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The Foundations of our Special Collections: George M. Standish

April 16, 2009

Part one of a three part series

The core of Drexel University Libraries Special Collections consists of a several gifts of rare books donated to the Drexel Institute by Anthony J. Drexel, George W. Childs and George M. Standish.

Details about the life of Mr. Standish are scarce, but it seems he was a book trader active in Rome in the late 19th Century. He visited Drexel Institute as a lecturer on the history of the book and printing and in 1898 donated a collection of at least 150 books, including several incunabula (books published before 1500).

The books that Mr. Standish donated were used in the early years of the library school as practice in cataloging rare books, and later as examples for classes in the history of the book and the history of printing.

This collection reveals key developments in the techniques of printing, binding and book culture at large. It has been a source of great pride to the Drexel community and remains available to students and researchers interested in the field of book history. For details about the collection and to see specific books, contact the University Archives at