Special Collections

Monmouth University Special CollectionsMonmouth 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. Students taking the first-year seminar course The Story of the Book will use the room on a regular basis.

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 fascinating assignments. To make an appointment, contact special collections librarian George Germek at 732-571-4403.

Use the online instruction request form here.

Rare Book Collection

Monmouth University Library’s Rare Book Collection contains a modest number of fine works. A few notables include a signed first edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, selections from The Aldine Press, 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 Lewis Mumford Collection

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 Special Collection Manuscript LeavesDetached Leaves

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 Bibles, and a superb Kelmscott Chaucer leaf from the press of William Morris.



The New Jersey Collection

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 Bruce Springsteen Collection

The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection comprises nearly 22,000 items that range from books and concert memorabilia to articles and promotional materials. The collection serves the research and informational needs of music fans, scholars, authors, and others with a serious interest in Bruce Springsteen’s life and career. Research access to the collection is by appointment only. To make one contact Eileen Chapman at 732-571-3512. You can, however, peruse the Bruce Springsteen Collection online catalog anytime by clicking http://www.friendsofthespringsteencollection.org/


Operating Hours and Policies

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 Special Collections Mission StatementMission Statement

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.


Collection Development Policy

Click here to see the Library’s collection development policy.



Monmouth University is interested in rare book donations to help build its collections. To consider donations contact George Germek at ggermek@monmouth.edu