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Special Collections

Overview of Special Collections at Ashland University including Special Books and Archives

Special Books Background

The contents and focus of the Special Books collection has been largely shaped by donors. Over the years a few noted individuals have donated large collections of books (and occasionally related items) to Ashland University.

This collection includes over 6,000 books as well as serials, maps, almanacs, and book related objects. Topics range from American Literature, History, and British Literature, to books about books/book making, French Literature, and Children's literature. 

The Room is divided into different areas that were created by the original Curator in the 1970s. They are as follows:

American History
American Literature
Biblical Literature
Books about Books
Children's Books
Customs and Costumes
English History
English Literature
Fine Bindings
First Editions
French Literature
Harold McCuen
Illustrated editions
Jack Matthews
Miniature Books
Misc. Books
Press Books

When Dr. May Pyle Andrews, Ashland College English professor, moved in 1967 a large portion of her and her late husband, Reverand H. E. Andrews', book collection came to Ashland College - about 14,000 books. The collection also contained papers and special documents.


An Ashland College alum, Harold McCuen gifted multiple donations to the collection in 1988-1989. His contributions include children's books, special magazines, almanacs, books about literature and books and over 400 miniature books.

On behalf of her late husband, Orrin B. Werntz, Mrs. Werntz donated books, maps, letters to the AU Special Books collection. This collection's strengths lie in American history and travel books. 

An Ashland University Librarian and professor for 37 years, Lulu Wood's donation is comprised mainly of children's books and British Literature. 

Catalog Search

Materials in the Special Books Collection can be found using the Ashland University Catalog. This is not a complete record so please contact the Curator if you have any questions