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Case Western Reserve University Libraries

Library Overview

Case Western Reserve University was established in 1826 as Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio. In 1882, the college moved to Cleveland, sharing the new campus with the Case School of Applied Science. In 1967 Western Reserve University merged with the Case Institute of Technology to form the present university. The Department of Special Collections is located in the Kelvin Smith Library and houses rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. Among the department's holdings are more than 60,000 rare books, association copies, and specialized reference tools as well as over 60 manuscript collections. Major collection strengths include American and continental literature and history of the 18th and 19th centuries and American and European journals in the history of science. There are significant collections in art, architecture, domestic science, history, history of the book and book arts, mathematics, music, natural history, philosophy, science and technology, travel, and exploration. These collections have outstanding examples of books and manuscripts from the 15th to the 21st centuries. The Wilhelm Scherer library of German literature includes rare editions of major 19th-century German authors. Autograph collections contain a variety of documents representing American and British personalities. Also present are several unique collections of local interest including the papers of Charles Brush, inventor of the arc lamp; the urban planning library of Ernest J. Bohn known as the "Father of Housing"; the Warner & Swasey Co. papers, maker of telescopes; WPA posters and prints by Cleveland printmakers; works of Cleveland composers Donald Erb and Marcel Dick; and books from the original Western Reserve College Library.

Case Western Reserve University Libraries
Kelvin Smith Library
11055 Euclid Avenue
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7151
(216) 368-0189 (t)
(216) 368-6950 (f)