May 20, 2022

Research Libraries: University of Waterloo’s Rare Book Collection Includes Centuries-Old Treasures

The University of Waterloo Library in Waterloo, Ontario is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).


Jessica Blackwell looks at a book about Euclidian geometry that was printed in 1570. It features pop-ups that give the Greek mathematician’s ideas three dimensional shapes, and she gushes like an adoring fan.

“This one is my favourite. It’s my baby,” said Blackwell, librarian for the University of Waterloo’s special collections and archives.

That’s saying a lot when you work with 80,000 old books and periodicals dating back to 1493.

In the basement of the Dana Porter Library there are 7,000 linear feet of materials shelved in a special room where the temperature and humidity are carefully controlled.


For Nick Richbell, the head of the university’s special collections and archives, there is nothing better than taking a phone call from someone who wants to donate their grandparents’ papers, records, artifacts and books to the archives.

“I love it, for me the best part of the job is working with donors, seeing what they have,” said Richbell.

Read the Complete Article (1647 words)

See Also: University of Waterloo Digitizing Many of its Archive (via

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.