Rare Books and Manuscripts: Collections


Finding Aids, Inventories and Guides:

Please note that the term "collections" in this context refers to non-book materials.  To search all books in a particular collection please use the assigned name as the "title" when searching the library catalog.  Examples include: The Mysterious Press Collection, The Jerry Tarver Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Collection or The Peter D. Franklin Cookbook Collection.

This list does not represent all of the collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, but merely those finding aids/guides that have been converted to a digital format. This conversion project is ongoing, so do check back later for additions.  Please note that each guide should open in a new window. 


Included below are separate menus focused on:

Avant Writing Collections
Charvat American Literature Manuscript Collections

Check the bottom of the page for some Special Projects using our collections.

You may also be interested in collections at other OhioLINK institutions (OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository), or archival resources outside of Ohio.

Albrecht (SPEC.RARE.137)
Herman J. Albrecht Architectural Drawings

Aldus Society (RARE.CMS.390)
The Aldus Society Archives

Amish (RARE.CMS.336)
Amish Ephemera Collection

Andrews, Clarence Edward (RARE.CMS.18)
Personal papers of a poet, travel writer, and former English professor at The Ohio State University

Anaïs Nin (RARE.CMS.51)
Anaïs Nin Papers

Arion Press
Rare Books and Manuscripts collects Arion Press limited edition books and broadsides.  These are cataloged individually, but can be accessed via an author search on "Arion Press."  The publisher's list is also available.

Artists' Books
Guidelines for searching and accessing artists' books in the RBMS collections.

Avant Writing Collection
Contemporary writers working in poetry and visual poetry, but also prose, and in numerous transgeneric forms not easily classified. Many of them are also involved with visual arts, photography, sound art, music, performance, conceptual art, mail art, and/or artists’ books.

Beckett Digital Manuscript Project
See digital images of the RBMS Samuel Beckett manuscripts in context with other Beckett manuscripts held by libraries around the world. (must have OSU account to access)

The George Bellows Record Books

Bennett (RARE.CMS.119)
The John W. Bennett Papers

Billig (RARE.CMS.174)
Elisabeth Billig Papers (with an emphasis on the Nuremberg Trials)

Bookplates (RARE.CMS.256)
A collection of historic University Libraries bookplates

Bourguignon (RARE.CMS.298)
The Paul-Henri Bourguignon Haiti Photograph Collection, 1947-1948
Scans of the photographs are now available in the Knowledge Bank.
Virtual photo album of selected images.

Buckeye State Button Society Archive
See: National Button Society Archive (RARE.CMS.389)

Buser (RARE.CMS.319)
Charles and Patricia Buser Collection of Research Materials on Native American Cultures

The Capital
Scans of volumes 1-9 of this newspaper; loaned for this purpose by The Mac-A-Cheek Foundation at Piatt Castles

Cervantes Collection
The Talfourd P. Linn Cervantes Collection

The Donald B. Cooper Collection: Epidemic Disease and Medicine in Brazil and Latin America.

Cornell (RARE.CMS.120)
The John B. Cornell Collection

Cuala Press
The Irish Collection of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at the Ohio State University Libraries owns over eighty percent of the titles published by the Cuala Press.

Dealer Catalogs, 1879-2016 (Preliminary Inventory)(SPEC.RARE.1)
This collection is comprised entirely of catalogs from rare book and bibliographic dealers.

Dun Emer Press
see Cuala Press

Durham (SPEC.RARE.135)
Barbee Durham Papers

Eberly Family Bible

Egan (RARE.CMS.114)
The Michael Egan Collection

Film and Play Scripts (RARE.CMS.53) 
Searchable Listing (might be visually a little less clear)
Over 700 scripts

Finn (RARE.CMS.122)
The Mike Finn Collection

Fisher (RARE.7)
The Edgar J. Fisher Collection

The Peter D. Franklin Cookbook Collection

French Historical Studies (RARE.CMS.191)
Archive of the Society for French Historical Studies (processing incomplete)

Gabel (SPEC.RARE.93)
John Gabel Papers

Gilbert Collection of Stephens Family Letters and Ephemera (RARE.CMS.327)
Dr. Ivan S. Gilbert Collection of Stephens Family Travel Letters and Ephemera

Gilbert Collection of Trade Catalogs (RARE.CMS.333)
Dr. Ivan Gilbert Trade Catalog & Ephemera Collection

Granary Books

Rare Books and Manuscripts has a standing order to receive every artist's book released by this respected publisher.  To find them, perform a keyword search in the library catalog for "Granary Books Collection."  An exhibition of selected works from the collection was held early in 2010.

Haldeman (SPEC.RARE.134)
Haldeman-Julius Publications

Guide to the Sam Hamill Papers, 1915 - circa 2009 (SPEC.RARE.CMS.0340)
As of 2014, an internationally known poet, translator, and editor of poetry. Contains materials related to his professional involvement with publishing, writing, editing, and anti-war activism.

Hellmer (RARE.CMS.168)
Papers of the German-born New York producer and director, Arthur Hellmer.

Highlights for Children Collection (RARE.CMS.351)
Highlights for Children is an American children's magazine based in Columbus, Ohio. The collection includes copies of the magazine, selected children’s submissions, and the personal papers of Highlights founder Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers.

Guide to the Chester Himes Collection, 1932-1978 (SPEC.RARE.0122)
Chester Himes (1909-1984) was an African American author whose works predominatly explore racism and the experince of African Americans in the United States. The Chester Himes Collection contains materials related to Himes' writings and films adapted from his works that were part of the blaxploitation genre.

Housman, A. E. (RARE.CMS.353)
Alfred Edward Housman’s manuscript poems

Gossie Harold Hudson Papers, 1968-2010(Preliminary Inventory)(SPEC.RARE.0079)
Papers related to Dr. Hudson's work and research regarding Paul Laurence Dunbar and published works on Dunbar, in addition to black family genealogy and Dr. Hudson's published poetry.

Irish Collection
see also: Cuala Press

Japanese Educational Films (RARE.59)
Science films used in Japanese education, 1960s-80s

Japanese Naval Drawings and Notebooks (RARE.CMS.396)
Flat drawings, scrolls, and notebooks possibly created by students in nineteeth-century Japanese naval academies

Jewsbury (SPEC.RARE.46)
Geraldine Jewsbury Correspondence

Kerr Railroad (SPEC.RARE.80)
K. Austin Kerr Collection of Railroad Timetables and Ephemera

Kramer (SPEC.RARE.81)
Rita Kramer Papers

Logan Elm Press Broadsides (RARE.36)
A selection of broadsides and keepsakes created over the years by the Logan Elm Press.

Manuscript and Early Printed Book Leaves (RARE.CMS.113)

May (RARE.CMS.106)
The Ena May Collection (1)

May (RARE.CMS.115)
The Ena May Collection (2)

McCarthy (RARE.CMS.354)
Joseph McCarthy (lyricist) Papers

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Books   (Highlights of the Collection)

Mitford (RARE.CMS.89)
The Jessica Mitford Collection
  Boxed Materials: Word Document, PDF file
  Audio and Video Tapes: Word Document, PDF file
  Video Tapes Transferred to DVD (newly transferred!): PDF file
  Books and Serials: Word Document, PDF file

Mysterious Press (RARE.CMS.383)
Archives and publications of Mysterious Press

National Button Society (RARE.CMS.389)
National Button Society Archive

Native American Language and Culture(RARE.CMS.319)
Charles and Patricia Buser Collection of Research Materials on Native American Cultures

Ohio Railroad Archive (RARE.CMS.338)
Letters and documents relating to railroads in the state of Ohio dating from 1889- 1890s.

Peers (RARE.MS.AMER.56)
The Valentine Peers Collection

includes photograph collections of Harry Callahan, Harold Edgerton, Farm Security Administration, Arthur Fellig (Weegee,) Man Ray, Ohio News Photographers Association, Works Progress Administration, and the Floyd and Marion Rinhart Collection of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes, and others

Powers (RARE.CMS.395)
Paul S. Powers (a.k.a Ward Stevens) was a Western pulp fiction writer active during the 1920s through 1940s. The Paul S. Powers Papers consist of correspondence, original story and book manuscripts, photos, journals, reviews, artwork, newspaper articles, scrapbooks and a radio transcription, spanning 1870s-2007.

Prints: American College Society of Print Collectors
Collection of prints in various formats, engravings, etchings, etc.

Pudding House RARE.CMS.100)
The Pudding House Collection

Pudding House (RARE.CMS.132)
The Pudding House Collection, 2002-2008

Reformation Collection
The Harold J. Grimm Reformation Collection.

Rice (RARE.CMS.397)
The Don Rice Collection of Radical Literature

Rusk (SPEC.RARE.82)
Ross Philip Rusk Papers

Guide to The Scarlet Letter (PBS Telecast) Records, 1977-1979 (SPEC.RARE.CMS.0009)
These are connected with the production of dramatization of the Hawthorne novel for public television. The shows were produced by Rick Hauser for WGBH Boston, and broadcast over PBS in April 1979. The collection includes proposals to NEH, 6-part and 4-part scripts, proposal and scripts for related radio series, correspondence, and readers' reports.

Sherrard (RARE.CMS.337)
Thomas J. Sherrard Letters

Sky Survey (RARE.CMS.224)
Palomar Observatory Sky Survey Charts

Society of Friends, Falls, PA (RARE.CMS.38)
Monthly Meeting Documents for the Society of Friends in Falls, Bucks County, PA

Springfield, Ohio Archive (RARE.CMS.352)
Payment notes, city council ordinances, and other pieces of official Springfield, Ohio papers from 1856-69.

Stander Map Collection
Richard Ramsay Stander Collection of historical maps of North America, esp. Ohio

Star Trek (SPEC.RARE.17)
Star Trek: The Original Series Scripts and Writer's Guides

Stephan (RARE.CMS.307)
Alexander Stephan collection of FBI Files on German Intellectuals in US Exile

Stephens Family Letters and Ephemera (SPEC.RARE.CMS.327)
Dr. Ivan S. Gilbert Collection of Stephens Family Travel Letters and Ephemera

Sutton (SPEC.RARE.CMS.324)
William A. Sutton Papers

Suyemoto (RARE.CMS.161)
The Toyo Suyemoto (Kawakami) Collection

Tarver (RARE.76)
The Jerry Tarver Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Collection

Texaco Star Theatre Collection (RARE.CMS.136)
Scripts and Contracts (see bibliographic record for summary)

The Third Republic/Troisième République (RARE.CMS.288)
Archive of the editor William Logue.

Trade Catalogs (RARE.CMS.333)
Dr. Ivan Gilbert Trade Catalog & Ephemera Collection

Urban Scientology (SPEC.RARE.CMS.382)
Hugh B. Urban Scientology Collection

Vegetation Maps - Ohio Counties
Collected by Professor Emeritus Ronald Stuckey of the Plant Biology Department

Wolfe (RARE.CMS.313)
Albert Benedict Wolfe Collection of Early 20th Century Materials on Population Control

Women's Studies Ephemera Collection (RARE.CMS.310)
Collected by Linda Krikos, former Women's Studies librarian at OSU

Women's Suffrage Collection (RARE,CMS.287)
A collection of early 20th century materials addressing the vote for women

World War I primary source materials

World War II primary source materials


 Avant Writing Collections:

Avant Writing Collection home page

Altemus (RARE.CMS.355)
The Reed Altemus Collection 

Bennett (RARE.CMS.171)
John M. Bennett Correspondence Collection

Bennett (RARE.CMS.107)
John M. Bennett Publications Collection, 1940-1995

Beveren (RARE.CMS.304)
Peter van Beveren Mail Art Collection (CMS.304)

Bole (RARE.CMS.381)
Mary Jo Bole Collection

Bramhall (RARE.CMS.162)
Allen Bramhall Collection

Cone (RARE.CMS.125)
Jon Cone Collection

Ernst (RARE.CMS.121)
The K. S. Ernst Collection

Ernst (RARE.CMS.155)
The K. S. Ernst Collection, cont.

Fantome (RARE.CMS.315)
C.M. James Fantome Press Collection

Ficus strangulensis (RARE.CMS.314)
Ficus strangulensis Collection

Flanagan (RARE.CMS.329)
The Bob Flanagan Collection

Helmes (RARE.CMS.130)
The Scott Helmes Collection

HousePress (RARE.CMS.199)
The HousePress Collection

Huttinger (RARE.CMS.126)
The Peter Huttinger Collection

Impossibilists (RARE.CMS.320)
The Impossibilists Collection

Kolm (RARE.CMS.305)
The Ron Kolm Collection

Jim Leftwich Blog Archive - Text Image Poem

 Leftwich (RARE.CMS.86.1-6)
Jim Leftwich Papers

Leftwich (RARE.CMS.86.7)
Jim Leftwich Papers, 1993-2002

Leftwich (RARE.CMS.124)
Jim Leftwich Papers, 2003

MacLeod (RARE.CMS.102)
Scott MacLeod Collection

Murphy (SPEC.RARE.160)
Sheila E. Murphy Collection

Nettelbeck (RARE.CMS.123)
The F.A. Nettelbeck Collection

Nettelbeck (RARE.CMS.362)
The F.A. Nettelbeck Collection (web version in progress)

Perlman (RARE.CMS.135)
The John Perlman Collection

Porter (RARE.CMS.361)
The Bern Porter Collection

Richey (RARE.CMS.314)
Forrest A. Richey - Ficus strangulensis

Rosenberg (RARE.CMS.117)
Marilyn R. Rosenberg Collection

Taylor (RARE.CMS.97)
Thomas L. Taylor Papers

Taylor (RARE.CMS.176)
Thomas L. Taylor Paper, 2001- 

Van Beveren (RARE.CMS.304)
Peter van Beveren Mail Art Collection

 Charvat American Literature Collections:

Algren (RARE.CMS.60)
The Nelson Algren Papers

Bromfield (RARE.CMS.95)
The Louis Bromfield Collection

Burroughs (RARE.CMS.16)
The William S. Burroughs Papers, manuscripts for The Marijuana Newsletter and Fuck You: A Magazine for the Arts

Burroughs (RARE.CMS.40)
The William S. Burroughs Papers, acquired 1988

Burroughs (RARE.CMS.85)
Collection of manuscripts for Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, and Exterminator!, 1959-1973

Burroughs (RARE.CMS.87)
The William S. Burroughs Papers, acquired 1997

Burroughs (RARE.CMS.90)
The William S. Burroughs Papers, acquired 1998

Carter (RARE.CMS.192)
The Lin Carter Literary Archive

Carver (RARE.CMS.12)
The Raymond Carver Papers

Creelman (RARE.CMS.19)
The James Creelman Papers

Fuchs, Daniel (RARE.CMS.356)
The Daniel Fuchs Papers

Gallagher (RARE.CMS.184)
The Tess Gallagher Literary Archive

The Karen Harper Collection

Holmes (RARE.CMS.384)
Charles Holmes Papers, Research on Thurber's The Clocks of Columbus

Huie (RARE.CMS.84)
The William Bradford Huie Collection

Jackson (RARE.CMS.101)
The Roger Jackson, Publisher, Collection

Kinney (RARE.CMS.108)
The Harrison Kinney Archive for James Thurber: His Life and Times

Macaulay Publishers (RARE.CMS.296)
Macaulay Publishers literary contracts

Mysterious Press (RARE.CMS.383)
Archives and publications of Mysterious Press

Nineteenth Century American Fiction and Poetry
a list of resources

Piatt (RARE.CMS.116)
The Sarah Piatt Research Collection (Paula Bernat Bennett)
New Finding List for Sarah Piatt Poetry, updated December 2013

Powers (RARE.CMS.395)
Paul S. Powers (a.k.a Ward Stevens) Papers - Western pulp fiction writer active during the 1920s - 1940s

Santmyer (RARE.CMS.8)
Helen Hooven Santmyer Papers

Thurber (RARE.CMS.4)
The James Thurber Papers

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.98)
William T. Vollmann Collection, 1980-2000

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.187)
William T. Vollmann Collection, 2003-2004

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.188)
William T. Vollmann Collection, 2004-2005

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.318)
William T. Vollmann Collection, 2001-2007

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.347)
William T. Vollmann Collection, 2008-2010

Vollmann (RARE.CMS.379)
WIlliam T. Vollmann Collection, 2010-2011

Zara (RARE.CMS.42)
Louis Zara Papers

 Special Projects Using Rare Books and Charvat Collections:

(Some textual editing projects listed below were previously hosted by the College of the Humanities server, and are currently under revision for addition to the Knowledge Bank.  Please consult with the curator about the nature of the projects and check back later for new links.)

Samuel Beckett Digital Manuscript Project
This is an international collaboration, bringing dispersed Beckett manuscript materials together in digital form for researchers.

Henry Bellingham's Book
A Seventeenth Century Commonplace Book

Occupied Japan
Photos and documents of an OSU anthropologist, John W. Bennett, 1948-1951

Haiti 1947-1948
Paul Bourguignon Photo Collection

Samuel Sullivan Cox's "Journal of a Tour to Europe" (SPEC.RARE.73)

John Foxe, Actes and Monuments (Book of Martyrs), multiple editions
Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative (CDRI) for American Theological Library Association (ATLA) database

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's Letters to Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (SPEC.RARE.MMS.138)

Manuscripta aesculea: A Selection of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts from The Ohio State University Rare Books & Manuscripts Library 

A Journey Through Time
with Thomas More's Utopia

Ohio State at Michigan / Michigan at Ohio State
Complementary Library Collections at Two Leading Midwestern Institutions

A selection of papers from the Valentine Peers collection (SPEC.RARE.MS.AMER.56)

Textimagepoem (Leftwich blog archive)

VIDEO: William T. Vollmann, The Wexner Center for the Arts, September, 15, 2015


 Color Our Collections

The PDF files below contain selections from our various collections offered as small coloring books during annual "Color Our Collections" Week.  Instruct your printer to "fit" the images to the page and the images will all fit nicely onto 8 1/2 x 11" sheets.  Past topics:

Architectural Details






Nuremberg Chronicle pages



Some Special Collections at OSU Regional Campuses

Dictionary of North American Hymnology (DNAH) hymnal collection - Lima Campus Library
1815 to the present, at least 20 languages

Discovering the Stories of Native Ohio, an oral history project - Newark Campus Library
115 recorded interviews, available by appointment 

 Connecting to Archives Beyond Ohio

ArchiveGrid (connects you with archives around the world to find historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more)

ArchivesUSA (formerly Archive Finder; directory of archives and manuscript repositories, with links to web pages for the repositories and to online finding aids) - database requires OSU authentication