The Special Collections Reference Collection consists of modern publications which support the study of the rare and unique materials held by the department. These include works concerning Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, incunabula, sixteenth through eighteenth-century printing in Europe, fine press printing, illustration, the history of the book, and the book arts. Specific authors, printers, genres, and subjects held in the department are also supported by reference works. The types of secondary sources include bibliographies, collections catalogues, exhibition catalogues, facsimiles, monographs, and collections of essays. Specialist journals and auction and dealer catalogues are also regularly acquired.
Active collecting interests:
Reference sources which serve as tools for Special Collections staff and which assist researchers in understanding the department’s primary sources. These include:
- Types of sources: Bibliographies, library catalogues documenting specific collections or types of materials, and exhibition catalogues. Monographs, collections of essays, and facsimiles are also acquired, but selectively.
- Subjects: Incunabula, Bibles, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Devotional literature, Wesleyana and Methodistica, and other theological and religious subjects directly related to Special Collections books and manuscripts.
- Chronological scope of subjects: Medieval and Renaissance to the present.
- Geographic Scope of subjects: Global, primarily Europe and the Americas.