Phillips Library of Rare Books & Manuscripts
Named for one of its main contributors, Miss Helen Phillips, the Phillips Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts was made possible in 1969 by a generous donation of her own rare books collection to the College of Saint of Elizabeth. Miss Phillips was a 1923 CSE graduate and subsequent educator and founder/director of the United States Army Signal Corps Museum in New Jersey. The Phillips Library of Rare Books includes many books acquired while she lived and worked in Florence, Italy, but may be most distinctly unique for the De Witt atlas, actually a book of maps drawn up in Amsterdam in the mid-1600s, but purchased in Italy and eventually physically restored there as well.
The antique furniture was also donated by Miss Phillips, which gives the rare book room a museum-like feel that is warmed by the dark tone and style of the furniture and banquet table, Hepplewhite rush-bound chairs, and many bookcases lining its walls. Large hand fans, distinctively-bound books, and religious figurines from Asia depicting the Virgin Mary contribute to the room's unique appeal which literally blends documents from the west with art from the east.
In addition, Mrs. Anne Fox Wolf (CSE 1909) donated more than 2000 books in 1978, a collection featuring many signed first editions. Other individuals with generous spirits and an interest in the beauty and intangible quality of books, have donated volumes to the collection.
The Phillips Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts is located on Mahoney Library's second floor and may be viewed at all times behind large glass windows. For information please contact the library at (973) 290-4237.