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The Rodger L. Tarr Collection of Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), the Scottish-born social critic and historian, was one of the formative influences on nineteenth-century intellectual life on both sides of the Atlantic.

His published writings range from mathematics, German literature, and politics to biography, theology, literary criticism, and history. Prof. Rodger L. Tarr, a South Carolina alumnus who prepared the standard Pittsburgh bibliography of Carlyle's writings (1989), built up this superb collection over a twenty-year period. The collection comprises approximately 1500 items, including first editions and reprintings in original condition of Carlyle's works from his translation of Legendre's Elements of Geometry (Edinburgh, 1824) onwards. The collection also has works by and about Jane Welsh Carlyle, and visual materials and secondary publications on both the Carlyles. Notable items include two copies of the first privately-distributed printing of Sartor Resartus (1834), portions of manuscript from The French Revolution, Past and Present, and Frederick the Great, and an apparently-unique proof for Richard Josey's engraving of the Whistler portrait. Highlights from the collection are described in the published catalogue of the Carlyle bicentenary exhibit (1995).

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