The Catalogue of Cabell's Library
Provost Francis J. Brooke, III with Margaret Freeman Cabell and English professor Maurice Duke at the dedication of Cabell Library, 1968 (l to r). Photo: Richmond Times-Dispatch, used with permission.
In 1968, at the suggestion of Cabell scholar, Dr. Edgar MacDonald, Maurice Duke, a professor of English at RPI, began to catalogue Cabell's books and record their locations within Cabell's house, giving each work a "Duke number" for precise identification. This work became Duke's dissertation submitted to the Graduate College of the University of Iowa.
The Catalogue was an attempt to fully represent the contents of James Branch Cabell’s library as it existed in 1967: its organization, contents, and functions. Each entry in the Catalogue provides the author, title, publisher information, and year, as well as other interesting descriptive elements. Notably featured are signifiers which represent the location of each book, pamphlet, or magazine within Cabell’s home, as his library was largely organized by genre and utility. The Catalogue also provides descriptive information regarding the contents of each book in Cabell’s library, including the bookplate, any autograph or dedication, and the objects enclosed.