Rare Books


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Selected Rare Book Collections

Fred W. Atkinson Collection of American Drama
Celia and Delia Austrian Study Collection of Drama 1660-1800
The Berlin Collection
Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana
John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine
Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Children's Literature
German Almanache and Taschenbuecher
Maurice H. Grant Collection of English Bibles
Samuel N. Harper Russian Pamphlet Collection
Emma B. Hodge Collection of Reformation imprints
Linckesche Leihbibliothek und Buchhandlung (Lincke) Collection
Helen and Ruth Regenstein Collection of Rare Books
Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica
Arthur W. Schultz Golf Collection
Louis Szathmary Family Collection of Hungarica
Lillian A. Wells Collection of Montaigne Editions

Rare Book Collections Digital Highlights

Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Children's Books and Graphic Arts
Art in the Stacks: Selections from Special Collections
The Berlin Collection
Book Use, Book Theory, 1500-1700
Censorship and Information Control: From Printing Press to Internet
The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age
Chopin Early Editions
Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book: Artists' Books in German-Speaking Space after 1945
Eastern European Jews in the German-Jewish Imagination
En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I
Firmness, Commodity, and Delight: Architecture in Special Collections
The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts
Homer in Print, the Transmission and Reception of Homer's Works
Images of Prayer, Politics, and Everyday Life from the Harry and Branka Sondheim Jewish Heritage Collection
My Life is an Open Book: DIY Autobiography
Poetic Associations: The Nineteenth-Century English Poetry Collection of Dr. Gerald N. Wachs
Printing for the Modern Age: Commerce,Craft, and Culture in the RR Donnelley Archive 
Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art
Reading the Greens: Books on Golf from the Arthur W. Schultz Collection
Recipes for Domesticity: Cookery, Household Management, and the Notion of Expertise
Red Press: Radical Print Culture from St. Petersburg to Chicago
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
Tensions in Renaissance Cities
Gerald N. Wachs Collection of Nineteenth Century English Poetry

About the Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book Collection consists of approximately 340,000 volumes ranging in date from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first. Nearly all of the Library’s pre-1800 titles are located in Special Collections, as are many books from the early decades of the nineteenth century. Later printed books that are scarce, have significant bindings, illustrations, or ownership history, are also part of the rare book collections. Other criteria for inclusion include important early works in the history of a particular subject or geographical area and books that form part of a comprehensive subject collection.

Areas of strength in the Rare Book Collection include the history of science and medicine, English and American literature, history, and economics, contemporary poetry, historical children’s books, Jewish life and culture, theology, Renaissance humanism, and the printed works of Frederick Chopin.