at Grinnell College Special Collections & Archives

Month: April 2024

Incunabula at Grinnell Project

A resource site on incunabula in the holdings at Grinnell Special Collections is now LIVE! Incunabula (or incunables) are books printed using metal type in Western Europe between the 1450s, its invention, and 1500. Grinnell College Special Collections is home to twenty-two incunabula as of the spring of 2024. Fourteen of these titles were acquired with the Salisbury House Library Collection acquisition in 2019. Hosted on Scalar, this publicly accessible resource is designed for undergraduates and scholars new to book history to explore and learn about early printing and these rare examples in Grinnell’s collections. The start of a longterm project, forthcoming are digitized scans of the remaining titles, further research, and guides for scholars as well as updates to the international Incunabula Short Title Catalog (ISTC) Database and Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) Project databases. This project is among the first of a publicly accessible digital library of incunables at a liberal arts college, curated in collaboration with student scholars and hosting full digitization of these rare materials.

Explore Incunabula at Grinnell College

This project has been made possible through collaboration and support from the Grinnell Digital Liberal Arts Collaborative (DLAC)Vivero Digital Fellows Program, and facilitation by Special Collections & Archives, including our invaluable student staff and researchers who make this project possible. The 2023-2024 focus on this project began with a summer research project by Lu Johnston ’24 and Laura Michelson, Project Archivist.

Interested in learning more? Join us for an on campus talk Thursday April 25th!

Event Announcement: Book panel at Salisbury House!

The Magic of the Book

2024 panel on the Salisbury House Library Collection

hosted at historic Salisbury House & Gardens, 4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 

Sunday April 21, 2024 | 2pm doors open, 3pm panel and Q&A 

Join us for the second annual book talk in collaboration with the historic former home of this unique collection to learn more about the ongoing work with the Salisbury House Library Collection at Grinnell College Libraries. This event is FREE but RSVP’s are required as space is limited. Register at

The 2024 panel will be hosted by Project Archivist Laura Michelson and welcomes Lu Johnston ‘24, Professor Carolyn Jacobson, and Professor Erik Simpson to chat research in the collection on early printing, extra illustration, book history, and more, as well as interacting with the collection in the classroom, conservation updates, and beyond. Selections from the Library Collection will be on site for viewing.  

Note: This event will take place in the historic estate’s Common Room and is accessible by three steps. Accessible parking/drop off is located on the circle drive on the north side of the house. For questions on the facility, please email and for event questions, email

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