In 1966, the former editor of the Hanover Evening Sun, Thomas “Ty” Cooper, donated his extensive collection of theatre programs to the library collection at Gettysburg College. Dating from as early as the 1890s, this collection was not just limited to Broadway Playbills, but also included related newspaper clippings, biographical materials, programs from notable concert venues, and seven boxes of Motion Picture Pressbooks.
Pressbooks were given out to individual cinema venues in the 1930s and 40s. Each provided information about the film to be released, but also gave extensive suggestions for publicity and advertising. Typically ten pages or more, the books served as colorful, informative promotion kits. They often included written features about celebrity actors and lists of promotion accessories that could be purchased by the cinema.
Several covers of these pressbooks have been digitally reproduced and are now featured on the Ground Floor. Also featured is a poster of Marlene Dietrich; Cooper was a huge fan of the actress and included a number of “attractive film advertisements” in his donation.
Ty Cooper also presented his private library to Gettysburg College in 1965. He donated over 1,600 items as a memorial to his parents, Moses and Katie Miller. This collection included many rare first-editions of classics. Cooper established an endowment under his name in the 1960s to support the purchase of literature and American History. Many of the Cooper titles can be found in both Musselman Library's main collection and in Special Collections.