Monmouth University Library's special collections are open to anyone with an intellectual interest in print culture. In addition to providing individual study, hands-on instructional sessions are offered on all aspects of book history. All visitors have the opportunity to handle centuries-old materials and learn about the printed word and its long history. Students are encouraged to work with key historical artifacts in the collections, including medieval manuscript leaves, parchment, handmade paper, typeface, and early serialized novels.
The special collections department can also help teaching faculty design any number of interesting assignments. Students of literature may examine textual variations of one work in multiple editions, while those engaged in the study of art may closely observe medieval illustration and printing techniques. Researchers in history and religion have the opportunity to study an early King James Bible and consider its enormous impact on western culture. To make an appointment, contact special collections librarian George Germek at 732-571-4403.
Monmouth University Library’s Rare Book Collection contains many fine works. A few notables include a signed first edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, an early English Bible, an early printing of the Declaration of Independence, and a Paris and Company first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses. Anyone with an intellectually curiosity is welcomed.
The Mumford Collection, located within the special collections reading room at Monmouth University Library, contains over 3500 books and artifacts comprising the personal library of Lewis Mumford – the only one of its kind anywhere.
Monmouth University Library holds a modest number of fine leaves, used primarily for teaching purposes. They include illuminations from books of hours, breviaries, psalters, and prayer books. Also included are leaves from the King James and Tyndale Bible, and a superb Kelmscott Chaucer leaf from the press of William Morris.
The New Jersey Collection encompasses some 3100 books, periodicals, and cataloged documents pertaining to New Jersey, with particular emphasis on Monmouth County. No appointment is necessary to use the collection.
The Special Collections Reading Room, located on the library’s second floor, is open Monday through Friday 9-5, by appointment. Reader policies are available here.
Monmouth University Library's Special Collections Department collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of its rare and unique materials in order to support the academic programs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other scholars, including those outside the academic community. The Department accomplishes this mission through collection development, book history instruction, exhibitions and community outreach.
Monmouth University is interested in rare book donations to help build its collections. To consider donations contact George Germek at firstname.lastname@example.org