In 1902, Anna W. Stille established this fund in memory of her husband, Charles J. Stille, for the purchase of medieval or general European history materials.
Charles Janeway Stille (1819 - 1899), was born in Philadelphia and educated at Yale University. He was admitted to the bar and traveled in Europe, becoming especially interested in history.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he wrote a pamphlet How a Free People Conduct a Long War: a Chapter from English History, of which half a million were distributed. He was a member of the U.S. Sanitary Commission and corresponding secretary of the Executive Commission; in 1866 he published a history of the Commission. In the same year became Professor of Literature and Belles-Lettres at the University of Pennsylvania, where he officiated as tenth Provost from 1868 to 1880.
At his inauguration on September 30, 1868, he said: "We are growing now, and we want new and more commodious buildings, an enlarged curriculum, a scientific school of the highest character, additional professors in departments of instruction which we are now forced to leave incomplete. We want a good library, the best scientific apparatus, and all the modern means of illustration for our practical teaching. We want, in short here, a University in fact as well as in name."
His many published works, including Beaumarchais and the "Lost Million": A chapter of the secret history of the American revolution (1887), The life and times of John Dickinson, 1732-1808 (1891), and Major-General Anthony Wayne and the Pennsylvania line in the Continental Army (1893) still circulate from the Penn Library, and the fund in his memory serves as a perpetual tribute to his mandate for "a good library."