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University of Delaware Library

Library Overview

The Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library houses over 100,000 books, over 1,000 manuscript collections, and significant collections of maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia from the fifteenth century to the present. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of art and art history; architecture; the history of printing; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; and the history of science and technology.

The histories of fine, decorative, and applied arts are collection strengths that complement research interests of the University's programs in art history and conservation. The art of the book, the history of printing and the graphic arts, and the history of papermaking and fine printing are subjects represented in both printed and manuscript collections. Holdings in British, American, and Irish literature are concentrated from the seventeenth century to the present with particular strengths in Romantic poetry and prose, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century British, American, and Irish literature, including literary manuscripts.

All aspects of English and American history are represented from the sixteenth century onward, as are significant collections on French political theory and statecraft. The areas of travel and exploration are well-represented, and the history of Delaware from its settlement by the Swedes in 1638 to the present is the focus of the Delaware Collection. Collections on the history of science and technology complement University strengths in chemistry and engineering. Of particular note are holdings for alchemy, dyeing and bleaching, natural philosophy, metallurgy, and military fortification. In addition, the history of American horticulture is richly recorded in books, periodicals, seed catalogs, trade catalogs, prints, broadsides, and manuscripts.

University of Delaware
University of Delaware Library
Newark, DE 19717-5267
(302) 831-6952 (t)
(302) 831-1046 (f)