Noted Chicago Book Collectors
Alumnus and trustee, Abel Berland, began his connection with DePaul University in the 1930s when he was accepted to DePaul’s College of Law after denied admission elsewhere, due to quotas on Jewish students. When his family ran short of tuition money, DePaul aided his financial needs. Once established in a highly successful career, Berland pursued his love of books by collecting fine editions of masterpieces and classics. He never forgot how DePaul helped him earn the privilege of collecting his rare library. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Berland was an early and influential supporter of the creation of a Special Collections Department at DePaul University. The name of the reading room attests to his contributions in materials and funds.
Pierce Butler is best known for his role as Rare Book Curator for the Newberry Library’s John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing from 1916-1919 and as a professor in the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago from 1931-1951. Fluent in 7 languages, Butler traveled extensively to procure rare books for institutions, as well as his own library. Bulter's exact relationship with DePaul University Libraries is unclear. However, Rev. Redmond Burke, C.S.V., DePaul Library Director (1948-1967), had a wide ranging interest in building special collections at DePaul and was known for his collegiality amongst other collectors and institutions.