The Rare Book Collection contains collections of print material, each acquired by a single collector, named by or for the collector. Collections span the 15th to 21st centuries, but most collections date from the 19th through 21st centuries.
Image: The Wonder of Wonders, or The Remarkable Discovery of an American Hermit; Who Lived Upwards of 200 Years by James K. Remich. Printed in Kennebunk, Maine, 1815. Chapbook from the Albert A. Howard Book History Collection.
To get started searching our collections, see this Guide to Finding Materials in Special Collections.
Collections in Rare Books
Fred Anthoensen Memorial Collection
A collection of books and serials printed by The Anthoensen Press, named for its founder, donated over 1974-1985 by its secretary, Edward F. Dana, who sought to preserve the Press’s inhouse collection, after a fire 1970. The Anthoensen Press was a 20th-century small linotype press located in Portland, Maine. It published fine editions, and most of its titles were about the New England region. Titles date from the 1920s-80s.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Anthoensen.
Archives Print Collection
This Collection contains major publications by the University or its predecessors (Gorham Normal School; University of Maine, Gorham; University of Maine, Portland- Gorham; Portland Junior College; Portland University) such as yearbooks, catalogs, and newsletters. The Collection dates from the early 20th century to the present.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Archives.
John and Bonnie Fossett History of Nursing Collection
John Fossett, an alumnus of University of Maine Portland-Gorham (1973) and Bonnie Fossett, who both have master’s degrees in the health field, founded UHR Books in Hollis, Maine dealing in rare and out-of-print titles, with a specialty in nursing. They began donating books in 2011, adding titles in 2014 and 2018, creating a collection of memoirs and biographies of pioneers and leaders in American nursing, the history of nursing, early nursing theory, nursing education and practice, and examples of literary genres depicting nurses. The Collection includes the manuscript diary of a nursing student from the town of Mexico, Maine.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Fossett.
General Rare Book Collection
The bulk of this print collection has been attributed to a donation from E. (Edward) Grosvenor Plowman sometime after 1958 and before 1970. Plowman was a Lecturer in Business Administration at University of Maine, Portland and University of Maine, Portland-Gorham from 1965-1975. There are also books from the libraries on the Gorham campus, including the Gorham Normal School, based on bookplates found in volumes. Books are sporadically, but not methodically, added, including books on topics covered by the other book collections. The Collection spans the period 1650-2012, with the bulk of the titles being published between 1790 and 1940. The books cover a wide range of topics from American and New England history (the most common subjects) to language and literature, to political science.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix General.
Albert A. Howard Book History Collection
Albert A. Howard was a retired USM Rare Book Cataloger and Honorary Curator of Printed Books, who began donating his personal collection, amassed over a lifetime, in 2004, when the Special Collections facility was opened on the 6th floor of the Glickman Library. He continued to add to his collection over for the next two decades. This rare print Collection includes books, pamphlets, serials spanning the 15th to 21st centuries. It includes works of Bruce Rogers, Merrymount Press, W.A. Dwiggins, various small/fine presses, as well as reference books on such presses, printing ephemera, approximately 200 Greek and Latin books (primarily from the 16th-18th centuries), 19th century British and Americana chapbooks, and finely illustrated books reflecting Howard’s interests.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Howard.
Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts Collection
University of Southern Maine alumna Kate Cheney Chappell (’83), co-founder of Tom’s of Maine, studied book arts under well-known Maine book artist and USM emeritus professor Rebecca Goodale. A professional artist and book arts enthusiast, Chappell provided funds that established The Kate Cheney Chappell '83 Center for Book Arts at USM in 2008, with Goodale as program’s first coordinator. The Center for Book Arts Collection acquires artists’ books which support the academic mission of the Center as well as USM. Selection is by the Director of the Center advised by Kate Cheney Chappell Center for Book Arts Advisory Board. The Collection focuses on works by professional regional, national, and international artists. The Collection seeks unique works covering a range of forms and content by artists from diverse backgrounds and identities. There are also catalogs of the works of book artists.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Kate.
Shirley S. and Bernard Kazon Americana Collection
Bernard Kazon, vice president of Eastland Shoe Corp., collected political works of early America as well as documents related to slavery, sparked by a gift of political biographies from his wife, Shirley, and daughter. The Kazons donated their collection to USM in 1997. The Collection consists of printed items documenting American political history from the 18th-20th centuries, with the bulk dating from the 19th century concerning slavery and the civil war, including books, pamphlets, and broadsides.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Kazon.
Hugh Pendexter III Memorial Collection
Rebekah P. Tolle donated this Collection in 2014 in memory of Hugh Pendexter III, World War II naval veteran, author, Armstrong English professor Emeritus at University of Pennsylvania, and Christian Science Practitioner. The collection contains books of poetry published from 1896-1967 by Maine writers Robert P. Tristram Coffin and Edwin Arlington Robinson.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Pendexter.
Daphne and Heather Rees Collection of Books for Young Women
Heather Rees donated this Collection in 2014, contains over 100 titles of British and American adventure stories for girls, dating from 1862 to 1990.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Rees.
Chosen by Special Collections staff and purchased with Library funds, this Collection supports the department’s research collections. The Collection consists of twentieth and twenty-first century bibliographies, encyclopedias, manuals, and secondary works about the subjects represented in the department's collections. Topics include fine printing, American and British children's books, movable books, Maine African American, Judaica, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities, American political history, oral history, and archives/special collections librarianship.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Reference.
Edith C. Rice Collection of Children's Literature
In 1998, fulfilling a bequest of Barbara Winn Adams (1911-1997), USM alumna Susanna Adams (’77), donated her mother’s collection of children’s books. The Collection was named in memory of a children's librarian at Arlington, MA in the 1920s. The Collection consists primarily of early-to-mid 20th-century children's books, with some 19th-century books, mostly American and British, including folk tales and adolescent literature. It features 42 first editions.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Rice.
University of Southern Maine Textbook Collection
Part of this Collection is attributed to the E. (Edward) Grosvenor Plowman donation made sometime after 1958 and before 1970. Plowman was a Lecturer in Business Administration at University of Maine, Portland / University of Maine, Portland-Gorham from 1965-1975. Documents in office files indicate titles were also donated by Maine Historical Society in the early 1970s, as well as 22 books from College of Education and Human Resources in 1999. The Collection consists of textbooks used in K-12 schools printed primarily in the United States (mostly New York and Massachusetts) dating from the 18th to 20th centuries, with the bulk dating from the late 19th century. Many of the works have brief annotations, a name of a former owner and place, but a few have extensive notes
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Textbook.
Anne D. Williams Family Movable and Children's Book Collection
Anne D. Williams is Professor Emerita of Economics at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, who was interested in book illustration and paper engineering. The Collection dates from 1930s to the 2000s, but most of the books range from the 1980s and 1990s. The collection contains pop-up versions of well-known children’s books, environment, science, history, American contemporary culture, and artistic books. There are also instructional texts on creating movable books as well as a bibliography.
The LC call number for books in this collection includes the suffix Williams.