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Artists books

  • Book Collection
  • 1934-2017

Artists’ books (defined as: books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself) can be located using the library catalogue. Authors include Palmer & Calvert, William Morris, and David Jones.

All items in this collection are located in Special Collections & Archives and are non-circulating.

B.M. Bower Western Novels Collection.

  • Book Collection
  • 1910-1950

The B.M. Bower Western Novels Collection, acquired in 2015, consists of over 70 American western novels written by Bertha Muzzy Sinclair (known as B.M. Bower) and her husband Bertrand Sinclair. Many of the books in this collection also feature pictorial cover art.

Bower, B.M.

B.P. Nichol Library of Science Fiction.

  • Book Collection
  • 1967-2014

The B.P. Nichol Library of Science Fiction, acquired in 1990, consists of more than 500 science fiction titles from the private library of the late Canadian writer, B.P. Nichol (commonly referred to as bpNichol).

Many well-known science fiction authors' first works were issued only in paperback, and this collection includes many key titles in the science fiction genre which are extremely scarce today as a result of the vulnerability of the paperback format to deterioration. The books in this collection feature many striking examples of cover art.

British Women's Periodicals Collection

  • Book Collection
  • 1893-1977

The British Women's Periodicals Collection is made up of some 35,000 issues of British women's magazines published from 1893 to 1977. The majority of titles were published by the Amalgamated Press and publishers which it absorbed, and many copies are, in fact, copies from the publishers' own archives. Most titles in the collection are very rare.

Because these magazines were aimed at a mass market audience, the British Women's Periodicals Collection offers a unique opportunity to examine the interests and concerns of British women during the time period covered. The collection's content is primarily "popular" fiction written for a female audience, but magazines for children and youth are also well represented. Cooking, crafts, advice columns, fashion, health, and inspirational topics are also featured. Of particular interest are the advertisements, which illustrate contemporary attitudes in a vivid manner.

Euclid and the History of Mathematics.

  • Book Collection
  • 1557-1981

The nucleus of this collection, begun by the University of Waterloo's first dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. R. Stanton and the University's first librarian, Mrs. Doris Lewis, during the 1960's, is 45 editions of Euclid's Elements of Geometry The collection has continued to be developed as a special collection. A collection of 110 nineteenth century mathematics books was acquired in 1981.

The earliest edition of Euclid's Elements of Geometry is dated 1505. The collection includes the first translation of the Elements into a modern language (1543), the first English language edition (1570), the Byrne edition, using coloured printing (Pickering, 1847), and the first edition printed in France (1516).

The collection includes 9 of the 46 editions listed by Thomas-Stanford in his Early Editions of Euclid's Elements (which lists editions published prior to 1600), some of which are of "great rarity" according to Thomas-Stanford. The collection is particularly useful in showing the transmission and teaching of the Elements from almost the earliest printed form to modern texts. Unusual methods of presenting geometry are represented in books with movable stand-up diagrams from the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and the "Pickering Euclid" of 1847, which uses colours rather than letters to describe theorems.

Fine bindings

  • Book Collection
  • 1630-1973

Many of the holdings of Special Collections & Archives represent fine bindings, unique bindings and the works of famous printers and binders. Examples include signed bindings, metal, velvet and papier-mache bindings, and bindings by well-known bookbinders such as Joseph Zaehnsdorf, and Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

Gustav Seide Jakob Lorber mysticism collection

  • Book Collection
  • 1961-[2015]

Collected by Gustav Seide, this collection includes primarily works by 19th century German mystic Jakob Lorber and his circle such as Gottfried Mayerhofer. Also included are works by other mystics including Emanuel Swedenborg and religious texts including the Bhagavad Gita. Of particular note is a complete set of Lorber’s seminal work “Das große Evangelium Johannis” of the Great Gospel of John.

Seide, Gustav

Henry Fischer Schwaben Heimatbuch Collection.

  • Book Collection
  • 1918-2008

Original accession includes over 115 Heitmatbücher (German for "home books") that document the stories and histories of the villages that were inhabited by the Danube Swabians (German: Donauschwaben) in Central Europe: Romania, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia. Many of these books also contain genealogies, some dating back to the 18th century. The Heimatbücher are a unique and rich resource for anyone interested in the history and migration of the Donauschwaben people.

An addition to the Henry Fischer Schwaben Heimatbuch Collection contains 13 items documenting the history and genealogy of Donauschwaben people living in southeastern Europe. Many of the titles are rare, having been created by and for the communities and published in only small print runs.

A genealogist, Mr. Fischer has devoted much of his life to documenting the history of his people and to collecting these Heitmatbücher.

Henry H. Crapo Dance Collection.

  • Book Collection
  • 1604-1985

The Doris Lewis Rare Book Room houses a sizeable special collection of rare materials related to the history of dance and ballet. The nucleus of the dance collection is the 150 items donated in 1975 by Dr. Henry Crapo, a former University of Waterloo faculty member. Dr. Crapo has continued to support the collection over the years.

Dr. Crapo's donation contains some rare and beautiful works on ballet: works by Negri, Caroso, Noverre, De la Cuisse, Arena, Dumanoir, Blasis and Bakst. The subject strengths of the collection reflect Dr. Crapo's interests in choreography and dance notation.

Of the seventeenth-century materials found here, some of the finest are Negri's Nuove inventioni de balli (Milan: 1604); Caroso's Nobilita di Dame (Venice: 1605), and Du Manoir's Le mariage de la musique avec la dance (1664).

The largest addition to the dance collection was the 300-volume collection acquired with the assistance of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant in 1982. This collection, with imprints ranging in date from 1687 to the mid-twentieth century, adds a new research dimension in the form of illustrated works containing lithographs and engravings of the period of the Romantic ballet. The provenance of the majority of works in this collection--a portion of the personal library of George Chaffee--a leading dance writer of the twentieth century, accounts in part for its strength. Many of the books Chaffee consulted in his research for his most famous writings on ballet are now a part of the Waterloo collections.

In 1985, another grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council made it possible for the Library to purchase over two dozen books supportive of the Crapo Collection.

Special Collections & Archives has prepared a digital exhibit featuring some of the items from the Henry H. Crapo Dance Collection.

Hogarth Press and Virginia Woolf Book Collection.

  • Book Collection

This collection is made up of 25 first or early editions of the 35 titles by Virginia Woolf as well as 62 titles printed by the Hogarth Press. 47 of the Hogarth Press items date from the 1917-1938 period during which Virginia Woolf was associated with the Press.

Highlights of the collection include a first edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, and its sequel, Three Guineas, and first editions of her last two novels.

This is a representative collection that contains one example from each of most of the different series (for example, the Day to Day series, Hogarth Letters, Hogarth Essays), and examples of very early printings of some 20th century writers, such as Robert Graves, Edith Sitwell, and Gertrude Stein.

Hogarth Press

Lesbian Literature Collection.

  • Book Collection
  • 1942-1980

The collection consists of 169 paperback books featuring Lesbian themes.

During the post-war period, from the late 1940's to the 1960's, a significant amount of Lesbian material became available amidst the proliferation of popular fiction published as paperback originals (sometimes referred to as "pulp" fiction). Some authors represented in this collection are: Ann Bannon, Paula Christian, Valerie Taylor, Artemis Smith, Randy Salem, March Hastings, Gale Wilhelm, Marion Zimmer Bradley (writing under the names Lee Chapman and Miriam Gardner), and Marijane Meaker (writing under the names Ann Aldrich and Vin Packer).

Library of George Santayana.

  • Book Collection
  • 1863-1952

The collection consists of 350 titles from the personal library of the philosopher and man of letters, George Santayana (1863-1952). The subject focus of this portion of Santayana's library, purchased by the University of Waterloo Library during the 1960's, could be characterized as interdisciplinary, with works in philosophy, literature, religion, and history. Many of the books were presented to Santayana by their authors. The collection is supplemented by reference and critical materials related to the life and work of Santayana as well as editions of Santayana's own writings. First or early editions of most of Santayana's works are included.

One of the most interesting and significant features of the Library of George Santayana is that many of the books from his personal library contain annotations in his own handwriting. These notes reveal his opinions and thoughts about the writings of others. The collection includes Santayana's own copies of his three-volume autobiography, with his corrections and notes to his publisher.

Urban Planning Town Guide Collection.

  • Book Collection

Special Collections & Archives holds a variety of town guides from cities across the UK. Most significant urban centres in the British Isles are represented, and there is a comprehensive collection of guides to places which became Greater London in 1965.

The guides can provide a benchmark for assessing the very substantial changes which have affected British urban places in the past 60 years, and may be of interest to researchers in a variety of disciplines.

The town guides vary in size from a slender brochure of 30 pages for a small Urban District to large-format volumes of over 300 pages for a major City and County Borough such as Liverpool.

William Blake Collection.

  • Book Collection

The William Blake Collection consists of more than 200 titles of which the majority are facsimiles of Blake's works or privately-printed reprints and editions containing facsimiles of the illustrations. The collection also forms part of a larger collection devoted to joint painter-illustrator-author books that include followers of Blake, e.g. Palmer & Calvert, William Morris, Eric Gill, and David Jones.

One of the highlights of the William Blake Collection is the 1951 Trianon Press edition of William Blake's Jerusalem.

Blake, William

Women and Work Collection.

  • Book Collection

The Women and Work collection consists of 74 contemporary British and European imprints which focus upon women and the workplace.

Included are autobiographical accounts, which range from Dorothy C. Keeley's The Crowded Stairs: Recollections of Social Work in Liverpool 1919-1940 (London: National Council of Social Services, 1961) to Sex work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry (London: Virago Press, 1987). Other personal accounts include: The Life and Writing of a Working Woman (London: Virago Press, 1984) by Ada Nield Chew, which describes her work in the Women's Trade Union League and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; and Front Line Heroines: Stories of Ten Soviet Women (Soviet War News, 1945).

Commentaries on women in the workplace are represented by such titles as Women in Industry: a Marx House Syllabus (Southampton: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., [n. d.]); Helping Women at Work: the Women's Industrial Council, 1889-1914 (London: Hutchison, 1985); and Willing Hearts and Ready Hands: the Labours and Triumphs of Earnest Women (London: Nelson, 1883).