Today’s Hours:

All Hours & Directions

Terrell Main Library

8am - 5:30pm

Circulation Desk

8am - 5:30pm

Research Help Desk

3:30pm - 4:30pm

Research Help Chat

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Libraries Administrative Office

8:30am - 5pm

Azariah's Cafe

9am - 2pm (just drinks)

CIT Help Desk

8am - 4:30pm

Writing Center Daytime

Writing Center Evening

Speaking Center



Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

Terrell Main Library Floor Plans

Floor Plans

Other Libraries Hours & Directions

Learn More
Search icon

About the Collection

Terrell Special Collections' Dickens materials were acquired through various donations, the largest acquired in the 1980s and 1990s from J. Stanton McLaughlin, Prof. Frederick O. Grover, and Prof. Carl W. Schaefer.

Man entering through a door as a group of people who are gathered in the room turn to look, black and white illustration.

An illustration from the novel "Dombey and Son"

Engraved steel plate used to print the illustration on the left, in which the image is mirrored, negative space becomes black, and lines become white.

The etched steel plate used to make the illustration.

There are currently 44 early examples of Dickens’ works, many of which are first editions in our holdings. The original serial nature of Dickens’ novels is represented in two ways: first, in two magazines, Household Words (1850-1859) and All the Year Round (1859-1868), both edited by Dickens and featuring regular installments of the novels, and second, in his "books in parts," which were separate shilling weekly installments of his serialized novels published independently.

Dickens’ novels also appeared in "triple decker" (three-volume) and single-volume formats, and there are first appearances of each of these formats in the collection. Included also are a complete set of the Christmas novels, an arts and crafts edition of The Holly Tree, edited collections of his correspondence, and a scholarly limited edition of the Works of Dickens. The novels are excellent fodder for exploring the evolution of printing format and the expanding and varied demand for reading material in the 19th century. Apart from the works actually written by Dickens, the collection also includes uncommon reference works regarding his novels. These additional materials almost double the size of the collection.