Jerome Kern

Jerome Kern (1885–1945) was a composer of musical theater and popular music and an avid collector of rare books. His New York Times obituary notes that "at one time it was said that he was better known in the bookshops than in the marts of the musical trade."[1] Kern's books were disposed at auction in January of 1929. Although Kern's collection was composed primarily of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century first editions of American and British authors, the Folger Shakespeare Library has at least six of his works, ranging from 1556 to 1664.[2]

Notable items now at the Folger

James Shirley, The Maides Revenge, a Tragedy. London: T[homas]. C[otes]. for William Cooke, 1639 [i.e. 1640]. Call number: STC 22450

Thomas Middleton, The Spanish gipsie. London: T[homas]. C[hilde]. and L[eonard]. P[arry]. for Robert Crofts, 1661. Call number: M1987

Henry Falkland, The mariage night. London: W. G[odbid] for R. Crofts, 1664. Call number: F315 c.1

John Heywood, The spider and the flie. : A parable of the spider and the flie, made by Iohn Heywood. Imprinted at London : In Flete Strete by Tho. Povvell, Anno. 1556. Call number: STC 13308

Kern bookplate

  1. New York Times, November 12, 1945.
  2. See also Arthur Freeman, "The Jazz Age Library of Jerome Kern," in Under the Hammer: Book Auctions Since the Seventeenth Century, ed. Robin Myers, Michael Harris, and Giles Mandelbrote New Castle, DE : Oak Knoll Press ; London : British Library, 2001. Call number Z284 .U63 2001.