Rare Books

The Thorndike Library's rare book collection consists of materials that are unique, valuable or fragile. These items are relevant to the college's teaching and research interests. The items in the rare book collection are acquired through donation or purchase. 

Criteria for Determining Placement in the Rare Book Collection:

  1. Scarcity — can be a newer book that is no longer published
  2. Local or Historic Importance — does not have to have monetary value
  3. Fragile Condition
  4. Signed by the author or historical figure
  5. First, early, special or limited editions
  6. Vulnerability — subject to theft or mutilation

Access Policy

To access a rare book please contact Ingrid Hill.  Rare books must be used in the library and cannot be checked out.

The rare books are designated in Thorncat, the library's online catalog, under the heading SPEC COLL.

Archive hours & access

Monday through Thursday,

9 a.m.–3 p.m. or by appointment.


Please contact Ingrid Hill at ihill@coa.edu or 207-801-5662 to make an appointment.