Gallery Highlight: The DeRenne Family
From Jan Hebbard on April 29th, 2021
The DeRenne Library was the product of a family whose patriarch, Noble Jones came to Georgia with James Oglethorpe in 1733. Jones’ great-grandson, George Wymberley Jones De Renne (1827-1880) amassed a large and important library, and by 1847 his section on Georgia history was considered superior to all other such private collections. Unfortunately, the books and papers from this first De Renne Library were destroyed or plundered during the final years of the Civil War.
The present collection is largely a result of many years of effort by G.W.J. De Renne’s eldest son, Wymberley Jones De Renne (1853-1916), whose library greatly exceeded that of his father. W.J. De Renne’s Georgia Library eventually encompassed approximately 10,000 items dated 1700-1931; and he constructed a classical fireproof library building for the collection at Wormsloe in 1907. It had been W.J. DeRenne’s wish that his library one day come to the University of Georgia, a wish fulfilled in 1938 when the family executed its sale to the University.