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Christopher Morley Numismatica (And More) at Haverford College

Christopher Morley Numismatica (And More) at Haverford College

“… for which he is remarkable …”

-The Adventure of the Naval Treaty (NAVA)

Magill Library of Haverford College

On Saturday, October 24, 2014, Mycroft’s League of Philadelphia and the Grillparzer Club of the Hoboken Free State held a joint meeting to tour Haverford College’s collection of items relating to Christopher Morley, the founder of the Baker Street Irregulars. Given our recent posting on the medals of Haverford College, this would be a good time to share some of these items.

We met up to start the day in the Christopher Morley Alcove of the Magill Library. Rumor has it that one of our fellow Garridebs spent many hours on one of the couches in this nook while a Haverford student.

Pictures of Morley and his brothers are prominent in the alcove.  I’ve been fond of this particular pose of Morley for a while and enjoy the whimisical inscribition by him.

This “5% Gold Bond” for the National Treasury of Christophalia caught my eye as we were allowed to examine some of Morley’s papers. Morley would have been 17 years old when this was prepared. I’m wondering if he created the first 229 bond certificates since this is number 230.

The other “numismatic” item that caught my eye in the Morley papers was this $75.60 check that Morley issued to the Elliott Ticket Company. Unfortunately, none of the other paperwork offered up a clue as to what Morley was paying for.

If you examine the check closely, you will notice it was drawn on the Terminal Branch of the Corn Exchange Bank (what a great name for a financial institution), located at Dey and Church Streets. That would be the Hudson Terminal Building, pictured above.

The library has a framed copy of Dusk in the North Wing of a College Library that was penned by Morley and published in the December 26, 1953 issue of the Saturday Review of Literature.

The Library also has the original draft of that poem, with changes in his handwriting It’s interesting to note the changes.

The Magill Library was closed in the Fall of 2017 for renovations and expansion. When it reopens after construction is completed, the library will have a new name but still refer to the original building as the Magill Wing.

3 Responses to Christopher Morley Numismatica (And More) at Haverford College

  1. And known as the Christopher Morley Sleeping Alcove. The check above was most likely in payment for tickets for the Hoboken theater that Morley was involved in at that time. It was an expensive affair.

  2. Great posting, Greg! I agree with Steve about the ticket. The inscription you like is from Hostages to Fortune, an anthology of Morley’s undergraduate student writings published by Haverford in 1925.