Kent Library houses SEMO’s rare book collection


CAP GIRARDEAU, Missouri (KFVS) – In the Kent Library there is a room with a red leather sofa and strict rules. This is called the Rare Book Room, and inside books dating from the late 1300s, in many different languages, are housed.

Where do these books come from? Librarian Roxanne Dunn said the collection started with a donation from a man.

“Charles Harrison, who was a fairly important benefactor to the college at the time. He was a private book collector and had already made arrangements at the time for his rare book collections to be donated to campus upon his death, ”she said.

She explained that some of the other “materials end up in the rare book room. We joke that they get old out of circulation.

A single section of books is worth around $ 20 million.

Dunn said the books should be kept and handled with care. “Our job for these materials, in terms of environmental control, is to keep the room cool and dry. The other thing we really do is make sure we have good security.

Dunn said these books are a great learning tool for students. “We have actually developed active learning exercises where students have time to manage a particular manuscript,” she said.

She is happy that the university has this unique gem.

“For a university of our stature and size, we are incredibly lucky to have a rare book room on our campus,” she said.

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