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Purdue University Libraries

Library Overview

The diverse Special Collections of Purdue University Libraries offer a treasure trove of primary source materials for faculty, students, and researchers. Holdings include rare books, manuscript collections, and University Archives. Major subject strengths include the history of science, engineering, and technology; the history of economic thought; the birth of aeronautics and astronautics; time and motion studies; typography and book design. Particular highlights of the manuscript collections include the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers, the world's largest collection of Earhart papers and memorabilia; the papers of Nobel Prize–winning chemist Herbert C. Brown; the papers of Frank B. and Lillian M. Gilbreth, inventors of motion study whose lives were chronicled in Cheaper by the Dozen (1948); over 1,000 original cartoon drawings by "Dean of American Cartoonists" John T. McCutcheon; and the papers of playwright and humorist George Ade and author Charles Major.

Significant rare book collections include the Goss Library of the History of Engineering; the Krannert Special Collection, pertaining to business, economics, and politics; the M.G. Mellon Library on the history of chemistry; the Bruce Rogers Collection; the Bitting Collections on glass and world fairs and expositions; the Indiana Collection, including early and rare works printed in Indiana or written by Indiana authors; and a large collection of finely bound books published by the Limited Editions Club of New York.

Purdue University Libraries–SPEC
Archives & Special Collections
504 W. State Street
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2058
(765) 494-2905 (t)
(765) 494-0156 (f)