Conrad and Delores Bult Children's Lit Collection
Hekman Library has recently acquired a rare and valuable collection of children's books from Conrad and Delores ("Dee") Bult through a generous gift from Robert and Shelley Hudson. It is one of four such collections in the country, estimates children's author and English professor, Gary Schmidt. It contains not only books but also toys, plates, character cut-outs, illustrations and advertising.
A bit about this couple who have devoted much of their lives to amassing this special collection: Conrad Bult graduated from Calvin in 1957 as a history major. After getting his masters in library science, he taught English at Chicago Christian High School. In the fall of 1965, he returned to Calvin’s Franklin Campus as the periodicals librarian. Mr. Bult oversaw the periodicals, rare books and reference departments at the Hekman Library from 1965 to 1999. Dee Bult worked for the Financial Aid Office of the College for more than twenty years. One of Conrad's interests that he shared with Dee was a love for collecting nineteenth and early twentieth-century illustrated children's books. Hekman Library and the college are benficiaries of this passion of the Bult's.
The collection has arrived at the library and is currently being inventoried by cataloging staff and volunteers. It will eventually reside in our rare book collection in Heritage Hall.
(Image on the right shows the Bults in their living room with Theological Librarian, Paul Fields).