See Some of Our Collection Strengths Below
Fifteenth Century Printed Books
Bryn Mawr holds one of the country’s largest incunable collections of books printed in Europe during the half-century between the invention of printing and 1500.
An enormous collection of 19th and 20th-century works for young readers was bequeathed to the College by Ellery Yale Wood (Class of 1952). They number over 17,000 volumes.
European and American Global Travel Accounts
The library has an extensive collection of printed European and American accounts of travel to the rest of the world.
Bryn Mawr established one of the first independent archaeology departments in America and the earliest donation to the collection in 1901 included an important group of Greek vases. The anthropology collections were established in the 1950s and 1960s and include significant artifacts from North, Central, and South America, Africa, Asia, and prehistoric Europe.
Bryn Mawr has built extensive collections on (predominantly white) women writers, artists, and activists, as well as collections that document women’s daily lives.
Our collections include European iIlustrated books dating from the 15th century to the present about natural history, travel, classical antiquities, and daily life.
Works on Paper by Women
Significant recent gifts from Margaret Healy, as well as Jacqueline and Howard Levine combine with the William and Uytendale Scott Memorial Study Collection to total at least 550 works of art on paper by women artists. These gifts enhanced collections that already boasted works by Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Laurencin among others.
Literature, Theater and Art
Papers of American and British writers, artists, and theater producers. Poetry and novels by women writers since the 16th century.
The photography collection was born in the late 19th century from those photographs used in the study of subjects ranging from art history to geology. Since then it has grown to include late-19th and early-20th century fine art photography by Thomas Eakins, Walker Evans, Lewis Hines, and Lotte Jacobi, among others. More recent acquisitions include contemporary photographers Kris Graves, Jessica Todd Harper, Toshio Shibata, Meike Nixdorf, and Myra Greene.
Sande Society Masks
Bryn Mawr has a large collection of Sande Society masks. Such masks are worn and danced by West African women during ceremonies that mark significant cultural events.
Paintings (late 19th - mid 20th centuries)
The College's painting collection boasts fine portraits by John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, and Violet Oakley, as well as other works by Rosa Bonheur, Cecilia Beaux, Romare Bearden, Milton Avery, and Susan MacDowell Eakins.