The Omar Shakespear Pound Islamica Collection
Omar Shakespear Pound, poet, scholar, and translator from the Arabic and Persian, has been acknowledged as perhaps the most significant translator of Persian and Arabic classical texts since Edward FitzGerald's translations of the quatrains of Omar Khayam. Pound taught at Cambridge and Princeton University. In addition to his several volumes of poetry and translations, he edited three volumes of his father Ezra Pound's letters and is an editor and bibliographer of the writings of Wyndham Lewis. Through years of research and collecting, Mr. Pound built an extraordinary library of more than 900 works of Islamica in Persian, Arabic, Farsi, English, French, German, Russian, and Chinese, dating from the 17th through the late 20th centuries. The eclectic collection of books, pamphlets, newspapers, and journals includes poetry and literary criticism, art, religion, history, biography, dictionaries, encyclopedias, grammars, phrase books, travel books—even children's textbooks. Pound's scholarly interests extend to the Indian subcontinent as well, and he built a fine small research collection of books on Indian colonial history, with special emphasis on the Indian Rebellion, commonly known as "the Great Mutiny," of 1857.
In 2005, Elizabeth S. Pound approached Middlebury College with an offer to donate her husband's collection to the College Library. After months of preparing a 36-page inventory and shipping details, the Omar Shakespear Pound Islamic Collection, certainly one of the most comprehensive research collections of its kind, arrived in Middlebury.
Omar and Elizabeth Pound are parents of Kate S. Pound, Middlebury Class of 1981.