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Special Collections

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

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)

The Special Books Collection is part of the Ashland Special Collections which cares for unique and significant materials. We are happy to answer your questions about our collections, the history of Ashland University, or other research inquiries. Feel free to contact us by phone, email, or stop by the Library!

Where is the Special Books Collection?

     It is located on the third floor of Ashland University, and open by appointment with the Curator.

Where is the Archives located?

     It is located off site in storage, but can be accessed as necessary. 

When are is the Special Books Collection open?

     Both the Special Books Room and the Archives are available weekdays by appointment with the Curator.

How do I find books in Special Books Collection?

     There are over 6,000 books inventoried in Special Books Collection. Every book in Special Books Collection is cataloged in Sierra. Its location will be listed as "MAIN Special Collections." These books cannot be checked out, but if you reach out to the Curator she can set up an appointment for you to examine the books you are interested in.  

What are the most interesting things in Special Books?

     We have over 6,000 volumes in Special Collections which gives a large range. Our oldest book was printed in 1583 and is a Latin Bible. We also have a large collection of miniature books, and a handful of fore-edge books (those are books with paintings on the page edges). Set up an appointment to see it or learn more about the collection!

When did the Special Books Collection begin?

     The Ashland University Special Books Collections began with a donation in 1967 from Dr. May Pyle Andrews, a professor of English at Ashland College, when she downsized the collection of her and her late husband, Reverend H. E. Andrews. Of the 14,000 books that were donated, a large percentage created the Special Books Collection and the rest (over 6,000!) were sold through a sale on the ground floor of the library to the public.  

Who can use the Special Books and Archives Collections?

     The Special Collections and Archives are open to Ashland University students, faculty, and staff as well as the general public in support of the research and educational aims of the University. 

Can I copy materials from the collections?

     There is no self-service copying of Special Collections due to the fragile nature of the materials. The staff will evaluate the materials requested to be photocopied. If they can be copied without damage, the staff will do the copy/scanning as time permits. Large orders may take several days to complete. Researchers may use their own hand-held cameras to make “fair use” study copies of materials in good condition. The use of bright lights, copy stands, or other equipment deemed harmful to the materials is not permitted.