The Brandeis University Library’s Archives and Special Collections is a rich and varied set of rare books and unique manuscripts that spans several centuries—yet as a collection they have a comparatively short history. The foundations of the Special Collections, like the foundations of Brandeis University itself in 1948, were built by people who believed in the mission of Brandeis to welcome faculty and students from all backgrounds and who wanted to see the new enterprise succeed and flourish. The Brandeis Library now holds thousands of rare books and tens of thousands of linear feet of manuscript collections—the manuscript boxes laid end-to-end would stretch further than the length of the Boston Marathon.This special-edition book features sixty of these rare books and manuscripts from the library’s Special Collections. Full-color images accompany descriptions written by Brandeis faculty, graduate students, librarians, and scholars. The featured items include rare books, artistic works, photographs, manuscript collections, Judaica materials, historically significant archival collections, and more. Honoring the History of the Brandeis Library is an illuminating look at Brandeis’s unique and invaluable rare text collection.
Sarah M. Shoemaker is the Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections at Brandeis University. She holds an MS in library and information science with a concentration in archives from Simmons University, as well as an MPhil in medieval history from Trinity College Dublin and a BA in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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