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Rare Books, Manuscripts, & Artifacts

Hours and Services

We offer research-support and reference services by email or appointment for the Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artifacts at Ohio Wesleyan University. Contact Stacy for more information. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response. For more general inquiries, please contact the OWU Libraries at 740-368-3225 or

In addition to the Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artifacts Collection, the OWU Libraries' Special Collections also include the OWU Historical Collection and the Archives of Ohio United Methodism. The OWU Natural History Museum and Ross Art Museum also maintain collections at OWU. Please visit their websites for contact information related to those collections.

OWU's Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artifacts 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 the Bayley / Walt Whitman Collection, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Collection, Leland Schubert Collection of 1920s imprint first editions, Gunsaulus medieval manuscripts and incunabula collection, Kate Greenaway Collection, Spanish Civil War Collection, Jaccaud Collection of Presidential Campaign Literature, and Kelley circus and theater promotional materials collection.


Click to view a list of online resources for Special Collections, including links

to digitized manuscripts, rare books, art collections, and more.


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: Virtual class sessions via Zoom are also available. 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


Stacy Chaney-Blankenship