Paul F. Betz Wordsworth and English Literature Collection Endowed Fund

The Paul F. Betz Literature Collection Endowed Fund supports expenses which, in the discretion of the Georgetown University Librarian are necessary for the conservation and management of the Paul F. Betz Wordsworth and English Literature Collection as well as the purchase of materials which, in the discretion of the Librarian are relevant to the Collection.

Dr. Betz is professor emeritus in Georgetown's Department of English and a longtime member of the Georgetown University Library Board. He was and is a leading Wordsworth scholar, and has built one of the world's finest collections of books, manuscripts, and art relating to William Wordsworth associated writers of the British Romantic Period, and other figures in English literary history. Scholar Mark L. Reed described the Betz collection as "unmatched of its kind in our time" in his Biography of William Wordsworth.

In 2014, he gave the Library the first installment of this collection. The collection's treasures include a 1787 issue of The European Magazine that includes Wordsworth's first published poem, one of only ten copies of William Knight's edition of Wordsworth's Poetical Works, numerous first editions of books by Wordsworth, and books from Wordsworth's personal library and that of friend and fellow poet Robert Southey.

Dr. Betz has been named Honorary Curator of the Collection, which is frequently used in Georgetown classes and Library exhibitions. Through his generosity in placing the fruits of his life’s work at Georgetown, Paul F. Betz has permanently established the Hilltop as a prime destination for students and scholars of British Romanticism and of the great poet of Rydal Mount.

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Dr. Betz reading from one of the items in the Collection.

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One of only ten copies of William Knight's edition of Wordsworth's Poetical Works, from the Paul F. Betz Wordsworth and English Literature Collection.

Related Links

"The Gift of a Life's Work," Library Associates Newsletter, Winter 2014–15
"Illumination: Honoring Paul Betz," Library Associates Newsletter, Spring 2007
Professor and Collector: Items Chosen from the Library of Paul Betz (2004 exhibition)
Wordsworth and the Romantics (1987 exhibition)