Special Collections

This guide is intended to acquaint you with the resources and services of the Special Collections Section, located on the first floor. Guide originally created by University Librarian Emeritus Eileen Brady.

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Subject Guide

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Susan Swiatosz
Thomas G. Carpenter Library
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Subjects: History, Literature

Welcome to Special Collections!

Jacksonville Board of Trade report, 1886                  Beautiful St. John's River through the heart of tropical Florida: Clyde St. John's River Line, 1896?                  
Our resources include Rare Materials, University Archives, and the Personal Papers and Primary Source Materials of prominent individuals and organizations. Special Collections is located on the first floor, Room 1301.


Due to the unique nature of our non-circulating materials and in order to best utilize the collections, access is by appointment. Please contact e-mail: lib-special@unf.edu.

Our Oldest Treasures

We hold three items vying for the "oldest" designation in Special Collections. The Library's oldest work, Epistolae sancti Hieronymi [Epistles of St. Hieronymus / St. Jerome] is an incunabula (a book printed before 1501) dated 1496. This Latin work was printed in Venice by J. Rubeus Vercellensis. 

Epistles of St. Hieronymus

The folio, two volumes bound in one, consists of contemporary tooled leather binding over original oak boards. The wide margins indicate the book has not been repeatedly rebound and cropped. Due to its good condition, it is an excellent example of early printing techniques. An interesting feature is the one line title page. Dates appear in the book at the end of each part showing the month, day and year when the actual printing was completed.

The folio was donated to the Library in 1972 by Walter Goldwater, owner of University Place Book Shop in New York City, on the occasion of the opening of the University of North Florida, with the explicit desire to "break grounds" for a future Rare Book Department. Read the Florida Times-Union article on the donation.

The Library's oldest items, recently donated, are two fifth century artifacts (bronze altarpiece and stucco votive tablet) depicting Siddhartha and Buddha from the Wat Rajburana temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Read the Florida Times-Union article on the donation, One of us: UNF graduate Chic Holliday donates ancient art to alma mater, regarding the donation by UNF alum Chic Holliday to the Library. 

Selected Internet Resources

These are suggested Internet sites for research on rare books, archival subjects and Northeast Florida history.

Gifts and Donations

This guide describes the types of materials that the UNF library is interested in adding to Special Collections. It is hoped that gifts of special materials within our collecting guidelines, a memorial endowment, or financial contributions to the Friends of the Library will reach the library through the generosity of alumni and other interested parties. For more information on gifts and donations, please contact (904) 620-1533 or e-mail lib-special@unf.edu.

Special Collections Loan Guidelines