Zara, Louis (1910-2001)
NOTE: All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Several days' advance notice is required for retrieval.

The Louis Zara collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, audio/visual material, printed material, professional material, and awards.

Manuscripts include drafts of Stones, Gems and People; Blessed is the Man (1935); a lecture titled "The Image of the Jew in Literature," along with an accompanying Teachers' Guide (1965); an essay titled "Everyday Treasure Hunt"; a short piece titled "The Four Faces of Melville"; a fragment of a draft of "Tales of Jade"; and drafts of two plays by Zara, What Ails Wee Jock? on the life of Thomas Carlyle; and Jeannie, on the life of Carlyle's wife. There are multiple drafts of a biography of Herman Melville; as well as a draft of a large biography on Melville's wife, The Story of Lizzie.  There are a substantial number of poetry manuscripts by Zara (1948-1951); a number of unpublished short stories and an adaptation for television that was never produced. There are an extensive number of travel diaries and related files of travel notes in the collection.  Travel diaries begin in 1956; and run from 1962 to 1997. They include international travel as well as trips across the United States.  Manuscripts by others include pieces on ancient dentistry, some by Daniel Zara (Louis Zara's son).  

Professional correspondence includes a number of letters regarding stones and gems (1990-1991) as well as letters on a number of general topics (1975-1999). There are a number of letters in reference to the article Zara wrote for Encyclopedia America on locks and keys (1971-1991); letters to and from McNeil/Lehrer, Channel 13 in New York (1994-1998); and correspondence related to Zara's Melville research (1981-1984). There is a substantial amount of correspondence related to Zara's work on Stones, Gems, and People, including letters to museums seeking permission for the use of transparencies (1978-1979); correspondence concerning certain photographic examples of gems that were to be published; and correspondence to and from his publisher regarding contract disputes over money and the publishing situation with the company. There are letters to and from Louis Zara pertaining to his acceptance as guest speaker for the Annual Dinner of the Geological Society of Philadelphia (1981). There is also correspondence from various publishers rejecting Zara's Melville biographical project; as well as Zara’s correspondence with Melville's great-grandchildren.  Personal correspondence includes an extensive collection of letters and cards from friends from around the world (1971-1991). There are chronological files of cards and letters regarding family news (1969-1995); correspondence between Zara and Stephen Crane biographer Ames W. Williams (1970); letters between Zara and co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Moby Dick, Herschel Parker; and correspondence from Zara to Joe Zias, Curator of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (1985). There is also correspondence to Zara from various artifact dealers and publishers (1976-1997).

Photographs include family pictures of Zara with his children and grandchildren at various occasions. There is also a print of Louis Zara at the United Nations (1965); Zara with New York City Mayor Ed Koch, inscribed to Zara by the mayor; illustrations for Stones, Gems, and People; photographs and transparencies used as illustrations for articles by Zara in Mineral Digest; prints of jade artifacts and stone objects; an extensive set of color prints of Zara's cruise to Russia and Scandinavia; and a set of color prints of Zara's trip to China. There are an extensive number of photographs of archaeological sites throughout the Middle East, Turkey, Greece,; and Italy. There are also photographs documenting Zara's travels throughout Europe, Russia, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, South America, Canada, China, and various American cities and historic sites. There are also slides of Paul and Philip Zara and their families; as well as slides documenting Zaras travels in New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and Australia.

Audio/visual material in the collection includes numerous slides of gems and stones, as well as slides of exhibitions. There are also two volumes of Mineral Digest on microfilm. Video cassettes in the collection include The Argyle Egg, by Paul Kutchinsky; Champagne Diamonds: Unlocking the Potential, written by Ray Sparvell; and Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten (1990). Audio cassettes include a cassette of a radio interview with Louis Zara by Candy Jones (1940); a cassette of a trip to the Great Wall of China; and Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten (1990).

Printed material in the collection includes magazines and magazine clippings on a variety of subjects of interest to Zara, including Oriental Carpets in 17th and 18th Century America; Smithsonian magazine; The Lapidary Journal; and other magazines on minerals and rare gemstones. There are booklets on appraisals; and materials from the Appraisal Association of America. There are photocopied newspaper clippings regarding Zara’s book, This Land is Our Land (1940); as well as clippings on Zara from The Chicago Sun Book Week (1943); and The New York Times Book Review (1948). There are also various brochures, maps, and book jackets. Other printed material includes various museum bulletins; specialist publications on pre-Columbian; Egyptian; Thai; and Mayan art; classical antiquity; as well as material on Melville; Whitman; and whales. There is a series of short stories by Zara from Coronet magazine, appearing under the pseudonym Paul Philip Daniel; as well as a short story clipped from Ladies Home Journal (1944). There are also clippings of reviews concerning Zara's handbook for collectors, Jade (2001). There are copies of Mineral Digest, the Digest of Mineralogy; there is also a privately printed study guide for use in Catholic parochial schools; a piece by Zara that appeared in Saturday Review (1968); and an essay by Zara that appeared in Bookmark (1971). There are assorted pamphlets of poetry and short stories; sections of various short stories by Zara, cut from the anthologies: The Little Idealist; Fish; and Travail. Printed material by others includes newspaper articles and specialist publications on archaeology and history.

Professional materials in the Zara collection include files of individual appraisals conducted by Zara, arranged by client name; along with partial listings of items in his own possession. There are also files of appraisals conducted by Zara that he has broken into the separate categories of interesting and important. Also included are files of select minutes of the American Association of Appraisers under Zara’s presidency. There are financial files covering bills; invoices; etc. (1979-2001).

Awards in the Louis Zara collection include a Merit Award from The One Show in conjunction with the Art Directors' Club (1973); an award for Mineral Digest; and a plaque from the American Association of Appraisers, at the end of Zara's term as president (1987).
Notable Figures
1. Zara, Louis, 1910-2001
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Editing and Publishing Subject Guide