Rare book collections

Rare Books

The Redwood is home to an outstanding collection of rare books and manuscripts. Of these, a Bible printed in Venice in 1488 by Giorgio Arrivabene is one of the earliest instances of an incunable owned by an American library and has the distinction of being the incunable held the longest by a library in this country.

Original Collection

The Redwood Library's Original Collection is comprised of the original purchase of 751 titles in England in 1749 and the first donations to the Library's Collection "Given by Several Gentlemen" of an additional 126 titles.


To see a list of the Original Collection books, go to the Advanced Search screen in the online catalog and limit your search to "Special Collections : Original Collection."


Cynthia Cary Collection

In 1981, the Redwood Library received the Cynthia Cary Collection from Guy Fairfax Cary, Jr., in memory of his mother. Collected over decades by Mr. and Mrs. Guy Fairfax Cary, Sr., devoted benefactors of Redwood who were passionately interested in 18th century English decorative arts, the Cary Collection contains nearly 200 English and related continental pattern books of furniture, decoration, and ornament from the late 15th century to the mid-19th century.

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