Special Collections

The J.R.R. Tolkien Collection

Marquette owns many published and unpublished manuscripts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work relating to his life and fantasy writings, including working papers for his three well-known novels:

  • The Hobbit (1937)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham (1949)
  • The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), including original holographs, typescripts and galley sheets with numerous holograph corrections.

Dorothy Day - Catholic Worker Collection

The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Collection is housed in Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries. In 2008, Marquette University Press published The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day, a 700-plus page, fully indexed compilation of the personal diaries of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and one of the most influential lay people in the history of American Catholicism. the diaries show the human, everyday side of Day, beginning in 1934 and continuing until a few days before her death in 1980. Marquette’s archival staff selected Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, to edit the Day diaries. He was selected for his publishing expertise and for knowing Day during the last five years of her life.

The collection includes:

  • Personal papers of Day and Maurin and others involved in the movement
  • Records of past and present Catholic Worker communities
  • Photographs
  • Audio and videotapes of interviews, speeches, television programs and peace demonstrations
  • Variety of publications

Early Printed Works

More than 6,000 titles comprise Marquette’s rare book collection, including such topics as Jesuit history, Catholic theology, the exploration of North America, early 20th century American and British literature and the history of typography. Printed works include:

  • 1473 edition of St. Augustine’s De Civitate Dei;
  • 15th century two-volume edition of the old Testament;
  • 12-volume set of antiphonals (illuminated manuscript choir books), completed in 1562;
  • The Triad of Miracle Workers: St. Patrick, St. Columba and St. Brigid of Ireland from 1640;
  • The Plain Path to Christian Perfection from 1774 and
  • Many important works about Jesuit missionary activities dating back to 1618.

Catholic Native America Collections

Through the efforts of the Society of Jesus and other religious orders, the Catholic Church evangelized America’s native peoples on an extraordinary scale resulting in extensive documentation of their languages, histories and cultures.

Mindful of its mission as a Catholic university and recognizing the value and preservation needs of these unique church resources, Marquette has made a special commitment to preserve these materials.

Most notable records are:

  • The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the Tekakwitha Conference, two organizations of national and international scope
  • Holy Rosary Mission – Red Cloud Indian School and St. Francis Mission, two Jesuit missions in South Dakota