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William S. Akin Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-001

Scope and Contents

This collection highlights the life and work of a book-collector and contains reviews, letters, and articles collected over the years as Mr. Akin sought out and acquired desired works. The non-monographic portion of the collection measures over seven (7) linear feet, while monographs number over 4,000, with a special emphases upon British literature, including Lewis Carroll, James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and John Bunyan, and Americana, including a first British printing of Lewis and Clark's Journal (1814).

The contents of the Akin Book Collection may be searched in the library catalog as keyword: SC/01


  • Created: 1921-1999
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1950-1976
  • Other: Date acquired: 1968


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.


20 boxes

8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

This substantial rare book collection was given to Wheaton College in memory of its fourth President, Dr. V. Raymond Edman by William S. Akin in 1968 with several minor donations in subsequent years.

Other Descriptive Information

SC-01, the foundational gift of rare books for Buswell Library Special Collections, was made possible by book collector, William S. Akin (1893-1985) of Evanston, Illinois. His book collection (ca 460 linear ft.) and papers (3 linear ft.) were given to Wheaton College in memory of its fourth President, Dr. V. Raymond Edman. This friendship began soon after Akin's review of Fire on the Prairie: The Story of Wheaton College, published in 1950. What began in 1965 as an exhibit-loan, became guest appearances to talk about book collecting (1966-7), and culminated in the gift (1968-) of the entire collection. In November 1976, the William S. Akin Collection (SC-01) and Rare Book Study Room were dedicated.

William S. Akin Papers
Buswell Library Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 USA