Watch Our New Jury Honor Our Class of 2024 In This Announcement Video

The Cleveland Public Library has housed the complete and ever-growing Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Collection at its main library since June 16, 2003.

Cleveland Foundation program director Kathleen Cerveny, library director Andrew Venable and 2003 award winner Stephen L. Carter unveiled what then was a collection of some 150 books. The ceremony marked the first time all the winning books have been brought together in one permanent location.

Cerveny noted the appropriateness in establishing the collection at the Cleveland Public Library. Edith Anisfield Wolf, the award founder, was active with the library and worked to ensure that the library had books from all cultures.

Carter spoke passionately about the written word and the significance of the Anisfield-Wolf collection. The exceptional collection of influential works contains many of his personal favorites, Carter said. It also serves as a reminder, in this Internet age of fleeting experiences with a written work, that the permanence of words permanently placed on paper is as important as the messages they carry.

To end the ceremony, Carter and Venable added Carter’s “The Emperor of Ocean Park” to the Anisfield-Wolf Collection.

The official Anisfield-Wolf Book Collection is housed in the Special Collections room of Cleveland Public Library. The collection features rare and first-edition copies of many of these significant texts and offers copies for public borrowing. Although many of these compositions are now out of print, the library has assured that, whether for research or personal enjoyment, future generations will have access to the best that the literary world has to offer on the subject of diversity. Cleveland Public Library’s Unique Collections can be viewed at Cleveland Public Library Special Collections

Additional Cleveland Public Library resources can be found at