Special Research Collections at University of Hawaii at Manoa

Biography of a Bibliophile…

The Squires Morocco Collection at the Special Research Collections, Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa was the gift of Leslie and Eloise Squires, world travelers and collectors. There is a traceable connection between the interests and experiences of the collectors and the subject of the collection. Eloise Squires attended a traditional wedding in Tangier in 1953 and gave a vivid and engaging account of the food and unique customs of that ceremony in a style reminiscent of the travelogue first-person accounts that comprise a good portion of the Squire Collection of books on Morocco. Mr. Squires was an avid bibliophile and great collector of books, and was particularly proud of his Moroccan collection. The Squires lived an international nomadic existence that allowed for frequent “travelogue” letters to be crafted by Mrs. Squires who sent them back to family and friends in Hawaii whereby the accounts often ended up in local newspapers and society pages. Mr. Squires’ work took the family to Morocco and many other countries for extended periods where the inspiration for this collection started.They lived in Morocco for 6 years. While stationed abroad, the family returned to Honolulu frequently, and were prominent figures in Honolulu society.

Leslie Albion Squires and Eloise Squires (Eloise Lanham Kinney) were residents of Hawaii and world travelers, particularly in the decades following World War II . Mrs. Squires came from Hawaii and was the third generation in her family to attend Punahou School. Being of Chinese and Hawaiian descent, she also attended the Kamehameha School (then Kamehameha School for Girls), and finally attended Mills College in Oakland, California. A son of the Squires’ also attended Punahou school, and the family maintained a familial connection to Hawaii and Honolulu throughout their years of travel, finally retiring here in Honolulu, their permanent home, and remaining in Hawaii until their passing in the 1980s.

The Squires had three children: Michael, Christopher, and Sasha. So cosmopolitan was the family that each of the three Squires children was born on a different continent. Mr. Squires was a career diplomat and held numerous prominent posts in multiple cities and countries, including: Istanbul, San Salvador, Budapest, Mexico, Athens, Bombay (Mumbai), Cairo, Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Tangier, Morroco. While in Tangier where Leslie Squires was heading the U.S. Information Service, the Squires developed an interest in Morocco and Moroccan culture.

The Squires passed away in the 1980s in Honolulu. Eloise Squires was born in 1922 and passed away on March 11, 1988 at age 66.

Leslie Albion Squires and Eloise Squires Morocco Collection, Special Collections, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Leslie Albion Squires and Eloise Squires Morocco Collection

This collection includes first-person travelogues, journals & travel narratives, anthropological studies, 18th century voyager accounts, illustrated histories, guidebooks, and numerous monographs featuring art, photography and illustrated maps & plates of the region of Morocco.

The Squires Morocco collection is concentrated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but contains materials covering several periods, including some rare 18th century materials and materials published between 1920-1930, and between 1940 -1970.

The collection includes books that are early, unique, or rare specimens with artifactual as well as content value, as well as a wide array of general works with regional and historical information. The collection will prove valuable to the social anthropologist, social historian, and intellectual historian as well as those interested in doing research on anthropological, cartographical, botanical, and historical elements of the region. Most of the materials in the collection are in English, and some in French. Researchers interested in colonialism, early voyages and expeditions, and related topics will find much material to mine here as well. 

A sample work in the collection is a work by Joseph Dalton Hooker, the renowned botanist, voyager, and friend to Charles Darwin. Other exempla include several works by Rom Landau, author, artist, educator, and foreign service officer with an expertise on Morocco. An early guide book by Landau includes anthropologically interesting photographs and landscapes, information for travelers in the appendices, with interesting specifics about lodging, points of interest, and food, and amenities in the various regions of the country at that period of time. There is much material to research and many voices to bring to light in this collection.