The Wagner Lounge and Shilts Rare Book Room


The Wagner Faculty Lounge was presented in 1950 with the opening of the newly built library. It was established by the donations of Mr. and Mrs. George L. King in memory of Ross Wagner, a student of Mount Union and brother of Mrs. King, who  had tragically drowned in 1935 .  Dr. King had served as President of the Board of Trustees for eighteen years during his service on the board from 1939-1967. 

Decorated in the style of an English gentlemen’s club, the lounge diminished in usage as the faculty acquired individual office space.   It was redecorated in the late 1960’s and became known as the Wagner Lounge and Shilts Rare Book Room.   Between the 1960’s and 1970’s the library had received  donations of well over 1500 volumes from  the private library of W.D. Shilts,  former Secretary of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and retired Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Mount Union.


  • The Sutherin Classical Collection contains rare and early editions of Greek and Latin classics and facsimiles of Biblical codices given by Charles Sutherin (’03)
  • The Samuel Austin English Bible Collection are Bibles from the sixteenth century including a facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible and were gifts of Samuel Austin  
  • The Churchill collection is representative of first editions of the writings of Winston Churchill
  • The Private Press Collection contains early books created as an artistic craft by individual presses
  • The Graphic Art Collection was given by Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Shilts and is illustrative of the development of books and printing
  • A collection of numerous examples of early calligraphy and typography

These materials are housed in a closed facility and may be viewed in the library upon request.


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