The Charlot Collection is a major archive of document and art works relating to the artist and writer Jean Charlot and to those with whom he came in contact over a long career in France, Mexico, the United States and the Pacific. The collection is housed in a suite of rooms on the fifth floor of Hamilton Library.
Since the 1982 initial donation of the collection by Jean and Zohmah Charlot to the University, the collection has been considerably enriched by further gifts from the Charlot family and estate. Moreover, the collection has been planned as the nucleus around which further related collections can be added, the goal being the establishment of an archives of Hawaii art. The addition of the Juliette May Fraser papers and the Ben Norris papers are beginning steps to this end.
The Jean Charlot Collection holdings include ca. 1,500 books, ca. 5,000 works of art, and 60 file drawers of manuscripts, letters, articles, ephemeral publications, memorabilia, and photographs. Most of the collection was part of the artist's personal library and reflects his many interests, not only in art but also in literature, religion and Hawaiian culture. It is especially strong in 19th century Mexican art history. Also included is a virtually complete set of the 772 prints created by Charlot during his lifetime. Color progressives showing the work in its various "states" accompany many images. The collection also contains copies of the 52 books illustrated by the artist along with copies of his 51 books, plays, and portfolios. These works of art date back to Charlot's childhood in late 19th century France, and continue through his Mexican, American and Hawaiian periods. Included in the collection are books, prints, drawings, sculpture and audio-visual works.
The collection serves academic units of the University of Hawaii, most notably those centering on art and Hawaiian studies. In addition, the collection is an important community resource for Hawaii as well as the international scholarly world. Materials from the collection are regularly exhibited in major museums and a growing list of world scholars make their way to Hawaii for research in the collection. It is fair to say that the collection has played a role in enhancing the reputation of the University of Hawaii throughout the world.
Curatorial and collection development responsibilities for the collection are assigned to the Charlot librarian. Location of the Charlot Collection within Special Collections allows frequent contact and consultation with the Hawaiian Collection. Art books from the general library collection complement the Charlot Collection. Interlibrary loan has been helpful for unusual requests. Good relations are maintained with the Jean Charlot Foundation (an independent charitable organization), the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the Charlot family who continue to contribute to the collection.
Languages: English, French, Spanish and Nahuatl.
Chronological: Chiefly 20th century, with some 19th century holdings.
Geographic: United States, Hawaii, Mexico and France.
Date of Publication: Mid-19th century to date; largely pre-1980.
Textbooks: Generally not collected.
Types/Formats of Materials Collected: Books, manuscripts, works of art on paper, audio-visual materials, book illustrations. The collection includes many autographed copies and rare imprints and special holdings by and about Paul Claudel. Extensive holding of Posada, Daumier, and Images d'Epinal are also present.
Treatment: The collection development policy with respect to Charlot is to collect all available materials on this artist.
Since the collection contains many old and fragile items, preservation concerns figure largely in its budget. In the past, grant funds have supported preservation projects, and this pattern can be expected to continue. Additional costs have been covered by special library funds. A dependable source of funds earmarked for preservation is essential to the maintenance of the collection.
Date compiled: 12/00 Compiler: Nancy Morris