Special Collections

Goucher College's Special Collections houses more than 15,000 rare books.  These books are considered rare due to their importance, scarcity, age, condition, provenance, subject matter, or aesthetic properties.  The manuscript collections include unpublished materials such as letters, diaries, institutional records, photographs, audio recordings, ephemera, and other primary source and rare materials. If you find books or collection materials you would like to view please contact archives@goucher.edu or 410-337-6075 to discuss your research interest.

Rare Book Collection

Goucher College's rare book collection is home to subjects including English and European literary works, theater and costume, dance and dance history, fine press books and artist's books, first editions of Mark Twain and Aldous Huxley, and Maryland history. The James Wilson Bright and Jane Austen collections comprise the two largest collections.


James Wilson Bright Collection

The James Wilson Bright Collection, containing over 4,000 volumes, is one of our two largest collections.  It contains early printed editions of English and European works relating to Anglo-Saxon literature and English philology from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. 


Jane Austen Collection

One of our most famous and largest collections is the Jane Austen Collection which includes all of Austen's first British and American editions as well as rare editions, foreign language translations, and related books about Austen's life and times. There are thousands of titles from the English Regency period including many celebrated illustrated works by Humphry Repton and Thomas Rowlandson, and other important works from that period.


Instructions on how to search for rare books can be found here.

Manuscript Collections

The manuscript collections in Goucher's Special Collections are comprised of original and rare monographs, newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, sheet music, personal papers, and institutional records. Many of our collections are organized and have a completed finding aid.  A finding aid is a tool used to describe manuscript collections and generally includes a brief biography of the subject along with a detailed inventory of the collection.  To learn more about finding aids visit https://youtu.be/IQa_bsTLjp0. A listing of our manuscript collections by subject are below.

Jane Austen Collections

Dance and Theatre Collections

Politics and Activism Collections

Baltimore Collections

Historical Collections

Goucher Faculty Collections

Goucher Alumnae/i Collections

Vertical Files


Special Collections and Archives keeps subject and individual files on events, themes, and persons connected with Goucher College.  There are files for many faculty as well as alumnae/i. The collection also includes files on Jane Austen, dance, coeducation, social justice, Baltimore history, and women's rights.

Please contact archives@goucher.edu to see if there is a file for a specific person or event.


Contact Information

For general information or to schedule an appointment, please call 410-337-6075.
Please submit reference/research inquiries to archives@goucher.edu.