In the 1980s, SJSU Special Collections & Archives formed, bringing together the manuscript and university archives with the rare book collection. The Rare Book collection consist of approximately 20,000 volumes and over 3,000 folios. The collection includes incunabula (works printed before 1501), illuminated manuscripts, classical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, fine press editions,and folio formats. The subjects and languages covered include Latin, German, Italian, French, and various Slavic languages.
Some of the works represented include a single leaf manuscript from the Book of Hours (1480), Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), George Whitfield, Sermons on Various Subjects (printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin, 1740). Classic and Contemporary authors include John Ashbery, Charles Bukowski, Willa Cather, Robert Duncan, Robinson Jeffers, Sinclair Lewis, Edwin Markham, Herman Melville, Margaret Mitchell, John Muir, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Gore Vidal, Walt Whitman and Thornton Wilder.
If you would like to see items in the collection, please come to the Reading Room on the fifth floor of King Library.