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Libraries Policies

Special Collections Collection Development Policy

Special Collections’ primary responsibility is to support the teaching and research of Adelphi University’s faculty, administration, and students. Special Collections includes materials in various formats and media including books, broadsides, manuscripts, maps, oral histories, pamphlets, photographs, works of art and music, audio and video material, artifacts, and ephemera.

The 33 distinct collections are each organized around a specific theme or individual. The collections do not circulate and are stored in a limited access, controlled environment to protect and preserve rare, valuable, and/or fragile materials.

Materials are exhibited on campus and on the Web and we are committed to digitizing selected materials for wider access. We seek to collaborate with faculty and students and to incorporate primary source materials into the curriculum. In addition, we provide service to scholars from other institutions as well as to the general public. Use of Special Collections by visiting researchers serves to enhance the University’s reputation on the national and international levels.

Selection and funding criteria for each collection vary according to the unique nature and mission of each one. We build on existing strengths but also seek new initiatives and acquire new collections in response to changing academic needs and interests. Collecting levels are established in recognition of the collections of other institutions.

Responsible collecting includes a commitment to provide optimal storage, processing, preservation, and access to special collections materials.

Materials We Do Not Collect

  • Large collections unrelated to the University’s academic mission or to existing holdings
  • Photocopies of materials held in other repositories unless access to originals is limited
  • Photocopies or other reproductions of original material, unless the originals are no longer in existence or are unavailable to the public; however, quality facsimile editions are welcome when originals cannot be purchased
  • Images of museum objects
  • Duplicates of material already in Special Collections, unless the duplicate is in better condition than Special Collections’ copy
  • Research notes, unless included as a sub-unit of a collection of related primary material or largely focused on local genealogy
  • Current local, state, and federal government records
  • Autographs (signatures with no historically significant information), in most cases
  • Collections that are primarily in foreign languages
  • Materials in poor condition requiring extensive conservation or materials posing risk to existing collections

Programs Supported By Special Collections

Art: Education, Studio, Art History

History: American, British, European, Latin American

Honors College


Literature: British and American Literature

Performing Arts: Dance, Music, Theater

Political Science

Women’s studies

Current Collecting And Funding Priorities

Following is Special Collections’ general policy documenting major collections and guiding collection in targeted areas. The current list of priorities covers areas in which there has been internal or external fund support for purchases. Gifts in all areas are sought and considered.

Collecting. Collecting activities focus on collecting to strength, purchasing according to fund parameters, responding to gift and purchase opportunities, supporting current academic needs, and developing new collecting initiatives to serve research needs, both current and future. All formats are collected as appropriate: printed, manuscript, audiovisual and digital materials. Preference is given to works in original bindings, new scholarly editions, manuscript materials (letters, diaries, notebooks, sketchbooks), books, broadsides, ephemera, maps, pamphlets, photographs, prints, realia and other primary sources.

Funding. Priority levels are designated below. Acquisitions of rare books and other materials for special collections outside of collection priority areas are supported exclusively by funding from The Friends of the Adelphi Libraries or other endowment income. Designated collecting levels support the academic programs offered by the University and serve to meet the overall Adelphi mission. The following designated levels, derived from the general Libraries collection development policy, are as follows:

  • 1: Minimal level
  • 2: Basic Information Level
  • 3: Instructional Support Level
  • 4: Research Level
  • 5: Comprehensive Level

Summary Of Active Collecting Levels Through Purchase

Level 5

  • Adelphi Authors Collection
  • Adelphiana Collection

Level 4

  • Children’s Illustrated Literature Collection
  • Cobbett Collection
  • Cuala Press Collection
  • DePol Collection
  • Expatriate Collection
  • Hone Collection
  • Morley Collection
  • Panama Canal Collection
  • St. Denis Collection
  • Small Press Collection
  • Spanish Civil War Collection

Level 3

  • Americana Collection
  • Blake Collection
  • Long Island Collection: Garden City (see also Adelphi and New York City Collections)
  • Modern Chapbook Collection
  • New York City Collection
  • New York State Collection
  • Rare Book Collection
  • Whitman Collection

Level 2

  • Kraus-Boelte Early Childhood Education Collection

Description Of Collections, Including Current Collecting Focus And Priorities

Adelphi Authors Collection

The Adelphi Authors Collection has over 600 titles by faculty, administration, staff, alumni, and students. This collection covers a full range of subjects: academic teaching areas, research, fiction, musical composition, sports, translations, manuals, dissertations and theses.

Current collecting focus: ongoing acquisition through gift or purchase. Level 5.
Desired collecting level: continue to maintain comprehensive level of collection.

Adelphiana Collection

The Adelphiana Collection encompasses over 300 cataloged titles relating to the history of the University: charter, reports, master plan, self-studies, Middle States evaluations, bulletins, publications, by-laws, Adelphi Academy, and the Waldorf School. Some student publications and directories were published prior to Adelphi’s move to Garden City in 1929.

Current collecting focus: ongoing acquisition of materials published outside the University. Level 5.
Desired collecting level: continue to maintain comprehensive level of collection for external publications. Campus publications will be incorporated into University Archives classification.

Americana Collection

The Americana Collection of over 1600 titles includes books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, legal documents, and manuscripts covering United States history from colonial times to the present. Over 100 items were printed prior to 1800. A major emphasis of the Americana collection is the Antislavery Movement in America, which includes primary source materials on slavery and an extensive range of the publications of Gerrit Smith, the Peterboro, New York abolitionist. Americana titles of local interest are materials to be found in the Long Island, New York City, and New York State Special Collections.

Current collecting focus: selective for abolition and women’s studies. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to be selective for the above topics.

Andres Collection

Barbara Andres was the youngest student in residence to be admitted to the world renowned Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, where she began working with dance virtuoso Ruth St. Denis. They later worked together on numerous tours, lectures, and dance projects, including The Religious Arts Center at Adelphi in the late 1950s. Many of the items in the Barbara Andres, Ruth St. Denis Collection once belonged to St. Denis and consist primarily of photographs and costumes. Other materials include scrapbooks, programs, flyers, posters, awards, and artifacts relating to the careers of both Andres and St. Denis.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Blake Collection

The Hugo and Florentina Leipniker William Blake Collection was established by Florentina Caras Leipniker (Class of 1907). Upon the death of Mrs. Leipniker, support for building the collection continued from her daughters, Mathilde Leipniker Hanning (Class of 1928) and Florentina Leipniker Shupack (Class of 1930) in memory of their parents. The collection of over 150 works by and about the 18th century poet and artist contains biographical studies, exhibition catalogs, and many facsimile editions. Almost all of the facsimile editions published by the Trianon Press and by the William Blake Trust are present and form the core of the collection.

Current collecting focus: acquiring facsimile editions, exhibition catalogs and criticism to support the collection. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to be selective to support instruction.

Blodgett Collection

The Frank D. Blodgett Collection contains biographical material, correspondence, and materials relating to his 23 years as president of Adelphi College. He was instrumental in finding a new site for the College in Garden City, NY, and oversaw the growth and development of the college during its early years.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Children's Illustrated Literature Collection

Launched with seed money from the Friends of the Adelphi Library, the Children’s Illustrated Literature Collection focuses on the Golden Age of Children's Book Illustration (generally considered to be from 1860-1930s) and also includes fine examples of illustrated literature from other periods. In order to present a focused yet comprehensive collection, the collection of over 250 titles contains original editions, high-quality facsimiles, and reference books to support research.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of at least one or more examples of each “Golden Age” illustrator’s work, different formats and illustrators of Volland Publishers books, catalogue raisonnés about illustrators, exhibition catalogs and critical studies. Level 4.
Desired Collecting Level: Continue to support research level Golden Age collection and extend purchases to titles from the 1940s for inclusion of early works by mid-twentieth century illustrators.

Cobbett Collection

The C. Rexford Davis William Cobbett Collection has over 400 cataloged titles, including first editions, manuscripts, biographical and critical material on the English parliamentarian, pamphleteer and radical William Cobbett (1763-1835). Of note are letters from Cobbett to the radical orator Henry Hunt. As a political refugee, Cobbett once lived in the area now known as New Hyde Park and wrote about his experiences in America. The collection is named in memory of Rutgers University Professor C. Rexford Davis, whose Cobbett Library was given to Adelphi. This collection was one of the first interests of the newly founded Friends of the Adelphi University Library, which established the collection in 1948 and continues to support it.

Current collecting focus: adding new titles by Cobbett as well as secondary research sources to this collection. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Increase to Level 5 for a comprehensive Cobbett collection outside the U.K. Additions could include manuscript materials, related prints and ephemera.

Cuala Press Collection

The Cuala Press Collection has over 100 titles of poetry and includes plays, broadside ballad sheets, music, and ephemera printed at the private Irish press, the Dun Emer Press at Dun Emer, later the Cuala Press at Dublin, founded by the sisters of William Butler Yeats. In addition to works by W. B. Yeats, the collection encompasses works by Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, Frank O'Connor, John Masefield, and many other Irish authors of the first half of the twentieth century. There are also translations and edited editions of much earlier Irish writers.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of ephemera, such as greeting cards and broadsides, as well as manuscript materials and critical studies. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to build a representative collection on the research level.

Dakin Collection

The Dr. Henry Drysdale Dakin Collection was donated by his stepdaughters, who were the daughters of Dr. Christian A. Herter. The Collection consists of about 60 science titles, chiefly in the fields of biochemistry and chemistry, from the libraries of Dakin (biochemist, 1880-1952) and Herter (physician and biochemist, 1865-1910). In 1905 Dakin joined Herter's research laboratory in New York City and produced in the same year the first of a series of papers on Dakin's most important work, oxidation of organic compounds in the animal body. No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

DePol Collection

The John DePol Collection includes beautifully illustrated books, prints, ephemera, and secondary sources by and about an exemplary practitioner of wood engraving. John DePol (1913-2004) worked for many of the limited edition presses represented in The Donald V. L. Kelly Small Press Collection. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Adelphi University Library, the number of DePol titles (over 150) has grown to merit a collection of its own.

Current collecting focus: acquiring ephemera, prints and manuscript materials by DePol as well as published titles from each small press with DePol illustrations, exhibit catalogs and critical studies. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to build this research level collection.

Expatriate Collection

The Expatriate Collection includes about 300 titles by and related to American expatriate writers such as Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, T. S. Eliot, Laura Riding Jackson, Harry and Caresse Crosby, and Paul Bowles. Especially noteworthy are the limited editions and publications of two small presses: the Seizin Press established by Robert Graves and Laura Riding Jackson at Deya, Majorca, and the Black Sun Press, Paris, for titles by Harry and Caresse Crosby and other expatriates. Both presses flourished in the first half of the twentieth century. Current collection focus: acquiring limited edition titles and manuscript materials, critical studies. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to build this research level collection.

Hauptmann Collection

The Siegfried H. Muller Gerhart Hauptmann Collection of about 250 titles and miscellaneous papers by and about the dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946) was donated by the late Prof. Siegfried H. Muller, the longtime Chairman of Adelphi’s German Department. No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Hone Collection

The Helene and Josephine Lewinsohn William Hone Collection includes over 600 published titles and over 300 manuscript items by, about and associated with William Hone (1780-1842), the popular and prolific British radical writer, publisher, political satirist and social reformer, who is best known for his struggles for freedom of the press. The collection contains monographs, letters, sketches and caricatures (most notably of George Cruikshank). It was acquired in 1993 through a gift from The Friends of Adelphi University Library, Inc. and a bequest from the Helene and Josephine Lewinsohn Estate. The collection is named in memory of Adelphi alumnae M. Helene Lewinsohn '22 and her sister Josephine Lewinsohn '19.

Current collecting focus: acquiring titles and manuscripts by or about William Hone and critical studies to support this collection. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Increase to Level 5 for a comprehensive Hone collection outside the U.K. Additions could include manuscript materials, related prints and ephemera.

Kraus-Boelte Early Childhood Education Collection

The Kraus-Boelte Early Childhood Education Collection is named for Maria Kraus-Boelte (1836-1918), educational reformer, who was one of a remarkable group of German immigrants who played a major role in creating both the kindergarten and profession of kindergarten teaching in the United States. This collection on kindergarten theory and the early history of the kindergarten emphasizes the contributions of Kraus-Boelte, Friedrich Froebel, Susan Elizabeth Blow, and John Kraus.

Current collecting focus: acquiring works by the named contributors, critical studies on kindergarten, Froebel gifts. Level 2.
Desired collecting level: Increase to Level 3 and provide instructional support for education.

Loening Collection

Grover Cleveland Loening (1888-1976), aeronautical engineer and author, was awarded by Columbia University the first aeronautical engineering degree (M.A., 1910) ever conferred by a university in the United States. His thesis, a study of the aerodynamic basis of contemporary airplanes, was published in 1911 under the title Monoplanes and Biplanes. His lectures on airplane design and construction were published in 1915 as Military Aeroplanes, a textbook that was adopted by the military services in the United States and Great Britain and sold 43,000 Loening's long career in aviation included design and building of the five-seat Loening Flying Yacht, a monoplane flying boat, in 1921, and a consulting practice during the 1930s that provided engineering advice to the Grumman Aircraft Corporation and other aircraft manufacturers.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Long Island Collection

The Long Island Collection contains over 400 titles of local historical interest, including town records, community histories, and material on local Indian tribes.

Current collecting focus: acquiring titles relating to Garden City, NY and to Adelphi. Adelphi Level 5.
Garden City Level 3.
New York Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to acquire materials specific to Adelphi on the comprehensive level and selectively related to Garden City and New York for instructional support.

McMillan Collection

The Robert R. McMillan Political and Presidential Letters and Memorabilia Collection consists of autographed correspondence, photographs, books and souvenirs related to his political career, involvement in the Republican Party, and work on government and voluntary boards and committees. Donated by Adelphi alumnus Robert McMillan, the collection spans the years from his campaign work for the 1960 election to the 1990s.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Modern Chapbook Collection

The modern use of the term chapbook describes inexpensive publications, often of poetry. Widespread availably of low cost copy centers along with the popularity of "zines" and poetry slams created the circumstances in which self-published chapbooks have flourished. The collection includes over 200 fine examples from the Center for Book Arts, Aralia Press, Ugly Duckling and Arrowsmith presses.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of new titles annually, including prize winners, and exhibition catalogs. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to provide instructional support, especially for poetry curriculum.

Morley Collection

The Christopher Morley Collection includes over 250 novels, poetry, essays, plays, printed ephemera by and related to the American editor and author Christopher Morley (1890-1957). Morley, a founder and editor of the Saturday Review of Literature and editor of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, lived in Roslyn Estates on Long Island. Many of the items in the collection are first and/or limited editions.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of works by and about Christopher Morley. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to build research level collection due to Morely’s Long Island roots.

New York City Collection

The New York City Collection has over 300 titles, including monographs, records, minutes, and directories, spanning colonial times to the present.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of titles about New York City abolition, art and architecture, photography, working conditions, women’s history, W.P.A. era. Level 3.
Desired Collecting Level: Continue to support instructional use of this collection.

New York State Collection

The New York State Collection contains over 200 titles pertaining to the State as a whole, communities outside New York City and Long Island, and aspects of history, description and culture, including historical collections, censuses, and official records.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of titles about New York State abolition, art and architecture, photography, women’s history, W.P.A. era. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support instructional use of this collection.

Ormont Literary Collection

The Louis R. Ormont Literary Collection focuses on Dr. Ormont’s literary pursuits including the work he produced during his time at Yale University’s School of Drama. The collection also highlights Dr. Ormont’s copious scripts for theatre, film and television. The collection centers on his vast assortment of manuscripts, but also includes academic papers, play programs, and paperback playbooks. In 1974, Dr. Ormont joined the faculty at Adelphi University’s Gordon Derner Institution of Advanced Psychological Studies.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Ormont Psychology Collection

Dr. Louis R. Ormont was a pioneer in the field of group psychotherapy who dedicated over 45 years to researching, writing, and speaking about group therapy practices. His work in group psychotherapy led him to found The Center for Group Studies and has published more than 30 professional articles on the subject. In 1974, Dr. Ormont joined the faculty at Adelphi University’s Gordon Derner Institution of Advanced Psychological Studies.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Ornstein Collection

The Aimee Ornstein Memorial Library of Banking and Money Management has about 100 Special Collections titles on the early history of banking in the United States, including histories of state and national banks, biographies, trust companies, and the Federal Reserve.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Panama Canal Collection

The Robert R. McMillan Panama Canal Collection includes over 100 books in addition to papers, photographs and memorabilia. The collection spans the early years before and after construction of the canal and the years of Adelphi alumnus Robert McMillan’s tenure on The Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Commission (1990 -1994). Early books and publications document the building of the Canal. The papers document the transitional period prior to the changeover of control over the canal from the United States to the Republic of Panama in 1999.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of primary and secondary sources and memorabilia to support the collection. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support instructional and research use of this collection by adding to early period of canal construction and acquiring materials from the 1920s to the present.

Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book Collection contains almost 2000 rare, expensive, fragile, or otherwise special titles that cannot be shelved in the main stacks. Among its treasures, published from 1556 to the present, are early religious works, the illustration-plate volumes of Diderot's 18th century Encyclopédie, literary first or inscribed editions, limited editions of poetry, and contemporary artistic photography books.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of comic facsimiles and compilations, art titles in fine editions, works about art faculty, book arts, Josef Albers, Victorian Literature. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support instructional use of this collection, especially adding to above areas.

St. Denis Collection

This collection consists primarily of books and manuscripts of Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968), the pioneering dancer and choreographer who founded the dance department at Adelphi. Included also are materials relating to the Denishawn School created by Ruth St. Denis and her dancing partner/husband Ted Shawn.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of materials by and about Ruth St. Denis. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support research use of the collection concerning this pioneer of modern dance who taught at Adelphi.

Small Press Collection

The Donald V. L. Kelly Small Press Collection gathers over 700 limited edition and letterpress publications, facsimile editions, related examples of fine printing, and secondary sources to support research. Over 30 English language presses, primarily 20th century, are included. Many of these works were previously in our Rare Book Collection. This collection is named in honor of Prof. Donald V. L. Kelly (1929-2006), who served University Libraries for 53 years, made our rare materials into truly Special Collections, and had a particular admiration for the small press.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of fine examples from American and British small presses and related ephemera. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support research use of this collection.

Spanish Civil War Collection

The Sandor Voros Spanish Civil War Collection came to Adelphi in 1970 from Sandor Voros, the archivist of the XVth International (Lincoln) Brigade from 1937-38. The papers include writings, correspondence, records, photograph albums and ephemera from Spanish Civil War brigades and battalions. In addition to approximately 1,000 manuscript pages, there is a related group of secondary sources.

Current collecting focus: acquisition of materials by and about the Lincoln Brigade as related to its archivist, Sandor Voros. Level 4.
Desired collecting level: This collection complements the vast Spanish Civil War research collection in the Tamiment Library at N.Y.U. Materials by or related to Voros and secondary works for instruction and research should be collected.

Stoelzer Collection

Donated by his daughter, Mrs. Flora Stoelzer Specht, The Richard Stoelzer Chamber Music Collection consists of musical scores and manuscripts as well as a number of rare musical stringed instruments which were used by Stoelzer’s chamber group, the Mozart Symphony Club which toured throughout the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Whitman Collection

Professor Emory Holloway (1885-1977), whose Whitman: An Interpretation in Narrative won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for biography, taught at Adelphi from 1914-1939 and provided the core of The Walt Whitman Collection. It includes over 150 books of poetry, biographies, bibliographies, criticism, as well as news articles, and papers from the Walt Whitman Fellowship.

Current collecting focus: acquiring materials by and about Walt Whitman. Level 3.
Desired collecting level: Continue to support instructional use as well as collect materials concerning Emory Holloway in relation to Whitman.

Woodruff Collection

The Hugh Allen Ward and Winifred Alling Ward Keith Collection of the Papers of Timothy L. Woodruff (1858-1913) is a rich resource for researchers interested in early twentieth century New York and United States politics and the early history of Adelphi College. Mr. Woodruff served as Lieutenant Governor of New York State for three terms and as the President of the Board of Trustees of Adelphi from 1895 to 1908. The collection, which includes correspondence, manuscripts, programs, memorabilia and ephemera by or related to the man considered by many as the co-founder of Adelphi College, was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan R. Keith. (Mrs. Keith's father, Hugh Allen Ward, was Woodruff's nephew.) 12

No active acquisition apart from consideration of donations.

Accession Procedures (Gifts, Purchases, Transfers)

  • Donations (Gifts) (see UASC Deed of Gift Form on pages 13-14)
  • Purchases: Items may be acquired providing that acquisition funds are available, or, in consultation with the Collection Development and Management librarian, that gift funds are available.
  • Transfers from University Libraries: The Special Collections librarians may consider transfers from University Libraries collections with no further authorization required.

De-Accession Procedures

Criteria for De-accessioning Items from Special Collections

Items may be de-accessioned when

  • they duplicate other material in the collections which are in equally good or better condition
  • they are of marginal use to Special Collections, are outside the scope of our collection policy, or would be more appropriately housed at another institution
  • they are in such poor condition as to be virtually unusable or threaten other collections or staff
  • they are missing, and there is little hope of their being found or recovered


  • The University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian recommends items for deaccessioning which will be submitted to The Collection Development and Management Librarian whose approval is required unless their condition poses a threat to other collections or staff.
  • With approval from the Dean of University Libraries, Special Collections may offer items to other institutions.

Preservation And Conservation Of Collections

  • Optimal Storage: Adequate shelving and furniture to provide secure space for present collections and future additions
  • Processing: Providing departmental staffing for physical processing
  • Preservation: Continuing to budget for appropriate materials to house individual items and to budget for consultation with professional conservator concerning selection of storage and housing materials and questions concerning safe exhibition of materials
  • Conservation: Continuing to budget for repairs to collection items by professional conservator