left arrow Back to Previous

The Best of the West: Western Americana at the Clements Library

visit website right arrow Email right arrow



"The Best of the West" is an exhibition of 45 printed rarities in early western Americana from the Clements Library collection. The exhibit is a tribute to antiquarian bookseller and outstanding Americanist William S. Reese (1955-2018), drawing upon Reese's 2017 book "The Best of the West" for its descriptions of the titles on display.

The books and pamphlets in the exhibition range chronologically from Miguel Venegas' 1757 "Noticia de la California" to Thomas F. Dawson & F. J. V. Skiff's 1879 "The Ute War." In between are dozens of the rarest examples of western Americana primary sources, in Spanish, French, English, and German. They include discovery and exploration narratives, 19th-century overland narratives, prints and views of Native Americans, color-plate books, gold and silver mining reports, and other glimpses of the trans-Mississippi West. The Clements Library's holdings in printed western Americana are remarkably strong, and probably not more than 10 or 15 other American libraries could have assembled this material from their own collections.

Open Fridays; please check hours at myumi.ch/650X8