Special Collections has four main collecting areas:
Literature holdings in American, British, and Irish literature constitute one of the most important collections of its kind in the world. American literature concentrates on the twentieth century. English literature are concentrated for the century 1750 to 1850 with strengths in Romantic poetry and prose. Irish literature from the 1700s to the present is collected with strong representation of the Irish Literary Renaissance and later twentieth century authors.
Art holdings encompasses all periods and styles of fine, decorative, and applied arts. It is particularly strong in works on painting technique and instruction, the decorative arts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, architecture, and the book arts. Additional strengths are the history of printing and graphic arts, history of papermaking and fine printing.
History and Delawareana All aspects of English and American history are represented from the sixteenth century onward, and a significant collection on French political theory and statecraft. A number of works concern travel and exploration, and the history of Delaware from its settlement by the Swedes in 1638 to the present is the focus of the Delaware Collection.
Science and Technology collections are strongest in the history of chemistry, engineering and the natural sciences. The Unidel History of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Collection contains over five thousand publications covering every aspect of the field of horticulture.
To read about the collection focus in more detail please see Special Collections’ Collection Focus webpage.