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DePaul University Special Collections and Archives


Descriptio legationis Batavicae Societatis Indiae Orientalis ad magnum Tartariae chamum , modernum Sinae Imperatorem

Frontispiece, Joannem Nieuhovium, Latinitate donata per clarissimum virum Georgium Hornium, historiarum inceleberrimâ Lugd. Batav. Acad. Prof. Amstelodami: apud J. Meursium, 1668.

SpC 915.10432N678L1668 -Transferred from St. Mary’s of the Barrens Seminary, Perryville, MO.

By 1975, DePaul University Library owned approximately 7,000 volumes that were considered “special” by virtue of their rareness, value, or format. The result of both judicious purchases, as with the Otto Lempke Napoleon Library, and of gifts from individuals who often had deep associations with the university, these titles formed the basis of the rare book collections at DePaul. With support and encouragement from alumnus Abel E. Berland, DePaul board trustee, donor, and noted book collector, the first Library's Department of Special Collections was located on the fourth floor of the Schmitt Academic Center. Its mission was to organize these rare volumes, improve awareness and accessibility to them, and foster long-term preservation.  With the completion of the new John T. Richardson Library in 1992, the Special Collections and Archives Department was designed with climate-controlled stacks and a reading room for researchers.

Special Collections contains almost 17,000 volumes of rare books. This exhibit highlights a selection of the core collections and contributors, many of which have been made by those closely associated with the academic mission of the university, that have shaped DePaul’s Special Collections.

Chronology of Rare Book Donations to DePaul University:

1927                Illinois Chapter of the American-Irish Historical Society
1936                Otto A. Lempke Collection (Napoleon)
1946                Stuyvesant “Jack” Peabody Collection (Sports)
1964                Otto Eisenschiml Collection (Civil War/Lincoln)
1969                Veronica Williams Derr Collection (African-American)
1971-1993      Abel Berland (individual contributions & endowment fund)
1972                Samuel Baldwin Bradford Collection (Charles Dickens)
1984                Dr. Max Thorek Collection (Napoleon)
1995                Opening Day Collection
1998                Jonathan Stern Collection (Chicago-related)
2001                Berrigan Library
2001                Rosalie Gingiss Collection (Chicago-related)
2004                Vincentian Heritage Collections
2005                William and Irene Beck Collection (Chicago/Illinois Authors)
2007                Robert S. Gruhn Collection (Chicago-related)
2011                Leslie H. Kuehner Collection /
                         Christian Brothers University (Napoleon)