Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lawrence S. Thompson, March 8, 1982

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Hugh Peal--Friendship with Thompson

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Partial Transcript: Let me back up here just a little bit about meeting Mr. Peal.

Segment Synopsis: Lawrence Thompson tells the story of how he met book collector Hugh Peal and their resulting friendship. He talks about Peal's book dealer Dave Kirschenbaum, and talks about Peal's collections.

Keywords: Albert Bonine; Auctions; Book collectors; Carnegie Bookshop; Dave Kirschenbaum; Donations; Grolier Club; Jim Schoff; Library collections; Library staff; New York; Relationships; Sales; Virginia

Subjects: Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.; University of Kentucky. Libraries

00:09:41 - Hugh Peal--Personality

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Partial Transcript: Uh, thinking back to Woodburn. Uh, I've been there one time.

Segment Synopsis: Thompson talks about Peal's home, called Woodburn, in Loudoun County, Virginia. He talks more about Peal's collections, and talks about his attitudes toward other collectors.

Keywords: Book collectors; Collections; Comparisons; Competition; Connoisseurship; Cooperation; Donations; Personality; Scholars; Well-known; Woodburn

Subjects: Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.

00:16:46 - Hugh Peal--Donations to the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: What, uh--I wonder if you could give me a few of the details about, uh, his plan to, to give books to UK?

Segment Synopsis: Thompson talks about Peal donating books to UK students, and how the books were acquired. He talks about Peal's donations to the UK Library, and discusses the effect the beginning of the Special Collections department had upon Peal's decision to donate his materials to the library.

Keywords: Audubon prints; Changes; Conditions; Donations; Dr. Thomas D. Clark; Gifts; Giveaway programs; Gordon Ray; Jacqueline Bull; Library collections; Meetings; Quality; Sharing

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; College benefactors; College facilities.; College students--Books and reading.; Library resources.; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.; University of Kentucky. Libraries; University of Kentucky. Libraries. Division of Special Collections and Archives

00:26:37 - Hugh Peal--Collecting interests

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Partial Transcript: Uh, concentrating a little bit on the collection, uh, what could we identify as some of the areas of special interest?

Segment Synopsis: Thompson discusses Hugh Peal's interests, including botany and 19th Century English literature, which his collection was comprised of. He talks about Peal's interest in primary source material. He discusses Peal's involvement in organizations and societies. He talks about people who may have influenced Peal's collecting.

Keywords: 19th Century English literature; Albums; Book collectors; Botanical illustrations; Botany; Dave Kirschenbaum; Enjoyment; French; German; Giveaway program; Influences; Languages; Latin; Library collections; Manuscripts; Organizations; Societies; Source material; Special interests

Subjects: Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.

00:38:44 - Hugh Peal--Value of his collections

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Partial Transcript: Just--uh, one of the things, uh, occurred to me about Mr. Peal's collection and its quality is that it might compare favorably with a number of institutional collections.

Segment Synopsis: Thompson talks about the research value of Hugh Peal's collections and their importance to scholars.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Comparisons; Institutions; Quality; Researchers; Scholars; Usefulness; Value

Subjects: Academic libraries.; College students--Books and reading.; Library resources.; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.; University of Kentucky. Libraries

00:42:15 - Hugh Peal--Scrapbook and life history

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Partial Transcript: That's, uh, Dr. McVey, uh.

Segment Synopsis: Thompson and the interviewers look at pictures in a scrapbook made by Hugh Peal. They discuss Peal's life and his relationships with people at the University of Kentucky. He talks about the quality of education at UK, and discusses whether he feels the university has given Peal enough recognition for his contributions. He talks about Peal's relationships with the UK Library staff.

Keywords: "Monkey Miller"; Arthur McQuiston Miller; Catalog; Correspondence; Diaries; Dr. Frank McVey; Dr. Herman Donovan; Early life; Honorary degrees; Honorary members; Jackson Purchase; James K. Patterson; Kentucky Kernel newspaper; Letters; Margaret I. King; Margaret Tuttle; Phi Beta Kappa fraternity; Quality of education; Recognition; Relationships; Scrapbooks; Sports; T. T. Jones; Teaching; Walter K. Patterson; Western Kentucky

Subjects: Academic librarians; Childhood; College administrators; College benefactors; College presidents; College teachers--Rating of.; Education--Kentucky; Educators; Library resources.; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. Libraries

00:54:54 - Hugh Peal--Conversations and correspondence

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Partial Transcript: Dr. Thompson, y--I think you've given us a good feel for what the man himself was like--uh, is like.

Segment Synopsis: Thompson talks about conversations he had with Peal regarding politics, as well as gardening. He talks about whether Peal often corresponded with authors.

Keywords: Authors; Book dealers; Children; Conversations; Correspondence; Gardening; John F. Kennedy; Letters; Lyndon B. Johnson; Opinions; Policies; Public affairs; Richard Nixon; Trees; Winnifred Myers; World War II

Subjects: Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Politicians; Politics and government

01:00:59 - Hugh Peal--Attitudes about the South and Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Do you know if he, uh, was--did he ever say much about having a Southern background?

Segment Synopsis: Thompson discusses Peal's views on the South, his involvement in Kentucky politics, and why he left Kentucky. He says that Peal was once offered the deanship of the UK Law School but declined the position.

Keywords: Deanships; Dr. Herman Donovan; Job offers; Lawyers; New York; Personality; Southern background; Southerners; William Goebel

Subjects: College administrators; College presidents; Kentucky--Politics and government; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Regionalism--Southern States; Universities and colleges--Administration.; University of Kentucky. College of Law

01:06:14 - Hugh Peal--Connections with Judge Samuel Wilson and Winston Coleman

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Partial Transcript: Do you you know if he was interested in music or other--or the other arts?

Segment Synopsis: Thompson talks about whether Peal was interested in the arts. He discusses Peal's limited relationships with Judge Samuel Wilson and Winston Coleman.

Keywords: Arts; Connections; Correspondence; Donations; Dr. Frank McVey; Illustrations; J. Winston Coleman; Judge Samuel M. Wilson; Lawyers; Library collections; Music; Painting; Quality; Relationships; Value

Subjects: Coleman, J. Winston (John Winston), 1898-1983; College benefactors; Lexington (Ky.); Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.; Wilson, Samuel M. (Samuel Mackay), 1871-1946

01:10:34 - Hugh Peal--More on collecting interests

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Partial Transcript: Do you think he ever collected with the intention of writing, say, on Lamb or writing on Coleridge or--

Segment Synopsis: Thompson says that he believes Peal did not collect with the intention of writing his own books, but for enjoyment.

Keywords: Enjoyment; Library collections; Objectives; Selling; Trades; Writing

Subjects: Library resources.; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-; Private libraries; Rare books.

01:14:01 - Hugh Peal--Fashion

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Partial Transcript: Talking about Mr. Peal's own personality and his bearing and so forth.

Segment Synopsis: Thompson describes Peal's fashion sense and wardrobe. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Clothes; Conservative; London (England); Personality; Shoes; Styles

Subjects: Clothing and dress.; Fashion.; Peal, W. Hugh, 1898-