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Updated 11:00 AM April 5, 2004
 

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Nabokov collection donated to University Library


For more than half a century, Fan Parker has been passionate about Vladimir Nabokov, author of the novel "Lolita" and many other works. Parker says Nabokov's achievements as a novelist, scientist and poet often have been overshadowed by the attention resulting from the controversial 1962 film version of "Lolita."

Parker, of Ann Arbor, has chosen to share her passion with U-M by donating her collection of works by and about the author to the University Library and by establishing the Dr. Fan Parker Family Endowment Fund for support of the collection and the acquisition of other Nabokov materials.

Selected materials from the Dr. Fan Parker Vladimir Nabokov Collection are on display through May 29 as part of the "Spotlight on New Arrivals" exhibit in the Special Collections Library on the seventh floor of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

Among the highlights of the collection are first editions of "Lolita"; editions of the novel in many languages, including Russian, Japanese, French, Hebrew, Danish, Greek and Spanish; more than 500 issues of periodicals with articles by or about Nabokov; and works by Nabokov related to his scientific research as a lepidopterist (an entomologist who specializes in the collection and study of butterflies and moths).

Reflecting another of the author's scholarly pursuits, the collection features materials on Lewis Carroll, including "Anye v Strane Chudes"—a Russian-language edition of "Alice in Wonderland" translated by Nabokov—as well as a book written by Parker on Carroll's works in Russian.

In addition, Parker gave the University Library rare works by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, including a first Russian edition of "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" as well as a number of first edition signed works by John Updike.

"Thanks to Dr. Parker's generosity," University Librarian William Gosling says, "generations of Michigan students, faculty and visiting scholars will now have access to an extraordinary collection providing an intimate view of a significant 20th century author born in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Parker is a Latvia native who came to the United States at age 16. She founded and developed the Russian Department at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York. After retiring she moved to Ann Arbor in 2002.

Parker's relationship with U-M dates back to 1959, when she lent her expertise to Michigan and helped with arrangements for then-President Harlan Hatcher's trip to the U.S.S.R. that year. In addition to her in-kind gifts and the endowment she established for the University Library, Parker has given the University a number of letters regarding the trip.

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