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Special Collections and Rare Books: Downing Collection

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About the Collection

The Downing Collection, gathered and donated by the Rev. J. Kenneth Downing, is in four parts. The first group is folio-sized publications of the writings of the Fathers of the Church dating from the 1500 to 1700's. The second is a collection of some 800 parchment indentures, wills, and other legal documents written between 1597 and 1895. The documents are on parchment or paper and range in size from 4 x 12 inches to large folded documents 20 x 36 inches. Most of these are in English and some are in Latin. The third is a collection of ancient Greek and Roman coins. The final piece is a significant collection of encyclopedias, beginning with Pierre Bayle's Dictionnaire Historique et Ctritique, published in 4 folio volumes in 1702, and continuing through the 19th century.