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Libraries with special collections

Bust of Eugene Ormandy

Albrecht Music Library

The Otto E. Albrecht Music Library and Eugene Ormandy Music and Media Center house scores, books on music history and theory, ethnomusicology, jazz, popular music, sound and video recordings. The Kislak Center for Special Collections houses the rare music and collections, including the papers of Marian Anderson, Rudolf Serkin, Alma Mahler Werfel, Eugene Ormandy, Leopold Stokowski, and the Musical Fund Society, Savoy Company, and Marlboro Music Festival.

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Annenberg Library

Annenberg School for Communication Library

The Annenberg School for Communication Library Archives’ collections comprise materials pertaining to communication scholarship, journalism, and broadcast media. Holdings currently include, among other things, the papers of George Gerbner and Elihu Katz, the International Communication Association records, around 50,000 daytime and primetime television scripts from the 1950s through the 1990s, and a growing number of oral histories.

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Map of showing the parts of Russia, East Africa, Middle east, Asia

Area Studies

Penn’s Area Studies Collections encompass materials in African, Chinese, Japanese, Judaic, Korean, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian, and South Asian studies, representing the study of more than half of the world’s population. Our special collections boast the largest number of Indic manuscripts and Japanese illustrated books in the Western hemisphere, a unique archive of more than 100,000 archaeological photographs, and an extensive array of colonial-era travelogues from South Asia. In addition, Penn holds manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish from the medieval to modern era; rare printed material from the 19th and 20th centuries from the Middle East and Japan; and a large number of rare works by noted European Orientalists. Growing collections include East Asian comics, colonial-era items from Manchuria, and ephemera in Middle Eastern languages.

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LJS 101 - Boethius - Periermenias Aristotelis..., decorated initial (P), f. 1v

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

With over 300,000 printed books and codices and over 14,000 linear feet of modern manuscripts, the Kislak Center’s collections span the ancient world to the contemporary era and are global in scope. The collections are interdisciplinary and continue to grow. Particular strengths include but are not limited to medieval and early modern Europe; South Asia; the history of science; and American letters and publishing.

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Image from the title page of Artzney Buchlein wider allerlei Kranckeyten vnd Gebrechen der Tzeen (1520), the first printed book on dentistry

Levy Dental Medicine Library

The Dental Library is home to many curiosities in the form of texts and notable characters from the past. Among the Library’s holdings are a couple of firsts: the first printed book on Dentistry (1530) and the seminal book, Le Chirurgien Dentiste, ou Traité des Dents (1728). Notable collections include that of Thomas W. Evans, preferred dentist to the court of the French 2nd Empire, and Edward Kirk who served as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine from 1896 to 1917. As for notable characters, the School claims both Doc Holliday and Zane Grey as alums.

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Logo of the Library at the Katz CAJS

Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

The Judaica collections at the Penn Libraries, as a whole, constitute one of the world's largest and richest resources on the history and culture of Jews. The collections are dispersed, mainly, among five library locations: the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Library, the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the University Museum, and the Biddle Law Library. The combined holdings currently total between 350,000-400,000 volumes in 24 languages and dialects and in a range of formats from manuscripts to electronic resources.

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Puget Sound Power and Light Company, 1924, p.19, condensed milk has become an important product of this territory

Lippincott Library of the Wharton School

The Lippincott Library's Collection of Historical Annual Reports covers the period 1800 through 1955 for a selection of U.S. companies. The companion web site, Corporate Reports Online,   provides these reports in PDF format and is searchable by company or industry name, year, or words in the text.

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Two manuscript pages from the Berendt Brinton Collection

Penn Museum Library

With over 145,000 volumes on-site at the Penn Museum, the Museum Library’s collections focus on publications on archaeology throughout the world, biological anthropology, cultural and linguistic anthropology, and medical anthropology, as well as archaeological sciences and cultural heritage management. Included are two special collections: the Daniel Garrison Brinton Collection of Rare Books and Pamphlets and a miscellaneous collection of rare books and facsimiles.

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Title page: Bourgelat: Le nouveau Newkastle (Fairman Rogers Collection)

Veterinary - Campus: Atwood Veterinary Medicine Library

The Fairman Rogers Collection comprises over 1,000 titles, ranging from the sixteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The collection includes medical guides, stud books, and books on breed and breeding, as well as titles dealing with shoeing, harnessing, training, riding, driving, racing, and keeping a proper stable. The complete digitized collection is available thanks to the support of the Laurie Landau Foundation.

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AMS logo

American Musicological Society Records

The American Musicological Society's purpose is to advance scholarship in the various fields of music through research, learning, and teaching. They were founded in 1943, reflecting trends in musicological scholarship and academic training through the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Penn holds the administrative records, oral history documentation, journal production records, and more.

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AMS logo

American Musicological Society Records

The American Musicological Society's purpose is to advance scholarship in the various fields of music through research, learning, and teaching. They were founded in 1943, reflecting trends in musicological scholarship and academic training through the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Penn holds the administrative records, oral history documentation, journal production records, and more.

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Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, typescript, 1900, chapter 1, p.1 (detail) (Ms. Coll. 30, Box 126, folder 7075)

American Studies, American Literature, and American Publishing History

The Kislak Center holds numerous collections of manuscripts and printed books relating to modern American studies, American literature, and the history of publishing in America.

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W Steig_The Artists Gaze_ ED-5_13_UPenn Steig Collection

Art and Architecture Collections (Kislak Center)

Collections related to art and architecture held in the Kislak Center.

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Criminology special collections

The criminology collection has an exceptionally rich historic collection, built through the work of the first modern criminologist Thorstein Sellin and his protege Marvin Wolfgang. Recent collection growth has been generously supported through the Lipman Criminology Library Fund.

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Moses Aaron Dropsie

Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning collections

The Dropsie College Collection comprises approximately 180,000 volumes, including twenty Hebrew incunabula and over 8,000 rare printed works in Hebrew, English, German, Yiddish, Arabic, Latin and Ladino. Non-print materials include 451 codices as well as Cairo Genizah fragments and cuneiform tablets.

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Economics special collections

Special collections in economics include United States Economic Stabilization Agency records, Lemuel R. Boulware papers, and Federal reserve district divisions and location of federal reserve banks and head offices (Hearings before the Reserve bank organization committee, 1914).

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Photograph of Edgar Fahs Smith

Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection

The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection is devoted to the history of chemistry and collects broadly in that field, emphasizing periods prior to 1900. The collection includes early and modern works on chemistry, alchemy, early medicine and pharmacology, dyeing, metallurgy, mineralogy, and pyrotechnics; biographies of chemists; works on the chemical industry; and the history of chemical education.

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Edwin Forrest as King Lear, lithograph [19th c], Furness Theatrical Image Coll. P/Fo600.18 ML

Edwin Forrest Library and collection

The Edwin Forrest collection documents the career of Forrest (1806-1872), a major nineteenth-century American actor, noted for his Shakespearean roles. Originally housed in the Edwin Forrest Home in Philadelphia, the Forrest Library includes over three thousand titles dating from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. 

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Let 'em go from the Sport of Our Ancestors

Fairman Rogers Collection

The Fairman Rogers Collection includes of over 1,000 titles on horses and horsemanship, many from the personal library of Fairman Rogers (1833-1900), dating from the sixteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The collection holds works ranging from medical guides, stud books, and books on breed and breeding, to titles dealing with shoeing, harnessing, training, riding, driving, racing, and keeping a proper stable.

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Let 'em go from the Sport of Our Ancestors

Fairman Rogers Collection

The Fairman Rogers Collection includes of over 1,000 titles on horses and horsemanship, many from the personal library of Fairman Rogers (1833-1900), dating from the sixteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The collection holds works ranging from medical guides, stud books, and books on breed and breeding, to titles dealing with shoeing, harnessing, training, riding, driving, racing, and keeping a proper stable.

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Detail of photograph of Lea's library in his home at 2000 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Henry Charles Lea Library

The Lea library collects primary materials for the study of the late medieval and early modern period, focusing on the history of the Catholic Church with a special interest in the institutional, legal, and ecclesiastical bases of Church organization and governance during these periods and, most especially, the Inquisition in Europe and Spanish America. Witchcraft and magic are also subjects that the Lea Library collects extensively.

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L. Fiorillo. Bedouins.

Holy Land Collections

Penn's libraries' Holy Land collections include primary sources such as rare manuscripts, early modern printed books, travelogues, early photographs and printed postcards, engraved and hand-illustrated maps and atlases, original archeological artifacts, field reports, and extensive circulating secondary sources.

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Photograph of Horace Howard Furness in the library of his summer home, Lindenshade

Horace Howard Furness Memorial Library

The Furness Memorial Library is devoted to the study of Shakespeare and other Tudor and Stuart dramatists. It includes most writings in English--as well as writings in many other languages--about Shakespeare and virtually all English-language editions of his plays and poems, including , the first four folios, some early quartos, and other editions up to the present time. Promptbooks, biographies, photographs, letters, scrapbooks, and playbills offer rich resources for early stage history.

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Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus in German

Incunable Collection

The Kislak Center holds over 570 exemplars of books printed in Europe from movable type before 1501. Sixty-six of these titles are the only recorded copies in North America. These volumes contain texts in religion, philosophy, and ancient and modern literature.

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Japanese rare books

Japanese Studies

The Penn Libraries collects a variety of Japanese rare materials, including but not limited to books, periodicals, scrapbooks, limited-circulation newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, and art prints. These come to the Libraries both from targeted purchases from Japan, and from gifts in kind. The Penn Libraries, over time, has built on historic strengths and been guided by collection usage in teaching and research, as well as generous gifts and local community member discoveries and donations.

 

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LJS 101, Periermenias Aristotelis, folio 1v.

Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection

The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection includes nearly three hundred manuscripts and documents ranging in date from ca. 1900BC to the 20th century, with particular focus on the eras of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. With its emphasis on the history of science and the transmission of knowledge across time and geography, the Schoenberg Collection brings together many of the great scientific and philosophical traditions of the ancient and medieval worlds. Documenting the extraordinary achievements of scholars, philosophers, and scientists active in pre-modern Europe, Africa, and Asia, the collection illuminates the foundations of our shared intellectual heritage.

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LJS 101, Periermenias Aristotelis, folio 1v.

Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection

The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection includes nearly three hundred manuscripts and documents ranging in date from ca. 1900BC to the 20th century, with particular focus on the eras of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. With its emphasis on the history of science and the transmission of knowledge across time and geography, the Schoenberg Collection brings together many of the great scientific and philosophical traditions of the ancient and medieval worlds. Documenting the extraordinary achievements of scholars, philosophers, and scientists active in pre-modern Europe, Africa, and Asia, the collection illuminates the foundations of our shared intellectual heritage.

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Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, from the Leopold Stokowski Papers

Leopold Stokowski Collection

The Leopold Stokowski Collection includes papers, orchestral scores and transcriptions, research materials, and recordings documenting the musical career of this charismatic conductor.

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Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, from the Leopold Stokowski Papers

Leopold Stokowski Collection

The Leopold Stokowski Collection includes papers, orchestral scores and transcriptions, research materials, and recordings documenting the musical career of this charismatic conductor.

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Photograph of Lewis Mumford, 1938 (Ms. Coll. 2)

Lewis Mumford collections

Lewis Mumford (1895–1990) was one of the foremost American intellectuals of the twentieth century. The Lewis Mumford Papers and associated collections document Mumford's work as scholar, critic, and teacher, and his personal life.

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Marian Anderson, Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., April 9, 1939 (Acme Newspictures, Inc.), Marian Anderson Collection of Photographs, item 7.4.1

Marian Anderson Collection

Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was world-renowned as a contralto. The Marian Anderson Collection includes Anderson's personal papers--including letters, music scores, programs, photographs, and sound recordings--and affiliated materials, along with additional donations to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. All of these collections are housed in the Kislak Center.

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Marian Anderson, Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., April 9, 1939 (Acme Newspictures, Inc.), Marian Anderson Collection of Photographs, item 7.4.1

Marian Anderson Collection

Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was world-renowned as a contralto. The Marian Anderson Collection includes Anderson's personal papers--including letters, music scores, programs, photographs, and sound recordings--and affiliated materials, along with additional donations to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. All of these collections are housed in the Kislak Center.

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Hands of pianist Rieko Aizawa and cellist Paul Tortelier at the piano, 1992. Photo by Peter Checchia.

Marlboro Music School and Festival Records

The Marlboro Music School and Festival Records spans Marlboro’s history from 1950 through 2013 and showcases its influence on chamber music in America as it documents its growth from a small and informally organized summer school in the early 1950s to its current status as a prestigious institution that has shaped careers and inspired the formation of numerous renowned ensembles. The school's emphasis is on the intensive study of chamber music where young and senior professionals collaborate in a relaxed atmosphere that is removed from the demanding rehearsal and performance schedules that they face throughout the year. The collection comprises administrative documents, concert programs, printed promotional materials, articles and reviews, photographs, and audio-visual materials relating to the Marlboro School of Music and annual summer festival as well as the related Musicians from Marlboro touring series and the Marlboro Recording Society.

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Hands of pianist Rieko Aizawa and cellist Paul Tortelier at the piano, 1992. Photo by Peter Checchia.

Marlboro Music School and Festival Records

The Marlboro Music School and Festival Records spans Marlboro’s history from 1950 through 2013 and showcases its influence on chamber music in America as it documents its growth from a small and informally organized summer school in the early 1950s to its current status as a prestigious institution that has shaped careers and inspired the formation of numerous renowned ensembles. The school's emphasis is on the intensive study of chamber music where young and senior professionals collaborate in a relaxed atmosphere that is removed from the demanding rehearsal and performance schedules that they face throughout the year. The collection comprises administrative documents, concert programs, printed promotional materials, articles and reviews, photographs, and audio-visual materials relating to the Marlboro School of Music and annual summer festival as well as the related Musicians from Marlboro touring series and the Marlboro Recording Society.

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Teacher and students, illuminated initial D, LJS 184, f. 1r

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (Kislak Center)

The Kislak Center possesses over 1500 Western manuscript codices, collections, and fragments dating from ca. 850 to ca. 1700. The 2011 gift of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection has greatly increased the breadth of Penn's holdings. Manuscript research is supported by the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS).

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two pages from the Berendt-Brinton collection

Museum Library Rare Book Collections

The Museum Library houses two special collections: the Daniel Garrison Brinton Collection of Rare Books and Pamphlets and a miscellaneous collection of rare books and facsimiles. In the Franklin catalog, these items will be listed as being held in "University Museum Library - Brinton Collection" or "University Museum Library - Locked Cases."

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two pages from the Berendt-Brinton collection

Museum Library Rare Book Collections

The Museum Library houses two special collections: the Daniel Garrison Brinton Collection of Rare Books and Pamphlets and a miscellaneous collection of rare books and facsimiles. In the Franklin catalog, these items will be listed as being held in "University Museum Library - Brinton Collection" or "University Museum Library - Locked Cases."

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Drawing of Rudolf Serkin, Penn Rare blog post

Rudolf Serkin Papers

Rudolf Serkin (1903-1991) was an American classical pianist known as one of the 20th century’s greatest soloists and for fostering a vibrant culture of chamber music via the Marlboro Music School and Festival. The papers consist mainly of materials collected by Serkin himself (including his personal correspondence, performance records, papers relating to Marlboro, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Institute for Young Performing Musicians) as well as a small amount of related material added by his wife and his biographers.

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Drawing of Rudolf Serkin, Penn Rare blog post

Rudolf Serkin Papers

Rudolf Serkin (1903-1991) was an American classical pianist known as one of the 20th century’s greatest soloists and for fostering a vibrant culture of chamber music via the Marlboro Music School and Festival. The papers consist mainly of materials collected by Serkin himself (including his personal correspondence, performance records, papers relating to Marlboro, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Institute for Young Performing Musicians) as well as a small amount of related material added by his wife and his biographers.

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Sociology special collections

Special collections in sociology include Talcott Parsons collection, U. S. Health Activism History Collection, Philip Rieff correspondence, Millennium Watch Institute collection, Rod McKuen Miss America Pageant judge's binder, and Aitala Family papers.

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Trade card of a combination steam and sail boat, Kaplan Collection.

The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica

The Kaplan Collection, donated to Penn in November 2012, is considered the most important private collection of its kind. It consists of over 11,000 individual items that document an astonishingly broad range of commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the colonial era through the onset of mass migration at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Trade card of a combination steam and sail boat, Kaplan Collection.

The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica

The Kaplan Collection, donated to Penn in November 2012, is considered the most important private collection of its kind. It consists of over 11,000 individual items that document an astonishingly broad range of commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the colonial era through the onset of mass migration at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Photograph taken around 1935, when the collection was displayed in the Evans Museum, located in the east half of the Evans Building

Thomas Wiltberger Evans Collection

Thomas W. Evans (1823 – 1897), was an innovator and an inventor/brand ambassador, he partnered with the Samuel S. White Dental Company in Philadelphia to develop Evans own line of dental products; but he is most known for being the preferred dentist to the royal courts of Europe for three decades. Evans' collection includes rare works on the history of dentistry, his collection of Protestant Bibles and his surviving personal papers.

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Photograph taken around 1935, when the collection was displayed in the Evans Museum, located in the east half of the Evans Building

Thomas Wiltberger Evans Collection

Thomas W. Evans (1823 – 1897), was an innovator and an inventor/brand ambassador, he partnered with the Samuel S. White Dental Company in Philadelphia to develop Evans own line of dental products; but he is most known for being the preferred dentist to the royal courts of Europe for three decades. Evans' collection includes rare works on the history of dentistry, his collection of Protestant Bibles and his surviving personal papers.

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Walter J. Lear (1923-2010), from Philadelphia Gay News (2010)

U. S. Health Activism History Collection (Walter J. Lear U.S. Health Activism History Collection)

The U.S Health Activism History Collection is a group of archival collections centered on health care, health policy, and medical reform movements. Topics covered in these collections included poverty, civil rights, women's health, and many others. The original collector, Walter J. Lear (1923-2010), was a pioneering LGBT doctor and medical activist.

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