FAQs and Glossary
Who can use Special Collections?
- Anyone! We welcome and encourage anyone who is researching, investigating, working as a group or class, instructing, or just curious.
Do I need to make an appointment to use Special Collections?
- Appointments are not required, but visitors are strongly encouraged to set up an appointment to ensure that staff and rooms are available for your use. Visit this page for more information: Visit
When is Special Collections open?
- Appointments are typically made during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8am - 5pm.
What is the oldest book in the rare and special collections?
- Our oldest materials are the manuscript facsimiles that date back to the 4th century. The oldest original item is a music manuscript leaf from 1070 and our oldest original book is the "Sermones de patientia in Job et de poenitentia" by John Chrysostom from 1471.
Can I check out books and other items from Special Collections?
- All collections are non-circulating and must be viewed in the library reading room.
How can I find materials in Special Collections?
- All available items are searchable through the libraries' online catalog. http://bearcat.baylor.edu/
- Once you've entered your search terms, you can limit the location to the Central Libraries Special Collections
- Special collections materials are housed in closed stacks that are not open to the public, so you will need to make an appointment to view the materials.
Can I make copies?
- You can take a picture with your camera or phone (no flash, please); but staff will need to assist if you need a digital copy of any of these materials.
How can I find information about my old books?
- Check out this website 'Your Old Books' (http://rbms.info/yob/ ). It is full of great information on books you may own.
Can I donate books?
- The libraries do not typically add gift books to our general collections; however, if materials are published pre-1901, we might consider a donation if the titles are a match and benefit our special collections.
- A work of art in the form of a book.
- A strong covering holding the pages of a book together.
- A publisher's emblem or imprint, usually on the title page of a book.
- A leaf of paper at the beginning or end of a book, especially one fixed to the inside of the cover.
- An exact copy, especially of written or printed material.
- The art of illuminating a manuscript.
- An illuminated design in a manuscript.
- Illuminate: to decorate (a page or initial letter in a manuscript) with gold, silver, or colored designs.
- A book, document, or piece of music written by hand rather than typed or printed.
- An author's handwritten or typed text that has not yet been published.
- Add elaborate, typically red, capital letters or other decorations to (a manuscript).
- A printed sheet after being folded to form a group of pages.
- A collection of materials, especially valuable books or manuscripts, which is kept separate from other materials in a library and usually has stricter access rights; (also in plural) the department of a library that maintains such a collection.
- Fine parchment made originally from the skin of a calf.