Rare Books & Manuscripts

‚ÄĆSpecial Collections and Archives holds nearly 30,000 volumes in its Rare Books collection on a diverse variety of subjects, with materials dating from the late 15th century to the present.  The collection is particularly strong in the areas of Irish Studies , Luxembourgiana, the works of the English Catholic authors G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, French Revolution memoirs, and early works related to Roman Catholic theology and history. 

In the spring of 2015, the Saint Paul Seminary's rare book collection was transferred to the Department of Special Collections from the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library.  This collection includes significant theological and historic texts related to Roman Catholic Church. Many of the volumes included in this collections were originally a part of the personal libraries of Bishop Joseph Cretin, Bishop Thomas Grace, and Archbishop John Ireland.

All of the items held in the Rare Books collections are cataloged and are searchable in LibrarySearch, St. Thomas' online catalog. Holdings are designated by the locations OSF-Special, OSF-Special Oversize, OSF-Special Mueller, OSF-Special Dawson, and OSF-Special Ireland. The manuscript collections contain the personal papers of prominent individuals as well as related records of local groups and societies.  Of particular note are the personal papers and library of the English Catholic intellectual and author, Christopher Dawson (1889-1970).  Dawson's writings focus on the relationship between religion and culture and the development of western civilization.

Search the Archives & Manuscript Collections:

The Bach-Dunn Collection of Luxembourgiana

One of the largest collections in the United States of books, periodicals, and maps related to the history and civilization of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Luxembourgiana - The Bach-Dunn Collection of Luxembourgiana

The Celtic Collection

A collection of over 15,000 books and periodicals related to the history, language and literature of the Celtic nations.

Celtic - The Celtic Collection

The Chesterton-Belloc Collection

A collection of over 1500 first and fine edition books, manuscripts and ephemera authored by the English Catholic authors G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.

Chesterton-Belloc - The Chesterton-Belloc Collection

The Christopher Dawson Collection

The personal papers and library of the English Catholic historian, Christopher Dawson.

Dawson Collection - The Christopher Dawson Collection




OSF Library, Room LL-09
(turn left immediately inside front entrance, then down the stairs)
Hours | Location

Head of Special Collections
& University Archivist:
Ann Kenne

(651) 962-5467

General Hours:
By appointment Monday - Friday 
9:00 am - Noon & 1:00 - 4:30 pm.
Please call (651) 962-5467 to make an appointment and/or to confirm the hours for a given day.