Skip to main content

Department of Special Collections


The Department of Special Collections in the Connelly Library houses a diverse range of materials, from 15th century illuminated devotionals to subject collections treating contemporary social issues. Bodies of work include literature, music, films, art, archival material and ephemera. The discrete collections maintained by the department explore a variety of themes in aural, narrative and illustrative form.

Special Collections maintains a focus on acquiring, cataloging and housing unique material that is tied to undergraduate pedagogy and is freely available to researchers. Highlights of the Collections include the largest collection of literary and creative works on the Vietnam War in the world, a one of a kind academic collection of work on Bob Dylan, hundreds of originative works on the Holocaust and psychic trauma,  primary sources on local history, and rare and beautiful editions of the Holy Bible.

We are a proud member of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. 


Devotion: An Iconography of the Life of Jesus

This exhibition presents a study of illustrations from the Connelly Library’s collection of rare Bibles and prayer books.

Philadelphia in the Civil War

This exhibition features historic images of the sites and citizens of Philadelphia during the period of the Civil War, with specific focus on the individuals who lived on the land where La Salle University now stands.

Jane Irish: War Is Not What You Think

Irish has been drawing visual inspiration and historical research contexts from the Connelly Library’s world‐renowned rare book and manuscript collection, Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War, for the past 10 years.

Vietnam Generation Online

Published between 1989 and 1996, Vietnam Generation served as a premier source of essays, artwork, poetry and other materials for the field of Vietnam War studies. When the journal ceased publication, the Vietnam Generation archives were sent to the Connelly Library Department of Special Collections.

Vietnam Generation cover