Rare Books & Manuscripts Collections

Rare Books

Special Collections & University Archives houses over 11,000 volumes and contains items ranging in age from 4000 year-old cuneiform clay tablets to twenty-first century fine press printings. Thanks to generous donations and the accumulated collecting of almost 200 years, the rare book collections cover a variety of eras across many literary movements and contain many unique treasures, such as a sixteenth century book of hours, the first four folios of Shakespeare, and a growing collection of miniature religious texts. To explore the rare book collections, visit the library’s online catalog or contact the Special Collections Librarian for more information.


Collection Strengths include:
Christian Bibles
American literature
Arts and Crafts private press
Late 19th century periodicals
Pulp science-fiction magazines from the 1930s-1960s
World War I propaganda posters
World War II propaganda posters

Select Literary Collections:
Henry A. Colgate collection of Joseph Conrad
Richard S. Weiner collection of George Bernard Shaw
Powys family collection
Earl Daniels collection of T.S. Eliot
Elmer Sheets collection of James Joyce
George Gissing collection
John Masefield collection


In addition to rare books, Special Collections also contains a number of manuscript collections. Manuscripts, at their most basic definition, are documents written by hand. In addition to handwritten correspondence, diaries, and personal ephemera, manuscript collections can contain edited typescripts, page proofs, pamphlets, newspaper articles, interviews, photographs, and other various realia. Our collections are divided into three categories: Literary Manuscripts, Historical Collections, and Personal Papers.

Search Literary CollectionsSearch Historical CollecitonSearch Personal Papers