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Special Collections: Rare Books

Special Collections houses approximately 2,000 rare books. The titles in this collection cover subjects ranging from religion, history, literature, art, to science and technology, with imprint dates ranging from the 15th to 21st centuries.

Highlights of the Rare Books Collection include:

  • A Dictionary of the English Language by Dr. Samuel Johnson
    W. Strahan, 1755 (first edition)
  • China Monumentis by Athanasius Kircher, SJ
    Amstelodami, apud Joannem Janssonium a Waesberge & Elizeum Weyerstraet, 1667
  • Latin Bible
    Basel: Johann Amerbach, 1486
  • Latin Bible with commentary by Nicholas of Lyra, volume 1
    Anton Koberger, 1485


The Rare Books Program has been generously endowed by Professor Emerita, Dr. Eugenia Palmegiano

Leaf from a 15th century calendar in Dutch

15th century Dutch calendar page

Leaf from a calendar in Dutch, Northern Low Countries, second quarter- middle of the fifteenth century; almost certainly from a Book of Hours).  Text is from August (including the feast of Peter in Chains, in red on August 1; St. Dominic on August 5), with the beginning of September on the verso


An example of "armored text" in the book of Exodus from Biblia Latina / cum postillis Nicolai de Lyra, Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1485.