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(Introduction from Kitab Ghilan: An Exploration, Peter Manbeck, editor, LSU Press, 1986)
Commander Whatley F. Farmer, an alumnus of Louisiana State University and an avid book collector, was struck down during the Battle of Midway in 1942. Soon after, in accordance with his last Will and Testament, forty-eight crates of books were delivered by his executor to the Troy H. Middleton Library Special Collections Department at Farmer’s alma mater. Four dozen crates contained his entire library, much of it amassed during his globe-spanning, twenty year naval career. Unfortunately the crates arrived during a tumultuous time for America and the university. They remained unopened for almost fifteen years.