Musical Instruction Manual
Shay, William. Shay's banjo school. Chicago & Boston: White, Smith, & Co., 1875.
Nineteenth-century instruction manuals for that most American of instruments — the banjo — are relatively few in number, and many are still absent from the AAS collection. Hence we welcomed the chance to acquire Shay's banjo school, whose color-printed cover attests to the instrument's successful transformation from its African-American origins to an object suitable for the Victorian domestic parlor. Purchased on eBay. NEH Challenge Fund.
-David Whitesell, Curator of Books
"One day I am visited by a collector of ordination sermons; the next, by
a collector of 4th of July orations; then comes a collector of geography;
another wants religious newspapers; another wants every book printed in
New York before 1700. I accommodate myself to all; for I want every thing
and collect every thing, and I have more zeal than the whole of them: and
in this way I am kept very busy."
~Christopher Columbus Baldwin
3rd Librarian of AAS