About Special Collections
The Mortimer Rare Book Collection houses the college's rare books and literary manuscripts. Broad in scope, it includes works from all time periods and in subject areas as diverse as ancient history and zoology. Among the highlights of the collections are the papers of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf.
See Rare Books & Manuscripts collections for a list of major holdings.
The Concentration in Book Studies connects students with the exceptional resources of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection and the wealth of book artists and craftspeople of the Pioneer Valley. Through classroom study, field projects, and independent research, they learn about the history, art, and technology of the "book," broadly defined to extend from oral memory and papyrus scrolls to manuscripts, printed books, and digital media. Read more about the Book Studies Concentration...
The Mortimer Rare Book Collection is currently contributing to a Mellon-funded project to create digital facsimiles for all of the medieval manuscripts held by the libraries and museums of the Five Colleges consortium. The digitized manuscripts will be accessible in their entirety from local digital repositories and from Digital Scriptorium, an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. The project also involves undergraduate and graduate students in studying, scanning, and cataloging the manuscripts.