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Rare Book Collections, Special Collections

Rare books within Special Collections, Buswell Library, may be accessed in the Manuscripts Reading Room, on the third floor of the Billy Graham Center. While books are not able to be checked out due to their unique status, anyone is welcome to view and read the books during open hours of the Manuscripts Reading Room.

William Akin Collection, SC-01

Alice in Wonderland

This 4,000 volume collection came from the library of book collector William Akin. Mr. Akin donated the collection in honor of V. Raymond Edman, Wheaton’s fourth president. The focus of the collection is British literature, including numerous volumes by Lewis Carroll, James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and John Bunyan.

The Akin Book Collection may be searched in the library catalog with keyword “SC/01”.

Blanchard Libraries, SC-06

Matthew or the Good News about the Son of Abraham

The private libraries of Jonathan Blanchard and his son, Charles Albert Blanchard, the first two presidents of Wheaton College, comprise this collection. The collection contains over 300 volumes, including autographed copies, and reflects the interests of the two men. Topics include Freemasonry, slavery and the temperance movement. 

The Blanchard Libraries may be searched in the library catalog with keyword “SC/6”.

General Rare Book Collection, SC-10

Bibliotheca boxed set

The Rare Book Collection contains over 2,000 works on a broad range of subjects. Collection strengths include Reformation-era Bibles, as well as theological and devotional material. Collection contents were received through the donation, purchase, or transfer from the general library collection of Wheaton College.

The Rare Book Collection may be searched in the library catalog using keyword “SC/10”.

Sacred Arts Collection, SC-233

Rare book from Sacred Arts collection

The majority of the books and pamphlets comprising this collection came from the Billy Graham Center Museum. Strengths of the collection include 19th-century evangelistic material, 18th and 19th century pamphlets, thumb Bibles, and fine press Bibles.

Collection contents may be searched in the library catalog using keyword “SC/233”.