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English & French Literature and Languages

Special Collections has particular strengths in early editions of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction, serials, and pamphlets.  The collection has a complete run of the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731-1922) and long runs of the Annual Register, the Monthly Review, and the London Magazine. Significant holdings of French periodicals include long runs of the Journal des sçavans, the Journal de Verdun, and the Mercure de France.  There are also strengths in materials related to individual authors, especially Rudyard Kipling in first editions and Mark Twain, and in popular literature.

How to Use the Collection

With a few exceptions, the collections can be accessed and requested through the library catalog. Finding aids for individual collections are linked on this website. Materials are available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours. Materials do not circulate. 

Finding Aids for English & French Literature and Languages

Center for the Literary Arts Collection.


Scope and Contents These materials were donated to the University of Missouri Libraries by the Center for the Literary Arts in 2006. The materials…

Dime Novels.


Dime novels were published from the middle nineteenth century through the early twentieth century and were largely pulp fiction aimed at a…

Frank Luther Mott Collection of American Best Sellers, 1662-1945.


Scope and Contents The earliest book Mott considered for inclusion was Michael Wigglesworth'sThe Day of Doom(Cambridge: Samuel Green, 1662), and the…

Helen Montgomery Jenkins Collection.


Biographical Note Helen Montgomery Jenkins (1913-2013) was born in Topeka, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in…

Historic Textbook Collection.


Scope and Contents The books are useful today as a survey of pedagogical methods and contents as well as a portrayal of the American popular mind of…

Literary and Historical Manuscripts


Special Collections holds modern manuscript materials in the form of books, correspondence, and personal papers. These materials were collected at…

Mary Lago Collection.

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Biographical Sketch Mary McClelland Lago (1919-2001) was on the University of Missouri Department of English faculty from 1977 to 1991. From 1989…

Rare Books


The Rare Books Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

Walter Williams Library.


Historical Note Walter Williams (1864-1935) was President of the University of Missouri from 1930 – 1935 and served as Dean of the School of…

William Least Heat-Moon Papers.

Scope and Contents Material by Wililam Least Heat-Moon (b. 1939). Manuscripts and additional materials from the following books: PrairyErth (A…

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Leaders and Heroes

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Every age, every race, has its leaders and heroes. ~ Ohíye S’a (Charles A. Eastman) Libraries tend to hold those materials that...

Children's Literature in Special Collections

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"Children's Literature: Selections from the Special Collections Department of Ellis Library" was originally an exhibit mounted in the Ellis Library...

Selected Items

Coyote / by Mark Twain ; frontispiece Don Hildreth.


"Coyote is an excerpt from 'Roughing it.'"
"126 copies were printed--100 are numbered and 26 are lettered A thru Z."--Colophon.
MU: Library has copy…

Fragment from Chaucer's Boece, Book II, Prose 8.


Provenance: John Bagford (1650s-1716) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields; sale 1861 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, n.15758; his sale 22 May, 1913, lot 742; Sir…

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