Joseph and Jeannine Jeffs Book Endowment Fund

Joe and Jeannine Jeffs smiling in Lauinger's special collections area

The Joseph and Jeannine Jeffs Book Endowment Fund was established in 1990 by the Library Associates Board of Trustees, friends and colleagues of Joseph to honor his retirement after 30 years as University Librarian. As stated in the Library Associates Newsletter at the time, "His tenure marked the transition of the library from a pleasant, if hopelessly overcrowded and inaccessible, relic holding around 200,000 volumes to a basic university collection of over 1,250,000 volumes housed in a modern building which is a central feature of student life on the Georgetown campus." The fund supports the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts in the field of 20th-century English literature.

One of Joseph Jeffs' notable accomplishments is the development of Georgetown's Graham Greene collection. Jeffs first wrote to the English author and journalist in 1979 to inquire about acquiring his remaining manuscripts and personal papers. Greene wrote back with a kind rejection, as he had sold most of his manuscripts to the University of Texas, but he did offer Jeffs a collection of letters and postcards from Edith Sitwell and Evelyn Waugh.

But that initial communication developed into a professional relationship and eventually a close friendship. Jeffs and Greene exchanged 61 letters between 1979 and Greene's death in 1991. Joseph and Jeneane visited Greene several times in England and France to review items he was ready to sell, and they hosted Greene and his partner Yvonne Cloetta for a five-day visit in 1985.

Joseph and Jeannine recounted the growth of the collection and friendship in A Graham Greene Memoir 

Related Links:

"Growing Georgetown's Graham Greene Collection," Library Associates Newsletter, Spring 2022
"Turning Forty, Part 2," Library Associates Newsletter, Spring 2010
"Trustees Honor Retiring University Librarian," Library Associates Newsletter, August 1990