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Department of Special Collections

ABOUT RARE BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS

Rare books Primary sources are the original records created at the time events in history occurred; or after those events in the form of memoirs or oral histories. Special Collections is home to a collection of local historical documents, photographs, diaries and letters. We also maintain a historically significant and aesthetically stunning collection of rare bibles, some dating back to the 15th century. Discover our primary sources and historic texts below.

OUR RARE AND HISTORIC BIBLE COLLECTION  

The Susan Dunleavy Collection of Biblical Literature inspires rumination on the historical importance and the beauty of the Holy Bible. Rich in beautiful and inspirational texts and imagery, this collection features some of the most notable Bibles in the world.

 

LOCAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS

The Owen Wister and Family Collection is comprised of a range of archival materials and books relating to the prominent Philadelphians who are associated with the estates of Belfield, Little Wakefield, Wakefield and Wister in the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The bulk of this collection relates to Owen Wister (1860-1938), author of The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains (1902), and to members of the Wister family.