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Rare Books: Books

British Butterflies and Their Transformations, by H.N. Humphreys.  London: Sanderson, 1857



Artist's Books

In this collection, each item is a work of art, not even necessarily in book form.  Artists include Julie Chen, Lisa Rappoport, and Deb Rindl.

The Dr. Idris Rhea Traylor, Jr. Collection of Russian and European History and Culture

A growing collection of books collected and donated by Dr. Traylor. Topics covered include Tsarist Russian and WWII.

American & European Literature

Of the 38,000 volumes in Rare Books, more than half are literary in nature. The in-print collection of Joseph Conrad is perhaps the strongest and most complete in the world. Other authors with significant representation include John Donne, Rudyard Kipling, W. H. Auden, Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, Kay Boyle, Arthur Schnitzler and James Dickey.

Book History & Book Art

Among the highlights of the collection are a 1471 printing of the Roman author Suetonius (Suetonius Vitae XII Caesarum. Venice: Nicolaus Jensen, 1471); a 1625 Dutch prayer book manuscript (Book of Hours and Prayerbook. Eastern Netherlands: Between 1500 and 1625); and an 1896 copy of the Kelmscott Press Chaucer (Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: Now Newly Imprinted. Printed by me William Morris at the Kelmscott Press: Finished on the 8th day of May, 1896).

Classical Greek & Roman Authors

Consisting of over 250 volumes, Rare Books’ collection of classical Roman and Greek authors includes some of Texas Tech University’s oldest texts, beginning with Jenson’s 1471 printing of Suetonius’ Life of the 12 Caesars (Vitae XII Caesarum. Venice:  Nicolaus Jensen, 1471).


Rare Books’ dowsing collection is perhaps the only one of its kind located in an academic special collections. With some 150 cataloged books and periodicals, the collection is broad-based. It includes guides and other manuals written by practicing dowsers as well as material on allied subjects such as magic, parapsychology, radiesthesia, and the occult.

Koger History of Science

The Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Koger History of Science Collection, established in 1963, includes approximately 1,000 titles and 1,400 volumes. Primarily scientific literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, it was acquired to support the research needs of the university.

Coronelli’s 1688 Terrestrial Globe

One of only three in North America, the globe was designed and constructed in the Venetian workshop of the Franciscan Father Vincenzo Coronelli. It is likely that the 1.07 meter (3 ½ ft.) globe was paired with a celestial counterpart illustrating the night sky, but its whereabouts are currently unknown.

Useful Contacts

Bruce Cammack

Associate Librarian, Rare Books


Phone: (806) 834-7974

Dr. Diane Warner

Department Head, Rare Books


Phone: (806) 834-0466