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The Archives and Special Collections Department collects and preserves in its Rare Books collection over 8,000 titles ranging from a ca.1450 South Netherlands Book of Hours to the newest collectible or limited-edition publication.
The collection is cataloged and available through Franklin & Marshall
Library Catalog. The South Netherlands Book of Hours
has been digitized and is available online here.
The Department maintains five unique sub collections within rare books:
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.
Helen D. and William E. Krantz '37 Miniature Book Collection--A collection of approximately 268 miniature books (books under 4 1/2 inches) donated in 2012 by William E. Krantz (F&M Class of 1937).
Artists' Books Collection The Artists' books collection consist of approximately 110 titles ranging from simply-made zines to elaborately produced three-dimensional books.
The William Reichenbach Collection is the oldest library collection. One hundred thirty six titles were bequeathed to Franklin College in 1821 by William Reichenbach, Professor of Mathematics from 1787-1821. Sixty two titles survive consisting largely of Latin language texts by classical authors as well as contemporary 16th-18th century works on ancient history, science and religion.
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
For questions concerning the value of your rare book you may try some of the sources listed here
updated 3/17/14 mrl