Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections
A place for serious purpose and peaceful reflection
Just about everything rare – from Shakespeare’s first folio to correspondence of the first suffrage leaders – can be found at this classic Main Line campus. The Special Collections at Bryn Mawr College Library are located on the second floor of the Miriam Coffin Canaday Library, and offer access to students, faculty and visiting researchers.
As with all special collections, the rare books, manuscripts, letters, papers, prints, drawings and photographs do not circulate. Cases in the airy library lobby and the Rare Book Room rotate with exhibitions selected from the library’s holdings such as a review of the life and imagery of Joan of Arc, examining visual interpretations of the crusader, martyr and successful leader.
Philadelphia railroad barons put a line through and renamed dusty, rural Humphreyville, Bryn Mawr. The college was founded in 1885, and an image was reversed. Observers noted how “striking Gothic architecture and rolling landscape foster a sense both of serious purpose and of peaceful reflection.” Bryn Mawr’s collections are comprised of literature, women’s studies, the college, history, travel and exploration, art of the book, and art.
Exhibitions open: Mon – Fri. Library open: Mon – Fri Call in advance to arrange assistance and determine availability of research materials.
Obtaining first-hand access to rare materials is admittedly a challenge at Bryn Mawr. To counter this (here or anywhere else, for that matter) a preliminary conversation with staff will result in the best possible research experience. Ask for help!