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Bard College Archives & Special Collections

Special Collections

The term Special Collections refers to those books and periodicals in the Stevenson Library that cannot be checked out in order to preserve them for all users. Access to most of these materials requires a librarian or staff person to retrieve desired titles, but all are searchable in the library's online catalog. Clicking on the collection titles below will bring up a listing of all the cataloged titles, in alphabetical order, contained in that collection. In some instances, librarians will ask that material be used at a table adjacent to the reference desk. Materials can also be requested through the archivist and can be reviewed in the archivist's office.

Arendt Collection - consists of the personal library of writer and political theorist Hannah Arendt [1906-1975] donated to Bard College after her death. Ephemera found in books is housed separately in Arendt subject files >. Also included in the collection are books owned by her husband, Heinrich Blücher, who taught at Bard between 1952-1967, as well as tapes and transcripts of many of his lectures. Access to the collection for research is exclusively by prior arrangement. Researchers should use the Archives Contact Form to make requests concerning this collection. For additional information about this collection visit The Hannah Arendt Collection and Blücher Archive. In order to access the Arendt Collections you are required to fill out the Arendt Request Form.

Hannah Arendt’s correspondence, manuscripts and lecture notes are housed at the Library of Congress. A complete inventory of these items and limited access to the digital collection is available at: The Hannah Arendt Papers.


Arendtiana Collection - includes materials relevant to Hannah Arendt's life and work published subsequent to her death, or otherwise not included among the books donated to Bard from her personal collection. Examples of Arendtiana materials include: posthumous publication of uncollected and unpublished work; new editions of her work; Arendt titles translated into foreign languages; volumes of her letters; films and other media of which she is the central subject.

arendtiana
A Christmas card made for Hannah Arendt and
Heinrich Blücher by Alcopley, 1962.


Bardiana Collection - Historically this collection contained books about the Bard Family, or books about St. Stephen's or Bard College. Generally the authors were related to the college in some way. This collection has expanded considerably and now contains publications written, illustrated or designed by Bard faculty, administrators, staff, students, and alumni/ae past and present. Edited volumes, with chapters written by any of the above, are also included. Most were written while the author was employed by the College with no attempt to collect all of an author's written work. The Bardiana Collection may also contain materials related to the programs of Bard College including publications by or about the graduate schools, affiliated centers, conferences, and properties of the College.


Historical Journals - this collection of old and often fragile volumes has been placed in secure stacks, but access for browsing can be readily arranged. These titles are still valuable from a research perspective, and not available through any of the full text databases available on the library’s website.

historical journals
The title page from vol. 1 of Charles Dickens'  popular
publication "All the Year Round" 1859.


Hudson Valley Archives - a collection of books about the Hudson Valley and the people who live here. Books cover a broad range of topics related to aspects of this region including, but not limited to: local history, art history, photography, ecology, soil science, and historic preservation. Also included here are some older historic texts on New York City, and New York State.

hv collection
Cover design of the book "The Hudson" by Wallace Bruce, 1881.


Photography Books - are also considered together as a special collection since they do not circulate. They are available for browsing and study on the third floor of Stevenson Library. A selection of the photography books have been identified as rare, and a librarian or staff person will retrieve materials as needed.


Special Collections - these books, housed behind the Reserve desk on the third floor of Stevenson, have been protected from general circulation for a variety of reasons. Books in this collection might be fragile; of unusual size or shape; they might contain multiple parts which could be separated if circulated; or they might be unusually expensive. If the work is a catalogue raisonné, devoted to an artist's entire body of work, it would be located here as well.


Rare Books - are often among the oldest books in the collection. Many of these titles date back to the earliest years of the college, and inscriptions and book plates often bear the names of library benefactors or early professors who left their collections to the Hoffman Library.

rare books
Bookplate denoting the gift of this title to St. Stephen's College from John and Margaret
Bard.  In v. 1: "The Writings of George Washington..." edited by Jared Sparks.