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Special Collections

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


Special Books Collection is a secure area of the Ashland University Library where books are kept that are considered rare, unique, or fragile. These books are cataloged in the AU catalog but cannot be checked out. They must be viewed in the Special Books room with an appointment with the Curator. 

Materials in the Special Books Room are selected based on many different factors: age, condition, value, or author. The books are kept in a separate secure room where we can do our best to minimize their handling and control the temperature and humidity. This will help preserve the books for future generations. 

The display areas on the Main Floor of the Library often has displays that feature a selection of the Special Books Collection books and items. 


Above view of books on shelves, some marble

Early edition of Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Christmas Carol 10th edition

Tree Calf Binding

Tree calf binding on cover of book

Early Pop-up books called a "Peepshows", these were created by Roland Pym

Roland Pym 1950s early Pop-up book
bible from 1800s held open in hands to title page

Using Collection with Courses

Are you an AU professor or instructor who would like to use some of our rare books, manuscripts, or artifacts to augment your course instruction?

Would you like to have a librarian teach your students about some of our interesting historical and cultural objects? Would your students benefit from a guided visit to our Special Collections?

Would you like to build a course assignment around some of our materials?

Do you just want to learn more about what's in Special Collections?


If so, please contact the Curator!