“There’s always something to do in the Archives.”
This statement floats between staff and volunteers at the ever-busy Research Center. One ongoing project, among others, is the cataloging of Sharlot Hall’s personal library.
Sharlot’s 1,200-plus book collection offers a fascinating window into her interests and viewpoints on the world. As a poet, Sharlot owned poetry books from around the world, including Persian poetry by Omar Khayyam. She corresponded with British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling and had an entire set of his works. Her collection of fiction was very extensive, including an 1887 edition of the famous anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, books by James Fennimore Cooper, and works by international authors.
Sharlot also collected books on philosophy, religion, mathematics, medicine, Latin grammar, United States and world history, and politics. This last included the Republican Party campaign textbook for the 1924 presidential election—for which she was chosen elector to deliver Arizona’s electoral votes to Washington D.C.
Cataloging Sharlot’s library gives us a rich perspective into Sharlot’s education. The wide range of her books reflects a curious, creative mind and a humanities-oriented education. While Sharlot did not formally attend a university, she received an honorary Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona in 1921.
Many of Sharlot’s books are available through the Yavapai Library Network’s online catalog (https://catalog.yln.info/client/en_US/shm/), and more are being added all the time. To see these books for yourself, visit the Library & Archives Rare Book Room.