UL-Lafayette acquires rare book
LAFAYETTE (AP) — The University of Louisiana-Lafayette has acquired a rare, first-edition copy of “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup.
The book, published in 1853, is housed in the Edith Garland Dupré Library’s Special Collections.
The book’s value has increased substantially because of the recent success of “12 Years a Slave,” a movie based on the memoir Northup wrote.
The film has received nine Academy Award nominations and recently won a Golden Globe Award in the best motion picture/drama category.
Bruce Turner, assistant dean of special collections, said the university’s copy of the book is valued at $5,000 to $10,000.
“This is going into our rare book collection, which includes items published before 1900,” Turner said. “This certainly fits the criteria.”
Turner did not know how many first-edition copies exist. The book was donated earlier this month by Elizabeth Pinkett, a Louisiana-Lafayette education professor a.
It is an important addition to the university’s collection because it is set in Louisiana, Turner said.
“This was somebody who had actually gone through slavery,” Turner said. “Northup was enslaved in Louisiana, so it gives a firsthand account of what happened in Louisiana.”