January 22, 2022

A First Edition of Mark Twain's "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court" Donated to Indiana St. University Library

From an ISU News Release:

One of Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library’s newest additions comes with a little wear on its green cover.

That’s OK. It’s 123 years old.

Barbara Cordell donated the 1889 first edition of “A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain to the library’s special collections department. “Connecticut” wasn’t added before “Yankee” until later editions. The book, illustrated by Dan Beard, includes a hand-written note from Beard stating, “It was more fun illustrating this book than any other I ever tackled.”

Cunningham Memorial Library Dean Alberta Comer described the donation as important because the book is a first edition and signed by the illustrator.


Cinda May, special collections chair, said the book will join the rare book collection and other Twain imprints that the library owns.

“We’re thrilled to have it to add to our literary holdings,” May said. “It’s a terrific example of 19th Century illustrated books.”


Other first editions Cordell plans to donate include: “A Tramp Abroad,” “The Tragedy of Pudd’n’head Wilson,” “Jumping Frog” and “Life on the Mississippi.”

Read the Complete Article/View Sample Illustrations

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.