The University of Scranton Celebrates the 300th Birthday of Samuel Johnson

Sep 30, 2009

        The University of Scranton's Weinberg Memorial Library is one of the select rare-book libraries in the United States to feature original and rare writings by Samuel Johnson in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth. 

        Most famous for his Dictionary of English Language, Johnson is one of the most important prose writers in England during the middle and late 18th century. His 40 years of literacy dominance have been called "The Age of Johnson."  During that time, Johnson was subject to the first and most influential modern biography written by James Boswell, who has also earned recognition for his literary works. 

        The extensive exhibit, "Scarce Books and Elegant Editions," at the Weinberg Memorial Library features the entire range of Johnson's literacy output including poetry, drama, satire, essays and the dictionary. The exhibit is the collection of University of Scranton alumnus and benefactor Edward R. Leahy. The collection features rare Johnson and Boswell works including first editions, autographed letters, and a surviving copy of The Life of Samuel Johnson written by Boswell containing uncensored, unprinted material from the original text concerning Johnson's marital fidelity.

        The exhibit, currently on display through Dec. 11 on the fifth floor Heritage Room of the Weinberg Memorial Library, is free and open to the public. In addition, there will be an exhibit reception and talk by Mr. Leahy about the collection on Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room at the library.

        Edward R. Leahy, Esq., a native of Mahanoy City and an alumnus of The University of Scranton, is a Managing Partner of AEG Capital LLC in Washington, D.C.  He has served as chair of the University's Board of Trustees.

        A member of a family known for their benevolence, Mr. Leahy and his wife, Patricia, have graciously and generously initiated and supported numerous programs at The University of Scranton, including the annual Northeast U.S. Conference on disAbility.  In 2008, The Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured opened as the only free clinic in Lackawanna County.  In 2003, The University of Scranton dedicated The Leahy Community Health & Family Center, in honor of Edward R. Leahy, Jr., the late son of Mr. and Mrs. Leahy. Leahy was honored with the University's Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished and Exceptional Attainment and an Honorary Degree.

        For additional information about the reception and exhibit call Michael Knies at the Weinberg Memorial Library at 941-6341.

Back to Top