About the Museum
Housed within the Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books at Kennesaw State University, the Bentley Rare Book Museum serves as a University and community resource on the history and significance of the written and printed word.
The Bentley Rare Book Museum preserves and makes available a diverse collection of manuscripts, rare books, and fine press materials used in teaching and research. Through the development of course curriculum and assignments, workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and community outreach, the Museum engages diverse audiences and provides educational experiences.
The mission of the Bentley Rare Book Museum is to preserve and develop collections of rare, unique, and historic books and manuscripts in order to engage and educate the University and community in the history of the book.
The Bentley Rare Book Museum collection is the result of the dedication and passion for books of two men: Mr. Robert B. Williams, Curator Emeritus of Rare Books, and Mr. Fred D. Bentley, Sr., a Cobb County lawyer and avid book collector. In the late 1980s Mr. Bentley donated a large number of nineteenth and early twentieth century first editions as the foundation of the Museum collection. Since that initial donation, the collection has grown and developed, evolving into an assemblage of manuscripts and books representing the history of the book with a focus on the English-speaking world. Click here to learn more about the origins of the Bentley Rare Book Museum.
Today, the Museum holds over 10,000 items, ranging from Sumerian clay tablets and medieval manuscript leaves to modern fine press books and literary first editions. The collection supports teaching at the university through incorporation into course instruction sessions and class assignments, as well as lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. In addition, we welcome individual researchers from Kennesaw State University and the broader community.
Meet the Staff