Rare Books


In Schaffer Library the Rare Books Collection includes volumes on a very wide range of subjects and from an equally wide time frame.  The volumes in this collection are rare, unique, or fragile and are housed separately because they require more security and care than the volumes in the circulating collections.  In addition to a general Rare Book Collection, there are two sub-collections which are named for individual donors.  These are the Carl B. Booth, Union College Class of 1938, Collection and the Thomas G. McFadden Collection.  The primary purpose of the Rare Book Collection is to complement and enhance Union’s curriculum.  Areas of particular focus within the Rare Book Collection include the history of science, American and British literature, and artists’ books.  A good introduction to the Rare Book Collection is available in the pamphlet Thirty-Eight Ways to Take a Rare Book Seriously (1982).  Volumes are added to the collection by gift, transfer, and a limited number of purchases.