Incunabula and Early Manuscripts
Special Collections maintains a collection of incunabula and early manuscripts that serve to illustrate the development of printing and publishing. Incunabula, which means ‘cradles’ in Latin, are books printed in Europe before 1501. Early printed works include Bibles, dictionaries, grammars, meditations on philosophy, and histories. Early manuscripts include the types of works often found as incunabula as well as contracts, correspondence, government decrees, and medical texts.
These early books and manuscripts can serve as supplements to the other collections as the development of lexicography, education, medicine, politics, and law can be traced through these early works.