Rare Books Available in Special Collections

More than 400 records for rare books have recently been added to the library’s catalog, representing several books published in the 1500s and 1600s. This includes a particularly well preserved copy of Conciliorum Quatuor Generalium Niceni, Constantinopolitani (Four General Councils of Nice, Constantinople) published in 1530, featuring a stamped vellum binding and metal fasteners. A few other favorites include Irish Minstrelsy, published in 1831, featuring poems in the Irish language with English translations, and The Economic Cottage Builder, published in 1855, with detailed floor plans and illustrations.

In general, books routed to the rare section of the department meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Published in Western Hemisphere before 1830
  2. Published outside Western Hemisphere before 1800
  3. Editions published before 1900 limited to 200 or fewer copies
  4. Editions published after 1900 limited to 100 or fewer copies

Anyone is welcome to visit Special Collections to view rare books without an appointment. Clubs, classes, and community groups can schedule a visit to view a selection. Most of the recently cataloged rare books are written in English, but other available languages include French, Spanish, Italian, German, Greek and Latin.

For more information, contact the Special Collections and Projects Department by email at um.library.spc@maine.edu or by phone at 1-207-581-1686.