New Resource: Subject Guide for The Eugene Istomin Collection

Special Collections and University Archives is highlighting items from the Eugene Istomin collection within the Literature and Rare Books collections with a new subject guide, The Eugene Istomin Collection!

Eugene Istomin was a great American pianist, renowned for his artistry in recitals, chamber music and orchestral solos. Among his many accolades, Istomin was the Director of the University of Maryland piano festival, and beginning with President Eisenhower’s administration through the 1980s, Eugene Istomin served as a cultural ambassador, performing on three occasions at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In addition to his music, Eugene Istomin had many other interests, including visual arts, literature, history, and sports.

Amassing a multitude of various titles over the span of his life, Eugene Istomin appreciated the art of the book. His personal library was filled with editions where the text is part of a complete work featuring fine illustrations, high-quality production, and choice materials. Eugene Istomin’s books document his friendships with notable figures such as Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso and Avigdor Arikha. Many of whom personally inscribed titles in the collection.

Some interesting titles in the Eugene Istomin Collection include: Boswell’s Life of Johnson by James Boswell edited by George Birkbeck Hill, 1887. Ashe Wednesday by T.S. Eliot, 1930. The Vale Shakespeare by William Shakespeare, 1900. Fables ancient and modern: translated into verse, from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems by John Dryden, 1700. Carnet Picasso: Paris, 1900 by Pablo Picasso, 1972.

Explore the new guide for a glimpse into the over 600 titles cataloged and held in the Literature and Rare Books collections at the UNiversity of Maryland Libraries. These titles are available to researchers visiting the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library. For more information on the Eugene Istomin Collection contact us!


Victoria Vera is a graduate student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program at UMD and a student assistant in the Literature and Rare Books Collections, Special Collections and University Archives.

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