He who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe

an exhibition of books which have survived Fire, the Sword and the Censors

University of Kansas Library 1955



Catalogue against censorship















Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as any document does not offend our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship.

How will we defeat communism unless we know what it is, what it teaches, and why does it have such an appeal for men, why are so many people swearing allegiance to it? It's almost a religion, albeit one of the nether regions.

And we have got to fight it with something better, not try to conceal the thinking of our own people. They are part of America. And even if they think ideas that are contrary to ours, their right to say them, their right to record them, and their right to have them at places where they're accessible to others is unquestioned or it's not America.


From the remarks of the president of the United States at the Dartmouth College Commencement, June 14, 1953. Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.



AS MILTON WROTE: "And yet on the other hand unless warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image, but hee who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye."—Areopagitica, 1644. Any librarian in the habit of pacing his stack aisles to count his treasures might slow down on occasion and count the books which have found safety only by the narrowest margin. How many books in a library of 700,000 volumes were marked for total destruction at one time or another? Nobody knows. This checklist assembles only a small fraction of the works which have been censored, banned or burned. And what of the destroyed literature which had no margin? Where are the books of the Visigoths?

Our thanks go to Mr. Roland Baughman, Head of Special Collections, Columbia University Libraries, and the University of Illinois Library for useful information; to the R. R. Bowker Company for permission to quote from Anne Lyon Haight's Banned Books, second edition, New York, 1955; to Profs. Werner Winter and P. M. Mitchell for help with the notes; to Mrs. Ingrid Winter and Mr. William F. Shore of the Library staff and Mrs. Hilde Farley for help in mounting the exhibition; to the libraries of the State University of Iowa, Union Theological Seminary, Connecticut Valley Historical Society, University of Illinois, Princeton University, the Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology, Widener and Houghton libraries at Harvard, to Messrs. Harry Levinson, Frank Glenn, Charles E. Feinberg and Peter Murray Hill; to Profs. B. Q. Morgan, W. C. Helmbold, R. Altick and Dr. H. Madden for corrections and additions; and to Dr. Rudolf Joerden, director of the Hamburger Oeffentliche Buecherhallen, for the loan of material. This list is too brief to include our sources. Order is that of the exhibition. An asterisk means the suppressed edition present. All books are from the University of Kansas Libraries unless otherwise indicated.

The Uncensored Compilers

Joseph Rubinstein

Earl Farley

Revised second printing, distributed with the assistance of The Fund for the Republic, Inc.

Foreword ] [ Prelims ] England ] Germany ] Russia ] France ] Spain ] United States ] Various Countries ] Afterword ]

Return to Kenneth Spencer Research Library

University of Kansas Libraries, 1998