Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lucien Price Book Collection at WRA Library

Junius Lucien Price, who graduated in 1901 and went on to an illustrious career as a writer and journalist for the Boston Globe, published a charming memoir of his WRA years called Hardscrabble Hellas. Originally written as a magazine article, his short memoir was published as a keepsake for WRA graduates in 1929 and remained in print for many years.

Price himself kept in close contact with the school for the rest of his life and was regularly invited back to address the school. He had a lengthy and lively correspondence with Headmaster Joel B. Hayden, and in his final years he made arrangements to transfer some 3,000 volumes of his personal library to WRA. This decision was prompted by the building of Wilson Hall which would house the enlarged WRA Library.

Plans were also made for a special room to house WRA’s rare books, and this was named in honor of Lucien Price. The Wilson Hall Library was dedicated in 1963, and Lucien Price passed away the following March. Most of Price’s own books were incorporated into the general library collection, but a number of his special volumes were placed in his namesake room.

Over the years, classes were held in the Lucien Price Room, and some classes utilized the collection housed there. With the move to the new John D. Ong Library in the spring of 2000, the Lucien Price Room was phased out, but those volumes that had special meaning for Price can still be found on exhibit in WRA Archives on the lower level of the library.