Hough, Samuel J., III, died March 4, 2019 of complications from diabetes. Husband of Penelope (Otis) Hough, he was born in Philadelphia, PA, son of the late Samuel J. and Margaret (Hoffman) Hough. He was the father of Matt Hough of Warwick and the late Claire Hough; brother of Brian Hough, Sherna Deamer, and Bonnie Rose Hough, all of California; and grandfather of Kevin Hough of Springfield, Missouri.
Educated at Kenyon College (BA English 1960). Worked in library acquisitions at Penn, and later at Columbia while pursuing a degree in library science. Was hired at the John Carter Brown Library in early 1964. Drafted 2 August 1964; spent an obligatory two years in the military at Fort Bragg as library janitor and lecturer in early Mediterranean history. In August 1966 returned to John Carter Brown Library. In 1972 he was awarded a Florence Schepp fellowship to the Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy, where he conducted research into the transition in Italy from manuscript to printed page, particularly in libraries of doctors and lawyers. In 1974 he returned to the U.S. and again took a position at the JCB, where he became assistant librarian. During that time he formed an exhibition entitled The Italians and the Creation of America which was subsequently published in book form. He resigned from the JCB in 1980 to become bookseller, appraiser, and researcher.
In the course of his independent bibliographical life he agreed to appraise the papers from the factory of the Gorham Company (of Providence, Rhode Island), which were given to Brown University; initially knowing nothing of “tableware”, he conducted researches in the resulting archives (which he had organized according to the Company’s structure) for several years, substantially expanding the history of silver-making in this country.
In 1991-92 Sam and Penelope catalogued the Walter Beinecke Collection on the Lesser Antilles at Hamilton College; their work was published by the University of Florida Press.
Sam joined the Rhode Island Civil War Round Table in 1998 and was a staunch member thereafter. He attended meetings regularly and served as the group’s treasurer from 2009 to 2017. He frequently submitted the correct answer to the trivia question posted in the organization’s monthly newsletter. He also made presentations to the Round Table over the years on Rhode Island troops and Robert Hale Ives at the Battle of Antietam, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, and Brown University in the Civil War.
The memorial gathering will be held Saturday, April 6th from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Palestine Shriners, One Rhodes Place, Cranston, RI 02905