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Sister Joan Braun's Special Collection: Home

A catalog of rare books collected by Sr. Joan Braun, OSB.

Items of Interest

This collection includes items written in nine different languages, dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries.  Topics range from religion and literature to history and domestic arts.  

Some examples of fun items from the collection include: 

  • A Catholic prayer book & catechism in the Otchipwe-Indian language from the 1880s
  • A book on etiquette from 1792 titled The Young Gentleman's Parental Monitor
  • A letter written to Major General Ulysses S. Grant by a prisoner of war in 1862
  • The Ulster County Gazette announcing George Washington's death in 1800
  • A 1896 book of pressed flowers from the Holy Land
  • Souvenirs from World's Fairs in Chicago in 1893 and in Tokyo in 1922

Sister Joan Braun

Sister Joan Braun 1973

Sister Joan Braun graduated from the College in 1943 and joined the St. Scholastica Monastery along with her sisters Mary Carol and Grace Marie. She was the director of the Library and also served as academic dean and interim president of the College. Along with a doctorate in library science, she also had a master's degree in art history and a passion for early books and manuscripts. 

She donated her collection of nearly 200 rare and precious texts, which comprise the majority of the Sister Joan Braun Special Collection. They are housed in this bookcase on the first floor of The College of St. Scholastica Library.  

Special Collection Bookcase in Library

Selected Images of Items

Hiawatha Book

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Japanese Book

One of Sister Joan's many Japanese texts

Bible Book

Der wahre Diener Gottes in seiner Undacht, a German religious text

Ulster Newspaper

Ulster County Gazette from 1800






The oldest book in the collection, Xenophontis, Philosophi et Imperatoris Clarissimi, Quae Exstant Opera, In Duos Tomos Divisa, from 1596