On October 11th, Princeton University published an article announcing a unique addition to their library: an original edition of Zamenhof’s Unua Libro, gifted by Humphrey Tonkin. The event was attended by an audience of distinguished faculty, including Prof. Esther Schor, author of the recent Bridge of Words. As the article explains,
Humphrey’s gift is a copy of the first Polish edition, which was issued shortly later in 1887. The book became commonly known as “Unua Libro” only after Zamenhof authored a follow-up in 1888, titled “Dua Libro (Second Book).” Zamenhof reprinted much of “Unua Libro” in “Fundamento de Esperanto (Foundation of Esperanto)” which he published in 1905 as the authoritative grammar of the language.
Due in large part to the activity of its current faculty, Princeton University aspires to be an international center for the study of Esperanto and constructed languages: Prof. Starry [Esther] Schor (English) is an international authority on Esperanto and the author of its most recent major study, “Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language” (2016); Profs. Joshua Katz (Classics) and Michael Gordin (History) pursue research in related areas and have co-taught a popular undergraduate course on constructed languages. In support of this teaching and research, the Library has recently increased its acquisition of both current and retrospective titles, some of significant rarity.