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Legacy: Collector’s Personal Library Donated to UC


Mrs. Blakeman presents her late husband’s library collection to University of the Cumberlands. The collection includes approximately 1800 books, spanning various subjects, from all over the world.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Recently, University of the Cumberlands was proud to receive approximately 1,800 books from the collection of the late Charles Blakeman, of Middlesboro, whose wife generously offered the books to the Hagan Memorial Library.

All his life, Blakeman was fond of books. Having served in World War II as a naval officer for a brief time, he later studied in Georgetown on the GI bill. He obtained his master’s degree from LSU and later received a Fullbright Scholarship to study in Holland. He also studied for a summer at Oxford University.

Blakeman developed his personal library during a lifetime of collecting books from various countries, including Russia. He and his family visited Russia in 1986, prior to Glasnost. Blakeman’s wife describes the experience as “difficult to define.”

A scholarly man, Blakeman served as an adjunct professor at Lincoln Memorial University for 20 years. Mrs. Blakeman says of her husband, “He never presented one side of an issue; he opened doors and windows. He was very open minded and he caused people to think,”

Blakeman passed away in 1992 at the age of 75. Mrs. Blakeman says, “If I had gotten rid of the books at that time, I would have had to redecorate.” She is now moving from her current residence in Middlesboro to a retirement community in Portland, Ore., near her daughter’s home.