Callier Trustee Donates Trove of Historic Books
Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary,  Signed 1879 Volume of American Poetry Are Among the Treasures Joining McDermott Library's Special Collections

A prominent Dallas physician with a close connection to the University has donated a rare collection of 10 historic books and pamphlets to UT Dallas’ McDermott Library.

The books donated by Dr. Ludwig Michael, a trustee emeritus of the Foundation for the Callier Center, capture important moments in the history of American literature and in the English language itself.

Dr. Michael had been an avid collector of Mark Twain material since his college days and frequently visited antiquarian book stores on his travels to medical conventions and meetings. He eventually expanded his tastes beyond Twain as he sought rare items to add to his eclectic collection.

Ludwig Michael

Dr. Ludwig Michael had been an avid collector of Mark Twain material since his college days.

The most prominent of Michael’s books joining UT Dallas’ Special Collections are a petite edition of Poems of the Old South and a two-volume, first-edition set of Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language. The latter, published in 1755, is considered to be one of the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.

“Dr. Michael’s gift provides McDermott Library with several treasures, including the Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language,” said Dr. Ellen Safley, Director of UT Libraries. “It was the English dictionary for more than 150 years until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary.”

Despite its title, Poems of the Old South refers to a historic structure in the northeast United States. The Old South Meeting House (and church) in Boston preceded the better-known Old North Church of Paul Revere fame and was the organizing point for the 1773 Boston Tea Party. When the Old South faced demolition in the 1880s, preservationists rallied to save it. They raised funds by issuing a book with exclusive works by famous poets.

“Dr. Michael’s gift provides McDermott Library with several treasures including the Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language. It was the English dictionary for more than 150 years, until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary.”

Dr. Ellen Safley, director of UT Libraries

The UT Dallas copy donated by Michael was a second edition issued in 1879, whose glamour is provided by the signatures of all of the contributors – Henry W. Longfellow, John G. Whittier, Julia Ward Howe (who also wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic”), Edward E. Hale, James F. Clarke and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.  Longfellow and Holmes dated their signatures by adding “1879.”

Dr. Michael served in the Army in Chickasha, Okla., and at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he worked with soldiers who had suffered hearing loss. He received a B.A. and M.D. from New York University and completed otolaryngology work at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

He came to Dallas in 1948, joining the staff of Baylor Medical Center, where he was named chief of otolaryngology in 1964 and again in 1975.

“My association with UT Dallas comes, really, through Callier,” Michael said. “Nelle Johnston and I were two founders of the Callier Hearing and Speech Center in 1963.”

Johnston was also the first administrative assistant to the founders of Texas Instruments – Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott and Cecil Green – who also founded the predecessor to UT Dallas. Michael has served as president of the Foundation for the Callier Center and is now one of its emeritus trustees.

Dr. Michael and his wife, Dr. Carmen Michael, a psychologist, have been active in the Dallas area with Baylor University Medical Center, UT Southwestern, SMU, UT Dallas Callier Center and numerous community organizations.

Dr. Ludwig Michael’s donated collection includes many writings by Mark Twain and a historic dictionary more than two centuries old. 


The collection is made up of the following:

A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson.  This historic two-volume dictionary was the first work to match the scope of dictionaries produced by the continental academies. Printed by W. Strahan for J. and P. Knapton, T. and T. Longman; C. Hitch and L. Hawes; A. Millar, and R. and J. Dodsley; in London in 1755.

Poems of the Old South. This small collection of poems by Henry W. Longfellow, John G. Whittier, Julia W. Howe, Edward E. Hale, James F. Clarke, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was assembled to raise funds for the Old South Meeting House. This limited, signed edition was published by the Old South Fair Committee in 1879.

Mark Twain’s Speeches: This book contains 40 years of speeches on a variety of topics with an introduction by William Dean Howells. Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York and London, 1910.

A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain: A 1904 first-edition pamphlet reprinting a story from Harper’s Magazine in 1903. Printed for the National Anti-Vivisection Society. One of the rarest Twain pamphlets.

The Curious Republic of Gondour by Samuel L. Clemens. Most of the sketches in this book were taken from a series the author wrote for The Galaxy from May 1870 to April 1871.

Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: The American Publishing Company, Hartford, Conn. Chicago Ill: Cincinnati, Ohio. A. Roman and Co., San Francisco, 1879. Copyright Samuel L. Clemens 1875. The first publication was by Chatto and Windus in England in June 1876. A July 4, 1876, pirated edition in Canada made its way to the U.S. much to Twain’s chagrin. The American Publishing Company  issued the first U.S. edition in December 1876.

Moore’s Poetical Works, Complete in One Volume by Thomas Moore. This book has gilded edges with a painted fore-edge.  A collected edition of 10 volumes published in 1840-1842 in Latin with English translation. Contains the author’s introduction and notes with a portrait by George Richmonds. London, Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, Paternoster Row, 1852.

The Niagara Book Illustrated by W.D. Howells, Mark Twain and others. This souvenir of Niagara Falls contains sketches, stories and essays written exclusively for this book. Buffalo Underhill and Nichols, 1893.

King Leopold’s Soliloquy: A Defense of his Congo Rule by Mark Twain. This softbound pamphlet is a  work of political satire. The P.R. Warren Co., Boston, 1905.

Miscellaneous Essays by H.T. Peck. The majority of these essays were written by Harry Thurston Peck, a Latin professor at Columbia University. But also included are two essays by Twain: “At The Appetite Cure” (The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1898), and “Christian Science and the Book of Mrs. Eddy” (The Cosmopolitan, Oct. 1899).

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].