Special Collections

The Athenaeum maintains its special collections to preserve and document the past, to foster delight and wonder and to cultivate an appreciation for excellence in the making of books and art.

Our special collections cover most aspects of the humanities over the whole span of recorded history, from ancient textual artifacts to the latest artists’ books and fine prints.

We hold these rare and significant materials in trust for the understanding and enjoyment of patrons today and for those in generations to come.

By providing access, we enable members and researchers to experience a tangible connection with history, whether for curiosity’s sake, as part of a systematic effort to produce new knowledge, or as inspiration for creativity or critical conversations.


John Buchtel, Ph.D.
Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections

Christina Michelon, Ph.D.
Associate Curator
Lauren Graves, Ph.D.  
Assistant Curator
Lily Sterling
Registrar and Exhibitions Manager