Chatham University

The Melanie and Fred R. Brown Special Collection of Literary Fiction

Melanie and Fred Brown

The Browns

Melanie and Fred R. Brown are life-long residents of western Pennsylvania. Avid readers, the Browns began collecting contemporary American and international literary fiction and mysteries in the early 1980s. In February 2010 they generously donated the collection to Chatham University. The Melanie and Fred R. Brown Special Collection of Literary Fiction is permanently housed in the Jennie King Mellon Library, the primary research, study, and resource center for the Chatham community.

The donation of their treasured book collection only enhanced the Browns’ relationship with Chatham, which began with the establishment of the Melanie Brown Lecturer in 2008. Each year the endowed fund supports a two-day campus visit by an established author whose fiction writing is guided by a strong sense of place.

 

The Collection

The Melanie and Fred R. Brown Special Collection of Literary Fiction consists of approximately 4000 books – primarily first printings of the first editions or Advance Reading Copies. The Browns assembled the collection by travelling across the country attending various literary and reading events in order to meet the authors and discuss their work. More than half of the books in the collection have been signed by their respective authors.

Melanie has a particular interest in mysteries, including many popular authors who publish series with continuing characters. Complete sets of signed, first editions by Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Robert B. Parker, Walter Moseley, and Michael Connelly, among many others, highlight the collection.

Fred’s foremost interest focuses on award-winning literary fiction. The collection includes near-complete sets of fifty-five major literary awards, both American and international including: The Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, Booker Prize, and Drue Heinz Literature Prize.