Janet Zastrow Cook Willa Cather and Rare Book Collections
General information: Established in 2007-2008
Allegany College of Maryland offers a collection of materials related to celebrated American author Willa Cather and
other revered American and British authors. These impressive items, gathered by Dr. Gary Cook in name and memory
of his late wife, Janet, an ACM English professor, are housed in a handsome room known as the Janet Zastrow Cook
Willa Cather and Rare Book Collections.
The Collection holds a variety of important Cather materials and other rare and valuable books and resources. These
resources are here to be used for reading enjoyment and for research purpose.
(1903) and a first edition of
The Troll Garden
(1905) along with first editions of
(1918) represent works from Willa Cather's early years. From Cather's Alfred A. Knopf association,
the collection presently has eleven of the thirteen limited editions, signed by the author. These Knopf publications
One of Ours
A Lost Lady
The Professor's House
My Mortal Enemy
Death Comes For The Archbishop
Shadows On The Rock
Not Under Forty
Sapphira And The Slave Girl
In addition to the limited editions and trade editions of Cather's works, the Collection contains books written about
Willa Cather. Included in these support books are works by such eminent Cather scholars as E. K. Brown, Mildred
R. Bennett, Bernice Slote, Susan J. Rosowski, and Joan Crane. It is a goal of the Janet Zastrow Cook Collection
to offer books written by and written about Willa Cather's friends and associates. These people were certainly
a part of her life and her development. Insights gained by reading these works can contribute immeasurably
to the research of this writer.
Letters written by Willa Cather are the rarest of all items to find. In her last years Cather asked people with
whom she had corresponded to destroy her letters. Many honored her request. This control of her correspondence
extended to her directing explicitly that no letter or portion thereof could be published or quoted. Acquiring
original correspondence is the greatest challenge for the Collection. The Janet Zastrow Collection presently
has several Cather letters.
The stature of Willa Cather as a writer and as a research subject has no better attestation than the number of doctoral
dissertations written about her. Since her death 254 dissertations have currently been produced in universities
throughout the United States and Canada. These dissertations are all available on microfilm or microfiche in
Finally, the Janet Zastrow Cook Collection has established an association with The Willa Cather Foundation, located at
Red Cloud, Nebraska. The Collection proudly offers every newsletter published by this vital Cather organization
from 1957 to the present.