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Rare Book Collection


Laughing Owl, Sceloglaux albifacies by John G. Keulemans, from Ornithological Miscellany, Vol. 1 by George Dawson Rowley, London,1875. (AMNH image no. 6253)

The Library's Rare Book and Rare Folio collection grew from a need to protect and preserve the Library's research collection.  As the Library grew and more time passed, a sizable number of books could be designated as rare.  These collections now include over 14,000 volumes and continue to be integral part of the Museum's research collection, especially in the study of systematics.  The collection includes field diaries and scrapbooks; richly illustrated, fragile or uniquely bound materials; limited and/or autographed editions; published and unpublished materials with special Museum association; materials of high monetary value; and rare books relevent to natural history, especially in those fields of interest at the Museum.

Viewing Rare Materials

Access to materials in the Rare Book Collection is by appointment only.  The Library's holdings of Rare Materials can be found in the Library Catalog by using a keyword search and limiting by "Location"="rare materials".   To make an appointment to view rare material, please complete our Rare Book Collection Access Form. Please note that we require 24 hours notice for Rare Book and Rare Folio requests.

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