The George Fraser Black Collection on Witchcraft includes reproductions and some originals of 16th through early 20th century printed works as well as a variety of other historical works on witchcraft. Highlights of the collection include a 1580 edition of the Mallevs maleficarvm, as well as Dr. Black’s own bibliographic publications on the history of witchcraft and the occult.
George Fraser Black, an early twentieth century librarian at the New York Public Library, researched a variety of topics, from the history of Scotland, and the culture of the Romany (Gypsies), to the study of witchcraft history.
The collection, first donated to Fairleigh Dickinson University and transferred to Drew University Library in 2001, is a representative sample of the research tools available to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century scholar. It predates the extensive distribution of primary source materials via microfiche and microfilm, let alone the appearance of digitized images and/or transcriptions of such sources online. While these items are often available in reprints or via library sites (or Google Books), it’s a visual experience to see the originals and early reprints that are part of this collection.