La Salle University

Connelly Library

1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
215-951-1285 voice
Hours: Online at

John S. Baky, Director of Libraries,

In addition to standard library fare, the Connelly Library at La Salle University also offers a series of special collections, which have been put together to facilitate the in-depth study of a number of topics:

First and foremost among these is the Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War collection, which, with more than 18,000 archived materials including 1200 novels, 2000 pieces of graphic art, and 1600 films, stands as the largest collection of its kind in the world. In a similarly related vein, we also offer two other primarily print-based collections entitled Imaginative Representations of the Holocaust and Imaginative Representations of Trauma. The materials archived in these three collections present a unique opportunity to witness and study the manner in which a culture’s perceptions and imaginative renderings of traumatic events, such as the Holocaust and Vietnam War, alter and continue to inform how those events are viewed years later.

Correlating nicely with the extensive collection of Vietnam War materials, we also offer the Life and Work of Bob Dylan collection, which contains about 1000 items, including biographies, printed music, lyrics, journals, numerous Ph.D. dissertations, and every known example of his recorded music in every format, and is believed to be the largest such collection in the country at an academic institution.

The library’s Special Collections also houses the Susan Dunleavy Collection of Biblical Literature, which was developed as a memorial to the life of a member of the La Salle community. The collection originally focused on early Bible illustration, particularly 16th century woodcut Bibles, but its aim was broadened over time to include other rare items, such as the first Bible printed in English (Coverdale, 1535), and “Breeches,” including the King James Bible (1611).

The remaining collections speak more specifically to La Salle’s Heritage and the history of the surrounding area. The Owen Wister and Family collection houses a wide variety of materials dedicated to the life, works, and correspondence of well–known author and prominent Philadelphian, Owen Wister. Being the 3rd largest collection of Wisteriana in the world, our collection is aptly located, as the Belfield estate, a one-time residence of the Wister family, makes up a prominent portion of the La Salle Campus. This estate—serving today as the official residence of the Presidents of La Salle University—was originally owned by Charles Willson Peale, American portrait painter. And finally, also associated with Belfield, we offer a collection of over 250 books, articles, and journals concerning the Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony that was performed in the tea house built upon the estate grounds.