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Special Collections and Rare Books

Collections currently in the UMedia Archive:

  • Cuneiform Inscriptions
    This collection contains nineteen artifacts inscribed in cuneiform, the script of ancient Mesopotamia. This collection comprises sixteen clay tablets, two clay cones, and one inscribed and sealed clay tag.These documents include sixteen administrative records from various cities of Sumer in the Ur III period (late 3rd millennium BCE), and three short royal inscriptions from the cities of Isin and Uruk in the early Old Babylonian period (early 2nd millennium BCE).
  • Fifty Original Leave from Medieval Manuscripts - Otto Ege Collection
    These fifty manuscript leaves were selected to illustrate the art of the manuscript during the period of its greatest development and influence. They have been taken from books written in various European scriptoria by Benedictine, Franciscan, Carthusian, Dominican, and other orders of monks. Many are enriched with handsome borders, initial letters, and line-endings rendered in color, and twenty-five are illuminated with burnished gold or silver. The texts include the Bible, various church service books, the writings of the Church Fathers, and some of the classics.
  • Sherlock Holmes Collections
    The Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries constitute the world’s largest gathering of material related to Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Collections consist of over 60,000 items including books, journals, and a wide variety of other forms through which the transformation of the Holmes character from the printed page to a cultural icon can be traced.
  • Individual Medieval Manuscript Leaves
    A collection of individual manuscript leaves held by the Special Collections & Rare Books unit of the University of Minnesota Libraries and housed in the Elmer L. Andersen Library.
  • Arthur Kleiner Collection
    The Kleiner Collection contains music scores, both printed and manuscripts, for nearly 700 silent films. Some of the scores are Kleiner’s own compositions, adaptations, or arrangements; the majority are by other composers. Most of the scores are for English-language films, but a significant number are for German, French, or Swedish-language films. The collection also includes slides, correspondence, programs, contracts, books, reel and cassette tapes, and other archival material.
  • Eugene J. McCarthy Collection
    The Eugene J. McCarthy Collection includes audio and image files related to Senator McCarthy's campaigns for President of the United States in 1968, 1972, and 1976 along with other personal appearances and speaking engagements.
  • Joseph S. Mertle Collection on the History of Photomechanics
    The Mertle Collection contains original books, journals, photographs, and manuscripts relating to photographic processes in printing from the early period to the middle of the twentieth century.
  • Papyri and Ostraka Collection
    The University of Minnesota's collection of documents from ancient Egypt consists of twenty-one fragments of papyri written in Greek, one fragment written in Egyptian hieroglyphic script, and two ostraka, one in Greek, the other in demotic Egyptian.
  • Photochrom Collection
    Photochroms prints are colorized images produced from black-and-white photographic negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates. The process is a photographic variant of chromolithography, a broader term that refers to color lithography in general. These images come from a number of photochrom collections held in Special Collections and Rare Books.
  • Postcard Collection
    Special Collections & Rare Books holds approximately 10,000 postcard images, primarily from the late nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. Most of these images are in black and white and depict European scenes.
  • Friedrich Wachtsmuth Archive, 1929-1938
    Archive collection of the German archaeologist's work, focusing mainly on the 1929-1932 excavations in the ancient Parthian and Sassanian city of Ktesiphon (Ctesiphon), now in modern day Iraq.