Special Collections

The Vaughan Memorial Library's Special Collections at Acadia University has been built up over the past 175+ years by purchase, gift and bequeath. Many of these books are of a rare or unique nature and require special care and handling. Special Collections is comprised of various smaller collections that encompass a wide range of topics, but is particularly rich in 19th century Canadiana, Atlantic Canadian and Baptist history, and Acadia University publications.

The Vaughan Memorial Library's Special Collections are searchable through our library catalogue

Explore select digitized Special Collections material on our Digital Collections page

Special Collections are interested in reviewing material for potential donation. Please see the Library website for more information.

Learn more about the smaller collections within Special Collections:

Annapolis Valley Collection

This collection is an exhaustive collection of all monographs, serials, newspapers and ephemera relating to the geographic area known as the Annapolis Valley. It includes items published in the Annapolis Valley or elsewhere relating to the historical, social, economic, literary and current state of the Valley. This collection does not include provincial or federal government documents. The Annapolis Valley is defined for this purpose as the area extending from the boundary of the Municipality of West Hants in the east to the western boundary of the Municipality of the District of Digby in the west. It therefore includes all of the counties of Kings and Annapolis bounded on the north by the Bay of Fundy, on the south by the Lunenburg and Queens County lines, and portions of Hants and Digby Counties as described.

Eric R. Dennis Collection

This is a significant collection of mid 18th to early 20th century Canadian materials with an emphasis on historical, political, literary, and religious monographs and serials. It was collected by Major J. Plimsoll Edwards and sold to Acadia in 1917. The bulk of the purchase price was subsequently paid by the Dennis family of Halifax on the condition that the collection be renamed to honour their son, Captain Eric R. Dennis, a former Acadia student who was killed at Vimy Ridge. A Catalogue of the Eric R. Dennis Collection of Canadiana in the Library of Acadia University was published in 1938.

Watson Kirkconnell Collection

This collection, the private library of Dr. Watson Kirkconnell, ninth President of Acadia University came to Acadia upon his death in 1977. A Milton scholar and translator of many poetic literatures (Icelandic, Hungarian, Polish, and Ukrainian amongst others), Kirkconnell was a founder of the Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Baptist Federation of Canada. This collection of monographs and serials exemplifies Kirkconnell's broad interests.

John Daniel Logan Collection

This collection was assembled by J.D. Logan and presented to Acadia between 1918 and 1930. It consists of late 19th and early 20th century Canadian literature with an emphasis on poetry. In 1923 Dr. Kenneth G.T. Webster, a Dalhousie and Harvard classmate of Logan, began to regularly donate Canadian literature to the Logan Collection to honour his friendship and admiration for Dr. Logan.

William Inglis Morse Collection

A collection of 17th, 18th, and 19th century works assembled by William Inglis Morse, an Acadia graduate of the Class of 1897, and donated to Acadia between 1926 and 1931. The Morse collection was divided between Acadia, Dalhousie and Harvard. A catalogue for the Acadia portion was published in 1931.

Jarold K. Zeman Collection

This collection, donated to Acadia in 1991, consists of the private library of Jarold Knox Zeman, Professor of Church History at Acadia Divinity College and a significant Canadian Baptist leader. It includes monographs, serials and pamphlets relating to the Hussite and Anabaptist movements in Europe, and many works on North American Baptist history.

Acadiana Collection

This collection contains materials relating to all aspects of Acadia University. Publications in all formats by or about the University and its faculty are included. Serials and newsletters produced by the University are also included.

Acadia Theses

This collection consists of the print copies of Acadia University honours and graduate theses.

Baptist Collection

This collection contains published material relating to the Baptist denomination in Atlantic Canada. The Baptist denomination includes all of the former branches of the denomination that presently exist in the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada. Serials, newsletters, and newspapers produced by the denomination and its various agencies are included in this collection.

Bible/Hymnbook Collection

This collection consists of Bibles and hymnbooks, mainly relating to the Baptist denomination, in various languages and editions.

Haliburton Collection

This collection consists of editions and imprints of the works of the 19th century Nova Scotian satirist Thomas Chandler Haliburton and biographical and critical material relating to his works.

Historic Textbook Collection

This collection consists of nearly 300 textbooks used in the public schools of Nova Scotia from the 1860s to the mid-1960s.

Rare Book Collection

Books in the Rare Book collection are books bearing a stated print run limitation of less than 500 copies, books printed before 1868 in what is now Canada and books printed outside Canada before 1850 that are pertinent to the research and teaching initiatives at Acadia and are not available through antiquarian book catalogues.