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Pages from the Past: original leaves from rare books and manuscripts

Identifier: 05-exws_pages

Scope and Contents

Pages from the Past leaf books were sold as six different collections with three different releases (18 total sets were sold in editions of varying numbers) between 1964-1966. These were all compiled and sold by the Washington DC-based dealer, Alfred W. Stites of Foliophiles, Inc., who had dismembered original printings and manuscripts specifically for the purpose of selling them in these "portfolio sets", as he referred to them. Western Michigan University Libraries is one of a number of institutions who obtained a set. WMU's set was donated by Mrs. Donald Gilmore of Kalamazoo and is from the first release of 1964, Set I: "The History of the Written Word", numbered 10 in an edition of 20. It contains 149 items, which include a Babylonian cuneiform tablet, leaves of handwritten manuscript codices, as well as leaves of incunabula, Hand Press Period books and newspapers, as well as nineteenth century books. The materials in this collection date from between 2500 BCE and 1894 CE.


  • Creation: 2500 BCE-1894 CE
  • Other: Majority of material found in Bulk 1500-1800 CE

Conditions Governing Access

WMU Special Collections. Non-circulating. Contact department for access.


4 boxes

Language of Materials



Primarily individual leaves from European or Near Eastern manuscripts or printed books, but also contains leaves from newspapers, pamphlets, as well as several ancient Near and Middle Eastern artifacts, including a Babylonian cuneiform tablet and cylinder seal.

Method of Acquisition

Donated by Mrs. Donald Gilmore.

Related Materials

Pages from the Past: Original leaves from Rare Books and Manuscripts; Manuscript Group 178. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Special Collections and University Archives. View Finding Aid.

Pages From the Past: Original Leaves From Rare Books and Manuscripts Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives. View Finding Aid.

Pages from the Past Collection. University of Missouri Libraries, RARE FOLIO Z113 .P3 Box 1-4, Oversized. View Finding Aid. Digitized Collection.

Physical Description

Consists of four custom-made, tray-style archival boxes (approximately 8 linear feet) containing loose leaves in Melinex sleeves or encased artifacts. Each item is accompanied by the vendor's original description.

Pages from the Past Finding Aid
Original leaves from rare books and manuscripts
Laura Cook and Neil Chase
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490