The Wachs Collection, which numbers nearly 900 titles, was started in 1970 and continued to grow for over forty years. It was guided throughout by the third volume, covering 1800-1900, of The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (1969-77). Books selected for the Wachs collection are nearly all "special" copies: in splendid condition, often with a presentation inscription that reveals a personal association, and sometimes one of very few known copies.
After Dr. Wachs's death, the collection was placed on deposit at the University of Chicago Library. Part of the collection will be dispersed, but thanks to the great generosity of the Wachs family (Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB'92), hundreds of titles are being donated to the University of Chicago. This magnificent gift will create entirely new areas of depth to the Library's collection, for example Anglo-Indian poetry, and add many works previously not in the collection or with features of great interest to researchers. The University of Chicago Library will produce a comprehensive catalogue to serve as a permanent record of this remarkable collection.