The Collections: Guide to the Collections: Introduction
At the time of its dedication on October 3, 1960, the Lilly Library's holdings, numbering more than 75,000 books and 1,500,000 manuscripts, represented the combined resources of the University Library's Department of Special Collections and the private library of J. K. Lilly, Jr., given to the University in 1956 and 1957. In the intervening years its holdings have grown to nearly 400,000 books, over 100,000 pieces of sheet music, and more than 6,500,000 manuscripts.
Materials in the Library range from major rare books such as the New Testament of the Gutenberg Bible, the four Shakespeare folios, and Audubon's Birds of America, to famous individual manuscripts such as George Washington's letter accepting the presidency of the United States, Robert Burns's "Auld Lang Syne," and J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, to extensive special collections in a wide variety of fields.
The Guide to the Collections provides short introductions to particular segments of the collections. Visit the Collections page or contact the Lilly Library Public Services Deparment for information on the many important materials in the Lilly Library that are not described here.