Navigating the Collection
Printed Works at Penn
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Print at Penn is the online repository for digitized facsimiles of materials from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' print collections. The site includes bibliographic information for each digitized work as well as faceted and keyword searches across and within collections. Among the facets are those which allow users to limit their queries to a specific collection or to a specific location within the Penn Libraries system. This functionality will allow users to discover materials more quickly and easily.
Penn holds enormous print resources dating from the fifteenth through the twenty-first century and, over time, will engage in projects to digitize important parts of the collection.
The University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Collection of British and American Fiction (CBAF) numbers nearly three thousand works that together form a rich teaching and research collection of early fiction in English. While drawing from the general Rare Books Collection as well as several smaller named collections, its core is the Singer-Mendenhall Collection, built through the combined efforts of a University of Pennsylvania graduate student and professor in the first half of the twentieth century. Godfrey F. Singer and John C. Mendenhall each accumulated working collections of mainly epistolary fiction; Singer's parents donated his books to the University of Pennsylvania Library after his death in 1934, and Mendenhall added his library in 1950. Since then, the Singer-Mendenhall collection has augmented its initial strengths in epistolary fiction with rare, non-canonical works published by female or anonymous authors. The CBAF includes a number of works that are unique to Penn on the title or edition level, among them Frederick and Alicia (1791), The History of Laura (1700), and The New Clarissa (1769). The CBAF works digitized here include these unique titles, as well as epistolary fiction by female or anonymous authors that is not readily available in digital form elsewhere.
The Fairman Rogers Collection at the University of Pennsylvania consists of over 1,000 titles, many of which come from the personal library of Fairman Rogers (1833-1900). A Penn alumnus (AB 1853, AM 1856), he was a co-founder of the School of Veterinary Medicine, a professor of civil engineering (1855-1871) at Penn, and an internationally recognized horseman. The collection was started with a major gift from Rogers and grew substantially over the past hundred years through the generosity of many donors. The books range from the sixteenth through the mid-twentieth century, with the greatest number published in the nineteenth century. The collection reveals Rogers' own varied interest in horses. More...
Acquired by the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, this collection of over 100 titles tells the story of the earliest printing in Morocco. The bulk of the collection dates from 1865 to 1936, covering most of the span of Moroccan lithographic printing from its beginning in the city of Fez to its end during the French Protectorate. The collection includes the first five books printed in Fez as well as dozens from the years following. The Fez Lithographs collection includes works by over 101 scholars and editors whose work represents the pinnacle of Muslim scholarship in North Africa during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Islamic law and mysticism are the most common subjects; other subjects include Islamic doctrine, religious life, philosophy, Arabic grammar and rhetoric.
For many years, a faded assortment of colorfully-bound but unassuming Japanese books sat relatively undisturbed in Penn's East Asia stacks, perhaps examined once or twice, but almost never circulating. Yet this collection of late Meiji and early Taishō period juvenile fiction held at the Libraries is a snapshot of early 20th century Japanese publishing history. These small books (roughly 12.75 cm high by 9.25 cm wide) largely contain tales of bravery and adventure: reimagined samurai swashbucklers, ninja-turned-heroes, fantastic journeys, and wars of glory. The romanticized bygone days of the post-medieval Edo period (1600-1868) provided a wealth of material for young urban readers. The Penn Libraries' holdings of these pocket books span a few series, none of which are completely owned, but many belong to the Tatsukawa bunko series published in Osaka. Many more pocket fiction titles similar to Tatsukawa bunko existed, however, and Penn's collection includes samples of these as well. Some of these materials may not exist anywhere else in the world, and are extremely unlikely to be reprinted. The Penn Libraries' digitized collection of this fiction thus represents a valuable contribution to the scholarly community, in the form of digital facsimiles of the entire novels made freely accessible at Print at Penn.
The World War I Pamphlet Collection at the University of Pennsylvania consists of just over 400 titles drawn from the general stacks at Van Pelt library. These pamphlets, many of them brittle and no longer fit for circulation, all deal with the First World War, its origins or aftermath. Out of this collection, more than 200 have been digitized and are made available here in Print at Penn. The remaining titles can be accessed digitally through the Hathi Trust. Published in nine languages, the selection of pamphlets includes political tracts, government publications, fund-raising brochures, and periodicals. Many of these items were given to the University of Pennsylvania Library by the Philadelphia attorney and politician James Montgomery Beck (1861-1936) who wrote and spoke often about the conflict. Given their rarity and ephemeral nature, the majority of items available in facsimile here are not available online in any other venue.