On April 22nd, 2016, The Center for the Study of 19th Century America sponsored a 19th Century History Conference hosted by Southern Adventist University's History and Political Studies department.
On October 24, 2014, McKee Library hosted the annual Center for the Study of 19th Century America Celebration (formerly known as the Mark Twain Celebration). Our guest speaker was Ben Tarnoff, who presented his talk entitled “Mark Twain and the Bohemians of the Far Western Frontier.” Tarnoff is the author of The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers who Reinvented American Literature (2014) and A Counterfeiter’s Paradise: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Early American Moneymakers (2011). Displays of noteworthy and valuable items that belong to the Center’s collections were showcased during this event.
On October 25, 2013, guest speaker Victor Fisher spoke on the life and legacy of Mark Twain through the use of Twain’s personal correspondence. Fisher read several letters that gave listeners a glimpse into the personal life of the legendary author. As a Twain scholar, Fischer has been an editor at the Mark Twain Project of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley since 1967. Among his publications are the trade and scholarly editions of The Prince and the Pauper (1979, 1983), volumes 3 and 4 of Mark Twain’s Letters (1992, 1995), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2001, 2003), Mark Twain’s Letters1876–1880 (2007, web publication only), a special 125th anniversary edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2010), and, as one of a team of editors, Autobiography of Mark Twain, volume 1 (2010) and volume 2 (2013). In addition to the lecture, some of the items belonging to McKee Library’s Duane and Eunice Bietz Collection of Mark Twain materials were on display during the event.
McKee Library’s third annual Mark Twain Celebration took place on October 26, 2012. This year’s featured speaker was rare book appraiser John Henley, who has done extensive work with the Duane and Eunice Bietz Collection of Mark Twain materials. Henley has been in the used/antiquarian book business since 1977. Among his other qualifications, he has completed coursework at both Columbia University and AB Bookman’s Rare Book School at Denver State College.
On September 22, 2011, McKee Library hosted its second annual Mark Twain Celebration. This year’s featured speaker was Dr. Allison Ensor, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Ensor offered an overview of Mark Twain’s importance in American literature and his continuing popularity with the American public. His presentation included descriptions of the various facets of Twain and pictures related to his life. Dr. Ensor is the author of Mark Twain and the Bible (1982).
On October 29, 2010, McKee Library celebrated the arrival of the Duane and Eunice Bietz Collection of Mark Twain materials with its first Mark Twain Celebration. Southern alumnus Richard Garey, professional Mark Twain impersonator, performed a short sketch on the life of Mark Twain. Students and staff members read passages and poems written by Twain and his contemporaries, and Dr. Duane Bietz shared the history of the collection and his desire to place it at an institution that would value and utilize it.