Skip Navigation

special collection

Special Collections and University Archives

Rare Book Collections

The general rare books collection includes works on all topics, but is particularly strong in the areas of book and printing history and early or rare religious texts. First editions of prominent works are also included here. Specific highlights include a 1560 edition (the first) of the Geneva Bible, a 1560 French translation of Virgil's Aeneid, a 1604 edition of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, a 1743 Saur Bible (first Bible printed in a European language in America), and first editions of Hemingway novels. A number of the titles also focus on California and American history. Topical and named collections are listed in alphabetical order below.

Churches of Christ Heritage Center Books
The Heritage Center includes both historical and modern books related to the history of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and the Churches of Christ. More information about the Heritage Center can be found here.

Fine Press Books
The Fine Press Books collection includes approximately 220 titles that were produced on fine or small presses, many of them in California. It includes books from Grabhorn Press, the Book Club of California, the Zamorano Club, Melville Press, Ninja Press, and Ward Ritchie Press. Research topics represented in this collection include book arts, graphic design, typography, creative writing, and artistic collaborations.

Helen Pepperdine Collection of Children's Books
This collection includes over 400 children's books, most of which were collected and donated by Helen Pepperdine, the wife of university founder, George Pepperdine. Many of these books are works of fiction, including several first editions. Some historic school books are also included.

Holy Land Collection
This collection was purchased from the Minnesota Historical Society and includes books about Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and other areas within the Holy Land region. Most of these books are from the 19th century.

Library Events
This collection includes signed copies of books authored by library speakers.

Malibu Historical Collection Books
The Malibu Historical Collection includes both historical and modern books about Malibu. More information about the Malibu Historical Collection can be found here.

Metcalf Collection of Books on T.E. Lawrence
The Metcalf collection includes approximately 400 titles by and about T.E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, that were donated to Pepperdine in 1986 by Edwards Huntington Metcalf (1911-2001), a T.E. Lawrence admirer and collector, and a Pepperdine University Board member. The books in the collection provide context for understanding the life and influence of T.E. Lawrence, and include books on travel, exploration, and military activity in the Middle East.

Mlynarski Collection of Books on 19th-Century Paris
The Mlynarski Collection includes approximately 800 titles related to daily life and culture in 19th-century Paris, donated to Pepperdine by silent film-era actress Doris Kenyon Mlynarski. The books are in French and English. Some of the research topics represented include theatre, music, literature, fashion, design, recreation, etiquette, and food. Many of the titles exist in very few libraries outside of France.

Saint John's Bible
The Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible is a seven-volume fine art reproduction of a 21st-century hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. One volume is on display in the library lobby, and the other volumes are available for viewing in the Special Collections. More information about the Saint John's Bible at Pepperdine can be found here.

Sigma Tau Delta Collection of Rare Books and First Editions
The books in this collection have been selected, purchased, and donated by the members of the Pepperdine chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. A list of these books can be found here.

University Archives Books Collection
The University Archives includes books about the university's history to complement the archival collections.