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Rare Books, Manuscripts, & Artifacts

The Collection

Ohio Wesleyan University's Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artifacts collection contains materials illustrating various methods people have used to record transactions, thoughts, and knowledge in language forms: cuneiform writing in clay tablets; Greek on papyrus; sacred texts in Sanskrit on palm leaves, in Hebrew on a leather scroll, in Latin and Ge'ez in illuminated manuscripts on parchment; early printed books. It also includes many rare books and examples of 19th and 20th century writings.

Additionally, Special Collections at OWU houses artifacts such as pre-Columbian pottery from Bolivia, Anasazi and Lower Mississippi culture pottery, Asian and African artifacts, oriental carpets, chinaware, and paintings.

Noteworthy individual collections include:

*Please note that library catalog listings do not include all materials in a collection, especially any nonbook materials.

OWU Instructors: Using Special Collections in Your Courses

Are you an OWU professor or instructor who would like to use some of our rare books, manuscripts, or artifacts to augment your course instruction? Would you like to have a librarian teach your students about some of our interesting historical and cultural objects? Would your students benefit from a guided visit to our Special Collections? Would you like to build a course assignment around some of our materials? Do you just want to learn more about what a librarian can do for your courses, or what's in Special Collections? If so, please contact us at 740-368-3288, email Stacy, or fill out this form: We look forward to working with you!

Image from a medieval manuscript
Image from a Japanese scroll
Image from the Description de l'Égypte plates
Majolica Syrian plate
Image of King James Bible introductory text
Barnum and Bailey promotional poster image
Image of Classical Library books on a shelf
Image of Kate Greenaway book cover
Image of the Salon de 1890 title page

OWU Special Collections: Digitized materials




Appointments recommended.

OWU Library Update

Beeghly Library will be closed for the 2023-24 academic year. Library services will continue, relocating primarily to Hobson Library in the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center. For more details: 

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