The Special Collections as a department incorporates several discrete collections, all of which require special, often unique, policies and procedures for acquiring, processing, storage and patron use. The material collected is rare, unique or otherwise extraordinary.
Special Collections encompasses nearly all subjects collected in Hamilton Library. Principal disciplines served include anthropology, art, classics, drama, English, ethnic studies, geography, Hawaiian studies, history, library and information studies, linguistics, Pacific Islands studies, political science, religion, sociology, and any discipline which offers cross-cultural studies of Hawaii and the Pacific region.
Special Collections grew out of the need to provide specialized service to the Hawaiian, Pacific, Archives, and Rare Books collections. To these resources, the Book Arts, Social Movements, Tsuzaki-Reinecke Creole Collections were later added. In 1981, the Jean Charlot Collection was generously donated to the UH Library by the Charlot family and added to the department.
Each collection is responsible for its intra-library coordination and its inter-library cooperative arrangements.
Miscellaneous Special Collections:The head of Special Collections acts as curator of the miscellaneous special collections and is responsible for the collection development policy. Among these collections are the following:
Rare Books Collection: This is the library's general rare books collection. It covers every subject and all periods, except those within the scope of the Hawaiian, Pacific, or Asia Collections. This Collection is particularly strong in literature and natural history. Expensive limited editions of the 20th century are included.
Geographic: British and U.S. publishers, with some French and
Books printed before 1700
Books in English before 1720
Books printed in the Americas before 1800
Books printed in the U.S. before 1820
West Coast books printed before 1880
Books of aesthetic importance or typographical interest
Books from private presses
Books designed by important typographers
Books with fine illustrations, including photographs
Books with fine binding
Books whose irreplaceability or uniqueness makes them rare.
Limited editions (300 copies or less)
First editions (especially of 19th century British and American authors)
Association and autographed books of significance
Books subject to loss or damage
Fragile or unique format
Fine or loose plates or illustrations
Books of substantial market value. Although the inflation factor makes it difficult to assign set dollar values, materials of $500 or higher should be reviewed for possible rare designation.
Books of importance to established special collections
Due to budget constraints, there is not an active acquisitions program for rare books. Most additions have been received as gifts or transfers from the main stacks
Book Arts Collection: This collection gathers examples of printing as an art and craft, and bookmaking through the ages. It includes examples of early forms of books, small presses, elegant private presses, noted printers and book designers, finely illustrated editions, and miniatures and broadsides.
Material is primarily in English with imprints mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Additions are primarily through gifts. No effort is made to keep the collection current.
John A. Carollo-Edward Gorey Collection: In 1998, John A. Carollo donated the first of what is a continuing gift of books authored by or illustrated by Edward Gorey. Mr. Carollo has also deposited on extended loan, a collection of posters, prints, journal articles, ephemera, and memorabilia, all relating to Edward Gorey. To date, the collection holds 130 books and over 650 other items.
Juvenile Collection: This is a collection of rare children's books. It includes examples of early books, renowned anthologies, first editions of children's authors, noted illustrators, limited and numbered copies, and significant inscribed copies.
Holdings are primarily in the English language, published in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tsuzaki/Reinecke Pidgin Creole Collection: A collection of approximately 3000 items, including books, pamphlets, and ephemeral material (reprints, book reviews, etc.) donated by the Linguistics department in 1979. The collection includes publications in all languages, some of them in the creole vernacular language. Additions to the holdings are primarily through gifts.
Other Collections: The Benjamin Wist Textbook Collection of early schoolbooks used in Hawaii was created in honor of an early Teacher's College dean and was transferred from the College Library to Special Collections when the College Library was absorbed by the general collection.
The Social Movements Collection is a pamphlet collection of socialist literature covering roughly 1900-1930. Collected by Eugene Bechtold, it was purchased from a California book dealer in 1966. It excludes trade books and journals and contains some 500 pamphlets.
Compiled: 12/00 Compiler: Lynette Furuhashi