Skillman Library at Lafayette College by Alisa Banks

Lafayette College is located in Easton, PA, about an hour or so from Philadelphia. The rare book collection of Skillman Library at Lafayette is home to over 15,000 volumes of printed objects including works about its namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette, slavery and abolition, angling, and artist books. The collection also includes early editions of works by Stephen Crane, who spent a semester at the college, and miniature books.

The artist book collection is diverse, with subjects including but not limited to the environment, books on race relations, alphabet books, books featuring photography, and books on women and gender. There appears to be limited on-line access to the artist books - but one can view the holdings in the on-line catalog. I was able to pull up my book Rosenwald, which is in their collection. Skillman also does a good job explaining their collections, how to search the collection, and discussing visiting etiquette. Skillman library holds exhibits of their collection and announces them on-line. Synopses of past exhibits can also be viewed.

I wish I’d known about Skillman Library years ago when my sister and her family lived outside of Philadelphia. I really enjoyed my visits there, and if ever there’s an occasion to return, I will be planning a visit to Easton!