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!