The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) will take on a new name: the Stuart A. Rose Library. The name change follows 1976 Goizueta Business School alumnus Stuart A. Rose’s donation of 22 rare books valuing more than $1 million to the library in 2011.
“The donation of this collection aims to make sure that students can access moments of wonder and the moments of joy while reading and doing research,” Rose said.
According to Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English Kevin Young, the collection includes the first editions of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as works from Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and others.
The name change follows a complete renovation of the library, featuring large conference rooms, colorful wall displays and a multitude of interactive screens, through which visitors can send and share documents.
“I think it’s perfect timing, really,” Young said. “This change serves as a complement to the space’s transformation and to the fact that more students and scholars than ever are recognizing the uniqueness of the Rose Library.”
The renovations and renaming will provide the Rose Library with “the capacity and the space to show off its collections and to have people interact with [the collections],” Young said, “He has a great personal collection — one of the best collections, I think, in the world. It’s really lovely to be in [what is now] Stuart’s library.”
Around 60 guests and speakers gathered on the top floor of the Robert W. Woodruff Library for the dedication ceremony of the newly named library on Oct. 1. At the event, along with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a private luncheon, Rose spoke about his love for books.
“My joy in life has always been hunting for books,” Rose said. “The great thing I like about this collection is that for students, even just a glimpse outside their fields in MARBL would lead to their joy of learning [and] feeling the books – the joy of the original books and the joy of looking at the authors’ handwriting.”
Rose explained that his humanities professor was the first person to expose him to the way college aims to develop students into well-rounded individuals. As a business student, Rose enjoyed taking electives outside of his field and found that it helped him learn how to relate to different people as a businessman. Collecting books from different fields allows him to connect with people who have various specialties.
University President James W. Wagner was present at the dedication ceremony.
“Stuart is truly a generous philanthropist who has great gift for collecting,” Wagner said. “He, of course, is also a rather accomplished alum in the University. As a businessman, he has been the CEO and now the executive board chairman for Rex Resources.”
Wagner added that the renovation of the library and the addition of Rose’s collection on campus closely align with the mission of the University — “to create, preserve, teach and apply our knowledge in the service of humanity.”
Enterprise CIO and Senior Vice Provost for Library Services and Digital Scholarship Rich Mendola pointed out the significant transformation that Rose Library will bring to academic research of the Emory community and beyond.
“Rose really brings a unique and comprehensive collection to the library,” Mendola said. “A transformation is going on since students and scholars from various specialties, especially humanities, will be able to access rare and invaluable books and research resources.”
Yolanda Cooper, University librarian, and Rosemary Magee, director of Rose Library, introduced the library to the audience as an astonishing collection of materials, rare books, documents, artifacts, photographs and manuscripts from across the world.
“In this very room over the course of the fall semester, we will have at least 41 classes exploring rare materials and courses such as ‘History of Mexico,’ ‘American Religious Cultures,’ ‘Old English Language and Literature,’ ‘Medieval Heroes and Monsters’ [and] ‘Southern Women’s Writers,’ ” Magee said.
Rose has a stepdaughter who recently graduated from Emory and a niece who is currently enrolled at Oxford College, according to Magee.
Sarah Freeman used the library’s Flannery O’Connor collection for her senior thesis last academic year, which included more than 600 letters from O’Connor to her mother.
“It is great to honor the people who are sustaining the collection of materials,” Freeman said, referring to Rose. “With all of the digitization of books, it is [reassuring] to see the preservation of manuscripts, especially first editions, and the people who are working to do that.”