Nat Schmulowitz reading in the Rare Book Room,
Old Main Library, circa 1960s
|Nat Schmulowitz letter to Jerome Beatty, June 2, 1958|
"I became curious about the reference and decided to discover whether Shakespeare was engaged in an inventive literary allusion or whether there really was a book of anecdotes entitled Hundred Merry Tales.”
Indeed there was, and so the Hundred Merry Tales was practically the first book in Nat’s collection and among the first to be presented to the San Francisco Public Library. Throughout his lifetime, Nat took a lively interest in the collection, acquiring for the Library more than 13,000 books on the many facets of wit and humor. By the end of 2013, the collection numbered more than 23,600 items, and is considered the largest collection of its kind in the world.
|Comedian Phyllis Diller and Nat Schmulowitz, circa 1962|