Archives and Special Collections

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Rare Book Collections at Macalester

Collections in the Rare Books Room in the Library include materials spanning from the 13th century to the present, including works that are rare, valuable, unique, or that require special handling.  Highlights include:

  • fine press poetry and contemporary artists books
  • medieval illuminated manuscript leaves
  • signed and first editions by early 20th century American authors, including Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, John Steinbeck,  and Carl Sandburg
  • Diderot Encyclopédie
  • Sinclair Lewis collection of works by and about Lewis
  • 18th and 19th century travel narratives
  • Charles Foster Collection, donated by David A. Foster, Macalester Class of 1967, which celebrates Foster's long friendship with Robert Frost, including first edition works and Christmas cards with handwritten greetings by Robert Frost
  • First edition and signed works by Vladimir Nabokov, which belonged to David F. Wheeler, Macalester Class of 1980, and was donated by his family in 1998

Questions About Rare Books?

access to and use of Rare Books Collections

The Rare Books collection is not a circulating collection;  please Contact Us to schedule a time to visit.

Are you a Macalester faculty member and interested in bringing your class to Rare Books, or having your students view and work with items from the collections?  Please Contact Us or contact your Library Liaison.

Are you interested in seeing if we have a particular work?  All titles in the Rare Books Room are cataloged and findable in Macalester WorldCat.

Would you like to view / use a book in Rare Books?  Please Contact Us to schedule an appointment at or 651-696-6901.  Also, see the Guidelines for Using Archives and Special Collections.

Have a Question?
Please Contact us:

Ellen Holt-Werle
Archivist & Special Collections Librarian

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