The Mark Twain Collection at Fontbonne comprises more than five hundred books and miscellaneous realia donated to the Library by Cyril Coniston Clemens (1902-1999). He was a relative of Twain and the husband of Nan B. Shallcross, who worked as a librarian in the St. Louis Public Library system and was Library Director at Fontbonne between 1947 and 1957.
Clemens was the great-great grandson of Twain's brother and the author's third cousin twice removed. A writer in his own right, his works include My Cousin Mark Twain and The Man from Missouri: A Biography of Harry S. Truman. Both are part of the collection that features regional history, a Bible inscribed by Twain, and translations of Twain's writings from around the world.
Clemens founded and served as President of the controversial International Mark Twain Society. His primary mission in life, purportedly, was to preserve the written word of his great cousin.
The Mark Twain Collection is preserved in a room on the lower level of the Library.