programs, playbills, proof copy, publication announcements, press releases, and other ephemera. The authors in the collection are primarily 20th-century British and American writers. The collection also includes many single-issue journals, quite frequently the place where a story or poem was first published.


The collection consists of one series; authors are arranged alphabetically, and within each author grouping, material is arranged chronologically.

John Bennett Shaw Collection of Printed Ephemera for Modern Authors EPH 5015
Selena Ponio
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556