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Rare Books

Rare Book Division
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Curator of Rare Books

Presented by Bernhard K. Schaefer '20, the collection includes over 200 Lutheran pamphlets ranging in date from 1518-1560. Pieces represent the full range of Luther's printed works: sermons, devotional tracts, commentaries, controversial writings, and editions of the works of others, and represent over half of Luther's printed output (at least for the early years). For details see: E. Harris Harbison, "Luther Pamphlets" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 4 (Summer, 1956) pp. 265-267 [full text] .

Later (1967) Schaefer made a further gift of Lutheriana. About 170 items, it contained many highspots of the Schaefer collection.

The Schaefer collection emphasizes three aspects of Luther:


1. Luther's force as disputant, tractarian, and theologian.


2. Luther's importance as a translator of the Bible.

3. Luther's influence beyond central Europe, especially in America.


For further particulars refer to: Paul Wagner, "A Luther Exhibition. Selections from the gift of Bernhard K. Schaefer" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XXIX, 1 (Autumn, 1967) pp. 103-106 [full text] .

Benzing's Luther bibliography has been checked against the Princeton holdings; see: Josef Benzing. Lutherbibliographie. Verzeichnis der gedruckten Schriften Martin Luthers bis zu dessen Tod. (Baden-Baden, 1966) [(ExB) 3471.2.016].

Also not to be overlooked are Luther pamphlets mixed in with a collection of Reformation and pre-Reformation pamphlets acquired by the Library in the 1870's as part of the Trendelenburg Collection. A bibliographically detailed listing as well as an historical account of these pamphlets is given in: William Warner Bishop. German Reformation Pamphlets in Princeton University Library (Princeton, 1904) [Ex 1580.152.01]. (Pamphlet is an offprint from the Princeton University Bulletin Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 183-199.) The Ex copy is annotated with the call numbers of the pamphlets covered by the list. Also, at end, is a list, with call numbers, of 12 pamphlets not on Bishop's printed inventory as well as a list of 4 imperfect pamphlets. Scan of the University of Michigan copy of this pamphlet is available at

Final note: call numbers for many Luther pamphlets are: (Ex) 1580.152 (14 vol.) and (Ex) 3471.2.399 (15 vol.)