Trexler Library Special Collections

The Special Collections Department of Trexler Library is the repository for the College's collections of rare books, manuscripts, maps, and ephemera, as well as material relating to the College's history.

Office Hours

Monday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Please feel free to contact us to make an inquiry or an appointment.

phone: 484-664-3694

Special Collections on Instagram

High spots, memories, and oddities collected through Muhlenberg College's history.

View All or Follow Us

Abram Samuels Sheet Music Collection

This marvelous collection, gifted to Muhlenberg College in 1991, contains more than 31,000 pieces of American popular music published between 1900-1965.

All the pieces in the collection can be searched by title in the Library Catalog (for example, "Sunrise, Sunset"). Additionally, pieces for 34 individual composers are searchable by the composer’s name (ex., Rodgers, Richard). Finally, pieces from a number of well-known Broadway musicals are now searchable through the musical name, in the title field (ex., "Annie Get Your Gun").

Muhlenberg College Collection

This collection contains the published works of the College (Muhlenberg Weekly, Ciarla, student handbooks, ephemera, etc.) It includes faculty and alumni publications and faculty dissertations. There is also a collection of Audio-Visual materials pertaining to the history of the College, including the John S. Davidson Oral History Project.

Muhlenberg Weekly Online

Muhlenberg’s student newspaper The Muhlenberg Weekly is now available online. Since 1883, the Weekly has covered Muhlenberg’s academic, social, and sporting activities. Relive your days as a 'Berg student by searching through the years you attended, or experience history through the changing fonts, fashions, and unique perspectives of generations of Muhlenberg students.

The Paul McHale Papers

This collection documents the congressional work of Paul McHale (1950-), U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 15th district from 1993-1998.

The collection is currently being processed.

Pennsylvania German Collection

This collection includes books, periodicals, recordings and ephemera relating to the Pennsylvania German language, history and culture. It is a representative collection of the first one hundred years of German-language printing in America (1748-1848). Included in this collection are the Muhlenberg Papers, consisting of materials by and about the members of the Muhlenberg Family, 1770-1850. Uncataloged material in this collection includes examples of fraktur, autograph material from various members of the Muhlenberg family, the Scott Brenner broadside collection, and WPA plates of ornamental ironwork. The Heinrich Kelz subject bibliography, available in the reference collection, indexes the Pennsylvania German Collection up to 1968.

Rare Book Collection

This collection includes rare books, first editions, and autographed editions. A selection of Oxyrhynchus Papyri is in the rare book collection, as is Edward S. Curtis' The North American Indian. Uncataloged items in this collection include the Henry O. Knerr Autograph Collection, cuneiform tablets, and miscellaneous autograph letters.

Ray R. Brennen Map Collection

The gift of Ray R. Brennen, Class of 1935, this collection is comprised of maps, atlases, land deeds, and books on cartography. Many of the sixty maps and atlases date to the late 18th century and represent the work of some of the finest mapmakers in Europe and America. Included in the gift are five parchment land deeds signed by William Penn or his sons, and one signed by Benedict Leonard Calvert, Lord Baltimore. The gift also includes Lewis Evans' series of Maps of the Middle British Colonies in America, published in London in 1755, and Thomas Pownall's Topographical Description of Such Parts of North America and The American Military Pocket Atlas, both published in 1776. Several large, framed 19th century maps of Allentown and Lehigh County are a part of the collection.

Robert C. Horn Papyri Collection

This collection of thirty-six pieces of Greek papyri illustrates the variety of types of documents found in the early 20th century excavation at Oxyrhynchus (in present day Egypt). Please request an appointment to view this collection.

View the digital collection

Sam Stovall Collection

This collection of rock and roll music on 45 rpm recordings was donated to the library by H. Samuel Stovall, Class of 1977. The recordings have been indexed by the donor by title, and are arranged by artist.

Equipment to listen to the collection is available in the Special Collections office. Recordings may be transferred to cassette tape upon request.

Access Policy and Procedures Governing Use

The Special Collections are available for use by Muhlenberg College students, faculty, staff, and persons with a reasonable need to use the materials. The Special Collections office is located on Level B of Trexler Library, to the left when you come off the elevator.

Special Collections materials are non-circulating. Certain exceptions may be made if the condition of the material will allow circulation, and the need for use warrants it. Nothing circulates from the collections via Interlibrary Loan, with the exception of faculty dissertations in the M.C. Collection. Some materials have microform editions or circulating copies. Patrons will be referred to these first.

To use Special Collections materials, the patron must come to the office and fill out a Special Collections Call Slip. Copies of the Call Slip are also available at the Reference Desk. The Special Collections Librarian will retrieve the material requested; patrons generally are not permitted access to Special Collections storage areas. All materials must be used in the Special Collections office, and must be handled with great care. Only pencils and loose leaf paper will be allowed at the study desk. Food and drink are not permitted. The Library reserves the right to refuse any copying request if it is not in the best interest of the preservation of the material.

Most of the Special Collections material is catalogued and can be found on-line in the Trexler Library Catalog. Uncataloged items, such as faculty journal articles, realia, ephemera, and audio visual materials in the Muhlenberg College and Pennsylvania German Collections are also available for research. For more information on the Collections, see the specific collection web page, speak with the Special Collections Librarian, or look at the Special Collections notebook at the Reference Desk.