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Department of Special Collections




The Department of Special Collections in the Connelly Library houses a diverse range of materials, from 15th-century illuminated devotionals to subject collections treating contemporary social issues. Bodies of work include literature, music, films, art, archival material, and ephemera. Our collections explore a variety of themes in aural, narrative, and illustrative forms. Special Collections maintains a focus on acquiring, cataloging, and housing unique material that is tied to pedagogy and is freely available to researchers. We are a proud member of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries.




The Department of Special Collections is located on the second floor of Connelly Library and is open to the La Salle University community and external researchers. We provide one-on-one research assistance to our visitors.  Please contact Dr. Heather Willever-Farr ( to set up a research appointment.

Copying and Digital Reproductions

To obtain copies (digital or hardcopy) of Special Collections material for educational or research purposes, please contact the Special Collections Librarian ( Reproductions of certain material may be prohibited because of restrictions imposed by donors, physical condition, or copyright status. 

Those wishing to publish content contained in La Salle’s Special Collections should contact the Special Collections Librarian for further information and permission. Publishing of certain material may be prohibited because of restrictions imposed by donors or copyright status. 

On-site researchers may take photographs of Special Collections material for educational or research purposes with the permission of the Special Collections Librarian.

Teaching and Learning

Special Collection's unique or rare historic material has been leveraged to facilitate active learning experiences in an array of La Salle undergraduate and graduate courses, from science to literature courses. Special Collections staff collaborate with faculty to provide orientations to the collections, as well as hands-on learning activities to engage students in critical thinking. Please contact Dr. Heather Willever-Farr  ( to learn more about Special Collections teaching and learning opportunities for your courses.

Collection Highlights

Susan Dunleavy Collection of Biblical Literature Online

View rare bibles and prayer books from the Library's collection online through our partnership with Villanova.

Villanova Digital Library

Vietnam Generation Online

Published between 1989 and 1996, Vietnam Generation served as a premier source of essays, artwork, poetry and other materials for the field of Vietnam War studies.

Vietnam Generation cover

Devotion: An Iconography of the Life of Jesus

This exhibition presents a study of illustrations from the Connelly Library’s collection of rare Bibles and prayer books.

Philadelphia in the Civil War

This exhibition features historic images of the sites and citizens of Philadelphia during the period of the Civil War, with specific focus on the individuals who lived on the land where La Salle University now stands.

Jane Irish: War Is Not What You Think

Irish has been drawing visual inspiration and historical research contexts the Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War Collection for the past 10 years.