The Kaplan Collection documents commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the colonial era through the nineteenth century.
At the University of Pennsylvania, holdings relating to art and architecture may be found in the Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library; the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania; the University Archives and Records Center; and in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.
The core of the Penn Libraries’ outstanding linguistics collection is the library of August Friedrich Pott (1802-1887), professor of general and comparative linguistics at the University of Halle and first librarian of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft.
This collection of approximately 18,000 items includes books and periodicals on German literature, linguistics, philology, folklore, and related disciplines. Materials date from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. The Bechstein Library was acquired by the University of Pennsylvania in 1896.
The Berendt-Brinton Linguistic Collection is an important repository of Indigenous language materials and other documents, primarily from colonial-era Central America.
The Penn Libraries hold a collection of more than 600 medieval manuscript fragments from the Cairo Genizah.
The Robert Dechert Collection includes over 1600 printed books focusing on American travel, exploration, and Native American relations with settlers. Materials date from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. French Americana and the writings of Las Casas are particular strengths of the collection. A Dechert fund supports ongoing acquisitions.
Penn Dental Medicine is one of the oldest dental schools in the nation. Dr. Thomas W. Evans, a Philadelphia native, who became the dentist to the courts of Europe during France’s Second Empire and confidant of Napoleon III, left his estate in 1897 to create and maintain a dental school that would be “second to none.” Dr. Evans’ collection did not though fund the formation of a dental library that was left to future generations.
From 1583 to 1712, the Dutch firm of Elzevier (sometimes written Elsevier or Elzevir), with additional offices in France and Scandinavia, published a wide variety of books, and notably small-format books, for circulation throughout Europe. Penn's collection of Elzevier imprints, a donation of E. B. Krumbhaar to which subsequent purchases have been added, comprises over 1600 volumes produced by the Elzevier firm, along with related publications.