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Literature and Rare Books

Literary Collections

Shelf of rare books with decorated spines

Literary special collections include book and manuscript holdings that document the lives and work of significant literary figures, encompassing artists, editors, journalists, poets, and writers. Notable archival holdings include the literary archive and personal library of American Modernist writers Katherine Anne Porter and Djuna Barnes. Additional authors represented in the  collections include Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven, Thom Gunn, T.S Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Ferdinand Reyher, as well as Maryland Poet Laureates Linda Pastan, Roland Flint, and Reed Whittemore.

Rare Books

The rare books collections contain books, pamphlets, and ephemera dating from the 15th century to the present day. These works span multiple languages, with subjects encompassing the humanities. Topics represented in the collection include natural history, religion, politics, science/technology, art, philosophy, and literature. Notable holdings highlight the history of book arts and design, early printed and manuscript works, and modern first editions.

Collection strengths

  • Modernist Literature
  • William Morris and the Kelmscott Press
  • History of the book
  • Fine Press and Private Press Printing
  • German Expressionism
  • Early Modern Works
  • French Revolutionary pamphlets

Discover and request Literary and Rare Book Collection material using the tools below.

About the Collection

Research Guides


This material is non-circulating and only accessible in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library. Some material is available digitally. 


Portrait of Amber Kohl

Amber Kohl

Special Collections Services Coordinator

Featured Collections


Explore digital exhibitions

Explore digital exhibitions online or visit our galleries in the Hornbake and Michelle Smith Performing Arts Libraries for current exhibitions.


Support Special Collections and University Archives by contributing to one of our unique gift funds or by donating material. 

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