Special Collections holds a large number of titles from the incunable period to the present regarding the history of the Christian Church, theology, popular devotion, and popular piety. Works documenting the administration, practices, and concerns of the Church include The Book of Common Prayer, liturgical documents, rules and regulations, confessional manuals, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and publications of the Inquisition. Sixteenth-century Reformation and Counter-Reformation imprints are supplemented by titles concerned with the major issues of the reform movements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These include systematic theology, the Eucharist, baptism, marriage, evangelicalism, and anti-Catholic movements. Popular devotion and popular piety are documented in a range of sources including spiritual exercises, meditations, works devoted to particular figures of veneration such as the Virgin Mary and various Saints, emblem books, and editions of the Dance of Death.
Special Collections actively collects in these areas. The geographic scope is primarily Europe and the Americas, the chronological scope is the incunable period through the twentieth century, primarily before 1900.