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The Department of Special Collections in the Connelly Library houses a diverse range of materials, from 15th century illuminated devotionals to subject collections treating contemporary social issues. Bodies of work include literature, music, films, art, archival material and ephemera. The discrete collections maintained by the department explore a variety of themes in aural, narrative and illustrative form.

Foremost among our holdings are the following curated collections:

The Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War Collection

The largest literary collection of its kind in the world, attracting scholars, graduate students, and journalists from across the globe, the Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War Collection holds more than 20,000 novels, short stories, poetry anthologies, music, and films on the Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

This collection is supplemented by three research collections which explore of the following subjects: the Holocaust, Psychic Trauma, and the Gulf & Afghanistan Wars. These collections also focus on fictive writing in the form of novels, short stories, poetry, drama, film scripts, graphic art, painting, video, TV productions, and sound recordings.

The Life and Work of Bob Dylan Collection

Believed to be the only collection of Bob Dylan's work at an academic institution, this multimedia collection includes books, scholarly papers and Doctoral dissertations, videos, concert memorabilia, indexed lyrics, rare recordings, and much more material reflected from the life and work of Bob Dylan.

The Susan Dunleavy Collection of Biblical Literature

This historically significant and aesthetically stunning collection focuses on the history of early Bible illustration, with special emphasis on 16th century woodcut Bibles. Since its establishment in 1978, the collection has grown to encompass the history of English translations of the Bible, as well as historical controversies over the texts. Selected works from this collection are presently being digitized by Villanova University's Falvey Library.

The Wister Family Collection

This collection is comprised of a wide variety of materials dedicated to the life, works, and correspondence of author Owen Wister and his prominent Philadelphia family, who inhabited the Belfield estate and other lands that are now a part of the La Salle University campus.

Special Research Topics

Special Collections is home to many other smaller collections that have grown from local research interests including faculty specialties and local history. Explore the Connelly Library Catalog to discover the unique selection of material available on topics such as:


Materials may be studied in the privacy and
comfort of our reading room
  • Lasalliana and Christian Brothers History
  • Contemporary American Poetry in the Richard Lautz Collection
  • Japanese Tea Ceremony
  • Gardening and Landscape History
  • History of Germantown, PA
  • Charles Willson Peale, 1741-1827. American Colonial Era portrait painter and Revolutionary War Captain
  • T. H. White, 1906-1964. Author of The Sword in the Stone, and The Once and Future King
  • Contact our librarians for research assistance.

    We are a member of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collection Libraries (PACSCL).

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