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The Fales Book Collections

  The Fales Library comprises nearly 200,000 volumes of books and other printed items, including the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Book Collection, and over 55,000 cookbooks as part of the Food & Cookery Collection. These collections complement the collection policies in the general stacks by supplying rare or fine editions of texts and original copies of media or by prospectively collecting works that will become important historical evidence.

The Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Book Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present. The Food and Cookery Collection is a vast, and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the collection include the Robert Frost Library and the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica.

The Fales Library is committed to paying close attention to the book as a physical object. Materials preserved in the Library are meant to be used for scholarly research that requires use of the original editions or works in original formats.