Rauner Special Collections Library Celebrates 25 Years

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Workshops and panels highlighted the gems in Rauner’s collection, and their continued relevancy.

The Rauner Special Collections Library was created after Diana Rauner and Bruce Rauner ’78 donated $5 million in 1996 to renovate Webster Hall so that it could house special collections held by Dartmouth.

What is now known as Rauner opened in 1998 and was dedicated in April 1999, and Dartmouth Libraries last week celebrated the 25th anniversary by highlighting some of the items in the collection. They include a miniature collection of Shakespeare’s complete works, documents about Dartmouth’s history, and even the papers and typewriter of Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather, which the Rauners donated to Dartmouth in 2018.

Bruce Rauner, who worked in private equity and then served as the Republican governor of Illinois from 2015 to 2019, returned to Dartmouth last week to join in the celebration.


Jay Satterfield
Head of Special Collections at Rauner Jay Satterfield displays a book from a miniature collection of Shakespeare’s complete works, housed in a box made of wood from the Bard’s house. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Sarah Storms
Jones Memorial Digital Media Fellow Sarah Storms ’23 tries out Mario Puzo’s typewriter as part of Rauner Library’s 25th anniversary celebration. Puzo used the typewriter to write parts of The Godfather, and the sessions were so popular that it will remain available for typing a quick missive in Rauner’s reading room for a few more weeks. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Julia Abbott takes a photo on her iPhone
Julia Abbott ’26 photographs a miniature biography of Calvin Coolidge, one of many miniatures in the Rauner collection. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
People touching a book
Students and visitors were encouraged to touch the books on display, making the collection objects of study and participation, not just relics. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Miniature books
A selection from the collection of miniature books held by Rauner Library. The topmost tiny Quran even comes with its own magnifying glass locket. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner ’78, a former governor of Illinois, was there to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the library with the faculty and staff he said make Dartmouth so special. (Photo by Robert Gill)
Sarah Smith
Book Arts Workshop Program Manager Sarah Marcella Parella shows attendees how to properly hold a quill. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Quill and ink writing of "April showers bring May flowers"
Participants write with quill and ink during a session in the Book Arts Workshop, part of Rauner Library’s 25th anniversary celebration. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Person writing with quill and ink
Parchment options included goat and calf skins, on which participants wrote with inks that ranged from iron gall to handmade walnut ink to a Kosher gall. They also could use a commercially made calligraphy ink. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Person writing in quill and ink.
Professor Emerit Deborah King speaks about her research on Jane Wentworth and the Dartmouth Slavery Project, which relied upon Rauner’s vast collection of documents. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Noah Skogerboe
Media Collection and Preservation Librarian Noah Skogerboe explains how he captures analog materials for digital access. (Photo by Robert Gill)
Deborah Howe
Collections Conservator Deborah Howe elaborates on the different adhesives used in mending worn or damaged books in Dartmouth’s ‘book hospital’ below Baker-Berry Library. (Photo by Robert Gill)
Gina Barreca
Gina Barreca ’79 delivers the keynote address for Rauner’s 25th anniversary celebrations, elaborating on her love for research, libraries, and the importance of a tactile experience with books. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Jay Satterfield and Gina Barreca
Rauner Head of Special Collections Jay Satterfield crowns Gina Barreca ’79 “Queen of the Snows,” at her request. The crowning of the Winter Carnival queen was a big deal in the days before coeducation at Dartmouth. Barreca is a humorist, best-selling author, and English professor at University of Connecticut. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)
Nathalia Whitecap, Juliette Thron, and Abigail Dollries
Nathalia Whitecar and Guarini students Juliette Thron and Abigail Dollries peruse some of the many books brought out from Rauner’s Special Collection during the Teaching at Rauner panel. (Photo by Robert Gill)