History of Printing and Publishing

The history of the printed book in Europe and North America is very well documented in the Archives & Special Collections. Our holdings extend from two leaves of the Gutenberg Bible (ca.1455) to masterpieces of Renaissance and Enlightenment printing, to the mass market publications of the nineteenth century. Our holdings for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are particularly strong in both cheap, popular formats and limited edition/fine-press books.

Early books and manuscripts

We hold a small collection of fifteenth-century books and manuscripts. More...

Renaissance and enlightenment publishing

We hold major works of literature, science, philosophy, and other subjects by the major figures of the Renaissance and Enlightenment in first and later editions.


The Bible is one of the most frequently published books in the West of the last 500 years. We hold a strong collection of Bibles ranging from two leaves of the Gutenberg Bible (1455) to the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible (1999). More...

artists books

While we do not collect artists books categorically, we do hold many examples of book arts that fit within the broad scope of our collection development policy. We have artists books based on the works of Emily Dickinson and Robert Louis Stevenson as well as natural history and science.

small press/fine press printing

We have strong holdings of several prominent small presses, most of whom have published authors we collect comprehensively. Significant presses include Abattoir PressAralia PressCaliban PressCummington PressOliphant PressPalaemon PressPerpetua PressScorpion PressStinehour PressStone Wall PressWarwick Press, and Windhover Press.