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ENGL 413/MARS 420: The History of Books

From Beowulf to Shakespeare

Rare Book Collections

rare books - decorative

To view a list and full description of our various rare book collections, visit:

Catalogues of Pre-1700 Books

Certain collections, such as the Krannert Special Collection and the Goss Library contain numerous pre-1700 books. Print catalogues of these collections are available in Archives and Special Collections for browsing:

A catalogue of rare books, pamphlets and journals on business and economics in the Krannert Library Special Collection (1500-1800)

Call #: Archives & Special Collections Kran Spec Coll  016.33 H814c

A manual of the William Freeman Myrick Goss library of the history of engineering

Call #: Archives & Special Collections: Purdue History/Reading Rm  016.62 P97h (includes supplement)

Select Rare Books Used in Class

The thre bokes of cronicles, whyche Iohn Carion gathered wyth great diligence of the beste authours that haue written in Hebrue, Greke or Latine. Whervnto is added an appendix, conteynyng all such notable thynges as be mentyoned in cronicles to haue chaunced in sundry partes of the worlde from the yeare of Christ 1532 to thys present yeare of 1550. By Johannes Carion. London, Imprynted by J. Day for G. Lynne, 1550.
Call #: Archives & Special Collections: Charles Major Collection  808.83 C19t 

The ... chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. (Holinshed's Chronicles). Raphael Holinshed -1580? ; Richard Stanyhurst 1547-1618.; William Harrison 1534-1593.; Reyner Wolfe ...1577. London, Imprinted for I. Harrison.
Call #: Archives & Special Collections: Charles Major Collection  808.83 H71c (3 volumes)

[Facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible]. Biblia Sacra. Cooper Square Gutenberg Bible, circa 1956
Call #: Archives & Special Collections: Bruce Rogers Coll. 808.861 B471 OVS Folio (2 volumes)

Medieval Manuscript Leaves and Rare Book Leaves


Ancient and Medieval Manuscript Leaves collection, 30 B.C.E. - 18th Century

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Rare Book Leaves collection, 1440 - Late 19th/20th Century

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Collection of British Indentures, 1607-1769

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Collection of Tycho Brahe Engravings, 1662

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Original Leaf from The Whole Book of Psalmes, 1594-1606

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Leaf from a printed Book of Hours, 1500s

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Leaf from Das Consilium Geschehen zu Constanz, 1483

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Original Leaves Cataloged

Liber Chronicarum: A Folio of the Nuremberg Chronicle. Call Number: 093 Sch2 General Collection (Oversized)

Original Leaves from Famous Books: Eight Centuries, 1240 A.D. - 1923 A.D. Call Number: 094 Or4 General Collection (Oversized)
Includes leaves from the following works: St. Jerome, Vulgate Bible (1240, France); Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics (1365, Germany); Italian manuscript on vellum, 1436; Voragine The Golden Legend (1480, Italy); Dante Divine Comedy (Italy, 1491); Schedel, Nuremberg Chronicle (1493, Germany); The Justinian Code (1512, France); Pliny, Natural History (1525, Switzerland); Erasmus, Adages (1528 Switzerland); Vesalius, Anatomy (1555 Switzerland); Petrarch, Sonnets and Canzoni (1559, Italy); Hippocrates, Writings (1585, Italy); John Gerard, History of Plants (1597, England); Richard Hakluyt, Voyages (1598-1600, England); The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1602, England); Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1608, Spain); The King James version of The Holy Bible (1611, England); Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning; The New Atlantis; and other Writings (1638, England); William Shakespeare, Comedies, Histories, Tragedies, The Fourth Folio (1685, England); Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language (1755, England); Virgil, Bucolica, Georgica, and the Aeneid (1757, England); Michael Montaigne, Essays (1902-1904, United States); Milton, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and other Poems (1905, England); Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (1920, England); Homer, Iliad and Odyssey (1923, Germany). Annotated by Otto F. Ege.

Original leaf from the first polyglot Bible, Complutensian Polyglot, 1514-1517. Call Number: 808.861 H14g Bruce Rogers Collection (Oversized)

Original leaf from the Coverdale Bible, 1535. Call Number: 808.861 B471L Bruce Rogers Collection (Oversized)

Original leaf from the King James Version Bible, 1611. Call Number: 808.861 L953L Bruce Rogers Collection (Oversized)