Since Bridwell Library opened in 1951, the library’s Special Collections department has developed to include approximately 50,000 printed items, historical manuscripts, and archives for Perkins School of Theology, Bridwell Library, and Methodist Studies. Strengths and current collecting interests focus on incunabula, Bibles, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, devotional literature, church history, theology, popular devotion and popular piety, Wesleyana and Methodistica, and archival documents. In addition, the Special Collections Reference Collection consists of modern publications which support the study of the rare and unique materials held by the department. In the course of its first six decades, the Special Collections department also acquired materials in other areas of the humanities which are no longer being developed, but are still available for study. These include archaeology, literature, philosophy, politics, and the book arts (fine press imprints, artists’ books, livres d’artiste, and miniature books).
For information regarding specific collecting areas, please click on the relevant links below.