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February 24, 1912

Professor Marian P. Whitney and Associate Professor Lilian L. Stroebe of the German department walked across the frozen Hudson River and traveled south to meet the uncle of a Vassar student who, they had heard, collected Goethe material. Through their efforts, Yale University acquired in 1913 the William A. Speck Collection of Goetheana, the largest private Goethe library outside Germany. A German-American pharmacist in Haverstraw, NY, Speck devoted his life to the collection, of which he became curator at Yale, tripling its size before his death in 1928.

The Years