The Lewis & Clark rare books and manuscripts collections are home to a wide range of rare and fragile books that have been acquired by the College since its founding in 1867. While these books do not fit into any one category, some interesting titles include: The Ellesmere Chaucer ca. 1400, in facsimile; History of Polybius (1574); History of the Western Empire from 570 to 1200 (1584); China Monumentis by Athanasius Kircher (1667); a set of the socialist journal New Masses (1939-40); the works of the American Western painter George Catlin; the report of the Charles Wilkes Expedition (1849); the ethnographic reports of Henry Schoolcraft (1851); Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color (1963); the publications of the Quivira Society; a variety of California fine press printing by Grabhorn, John Henry Nash, Colt Press, Ward Ritchie, Adrian Wilson, Centaur Press, and the Book Club of California; and a number of bibliographies. The collections include the highlights from the library of John and Laree Caughey (books relating to California and the Pacific), and books from the library of Francis D. Haines, a scholar of the role of the horse in American Indian culture.
In addition to the rare book collections, Lewis & Clark Special Collections and Archives posses several renown archival manuscript collections including the William Stafford Archives, the Karl Marlantes Papers, the John Callahan Literary Collection, the Women in Oregon / Abigail Scott Duniway Collection, one of the world’s most complete collections of printed materials on the Lewis & Clark Expedition, as well as extensive holdings on pacifism and the World War II Civilian Public Service programs.