The Archives and Special Collections Department collects and preserves in its
Rare Books collection over 8,000 titles ranging from a ca.1450 South
of Hours to the newest collectible or limited-edition publication.
The collection is cataloged and available through Franklin & Marshall
College's on-line Library
Catalog. The South Netherlands Book of Hours has been digitized and
is available online here. Strengths
of the collection
Exploration (United States and Global)
U.S. Civil War and European Military History
17th through 19th-Century European and World History
Ancient History and Classical Literature
19th-Century American and English Literature
Criminology (18th- and 19th-century)
Lancaster County Imprints
Art of the Book
Central Pennsylvania fine press publications
Books of martrydom
The Department maintains two distinct subject collections within rare books as well as the earliest core collection owned by the Library:
The collection of German-American Monographs,a component of the larger German-American Imprint Collection consists of approximately 2,700 titles published in North America in the German language in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries. This collection is especially rich in materials printed prior to 1830 from the South-Central Pennsylvania area. The Unger-Bassler and Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center collections comprise the two major sources of the collection. Approximately one third of the monograph collection is cataloged and available for searching through the library's online catalog. Access to the monograph collection can also be provided through The First Century of German Language Printing in the United States of America, Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society, Vol. XXI and XXII, 1989.
Watts de Peyster Collection: Napoleon Buonaparte--General John Watts de Peyster developed this collection of monographs about Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic era. The 1,182 title collection is rich in 19th century imprints on Napoleon, European military history, and anti-Bonaparte writings. The collection is completely cataloged and also available via the Library Catalog. In 2007, a comprehensive collection analysis and descriptive bibliography was compiled by senior French major Nick Way. Please link to the bibliography (.pdf) here.
The William Reichenbach Collection is the oldest library collection. It was bequeathed to Franklin College in 1821 by William Reichenbach, Professor of Mathematics from 1787-1821. It consists largely of latin language texts by classical authors as well as contemporary 17th-19th century works on ancient history, science and religion.
In addition to these larger subject collections, there are several subcollections of books related by provenance. Most of these works are individual or family-owned books acquired by the library as part of a larger manuscript collection.
These books can be searched by visiting the library catalog and entering the full name of the collection (as shown in italics) in the keyword box or by viewing the parent collection's finding aid for an inventory (if available) at the link provided.
Thomas R. Brendle Collection -8 titles; associated with the Thomas R. Brendle Collection of Pennsylvania Germania
J. William Frey Collection -23 titles; associated with the J. William Frey Collection of Pennsylvania Germania
Johannes Schwalm Historical Association Collection -90 titles; part of Johannes
Schwalm Historical Association Collection
Leinbach Family Collection -23 titles; part of the Leinbach Family Papers
Lloyd Mifflin Collection -8 titles; associated with the Mifflin Family Papers
Muench Family Collection -34 titles; part of the Muench
Reynolds Family Collection -44 titles; part of the Reynolds Family Papers
For questions concerning the value of your rare book you may try some of the sources listed here