As a little boy, Don Larson visited the Golden Gate International Exposition with his family in San Francisco in 1940. It made a lasting impression that he never forgot and from the time he had any pocket money, he started collecting books on world's fairs. The first purchase he ever made was Jewel City: Its Planning and Achievement; its Architecture, Sculpture, Symbolism, and Music; Its Gardens, Palaces, and Exhibits, by Ben Macomber (1915). This book is now one of thousands of guidebooks, maps, pamphlets, photographs, and memorabilia that make up the renowned Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs; which covers all world's fairs from 1851 London to the present (currently Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy). Don donated his beloved collection to Special Collections in the 1970s and continues to add items to it.
The collection is one of our best known and is used by researchers and scholars around the globe. Many of the photographs in the collection have been digitized and are available online. Large portions of the collection will also be available as part of the digital resource on world's fairs created by Adam Matthew Digital. However, the books here represent the collection Don Larson originally donated to Special Collections from 1972 to 1974.
Books from this collection include: