Special Collections Hours and Contact information.
Special Collections originated in 1981 upon completion of the Patrick J. Stapleton Library building. This division houses the Pennsylvania Collection, the University's Rare Book Collection, and the University Archives. Special collections supplements and supports the research of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students, as well as private scolars, by maintaining a Manuscript Collection.
The Pennsylvania Collection's general purpose is to protect old and often out-of-print materials concerning Pennsylvania, its history, its development and population. This collection includes a number of county and local histories, regimental histories of Pennsylvania Civil War units, county atlases, and a variety of maps, both historical and contemporary, for the tri-state (Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia) area. A set of the published Colonial Records of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Archives rounds out the collection.
The Rare Book Section of Special Collections serves to protect many valuable and unique
materials owned by the library. Although many items were acquired through donations, an
active acquisitions policy has significantly increased the library's holdings in recent
years. English and American Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries form the basic focus
for the collection, which serves as an integral part of the doctoral programs of the
Classes of Rare Materials include:
- Editions limited to under 250 copies
- Works printed prior to 1799 for European works and prior to 1825 for American works
- Association works, e.g., items associated with significant or famous individuals, often with autographs. An excellent example in the collection is George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, (1938) which includes notes and corrections to the text made by Orwell.
- Examples of fine printing or binding, including unique items
- Books from notable printing presses
- Books relating to the Manuscript Collections and/or the University Archives, e.g., De Re Metallica, the first publication devoted to scientific mining practices which is a strong complement to the Industrial Manuscripts Collections.
- First Editions
- Various individual titles, including works by the following authors:
James McNeill Whistler
John Greenleaf Whittier
|Henry David Thoreau
Edgar Allan Poe
** All items in the Pennsylvania Collection and Rare Book Collection are catalogued
in the University's On-line Catalog, Voyager.
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