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Using the Rolvaag Library Special Collections

Guide to using special collections materials and collection descriptions

Pre-1801 Collection

The Pre-1801 Collection includes our earliest manuscript and print material. Our oldest complete book in the collection is a book of hours produced in 1475. Other highlights from the collection include a page printed by William Caxton (1482), the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), an early edition of the Geneva Bible (1601), and a near complete run of the Gentleman's Magazine. The collection is ideal for teaching the history of the hand press and material culture, since books in this collection are in a variety of European languages, have interesting bindings, and contain marginalia.

This video explains the parts of a book.












Image from the Book of Hours.


If you'd like to know more about manuscripts in particular, see our separate guide.