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Special Collections - Oakland Campus: Rare Book Collections

This page introduces users to the University of Pittsburgh Special Collections at Oakland.

Bibliographies of Notable Books You Can Find At Special Collections

Example of an Illuminated Manuscript

Book of Hours, ca. 1489-1490

Rare Book Collection Strengths

The Rare Books Collection consists of works particularly in the areas of the humanities and  the social sciences, including the history of science and technology.  These multidisciplinary collections contain many unusual or unique items, such as first editions, early imprints, find bindings, and beautifully illustrated books.

Examples of Rare Book Collections

Early Imprints [Printed before 1850]: This material comprises selected early imprints as well as first and limited editions representing   British, European, and American works in the area of fiction, literature, philosophy, and science.

Historic Textbooks and Manuals: These collections consist of primary and secondary school texts dating from the sixteenth century to 1914, as well as materials on the history and theory of education, writing of the key figures in the field of education, British and American travel accounts, manuals, and cook books


History of the Book and Printing:  The History of the Book and Printing Collection encompasses materials that demonstrate the development, production, and dissemination of the written and printed word including works that illustrate manuscript origins, printing process, illustration, book trade, binding, and book illustration in the broadest sense.

Historic, Decorative or Fine Bindings: The Historical, Decorative, or Fine Binding Collections consists of elaborately designed and/or decorated books that are not only beautiful works or art, but may also give further insight into the history of the book and printing as well as the role of the book in society.




From the Nesbitt Children's Book Collection

One of the Oldest Examples of Printing

A Leaf from the Letters of St. Jerome, c. 1466-1467.