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Heritage Hall

Rare Books Collection

Hekman Library rare books

Heritage Hall houses the rare book collection of Hekman Library. These collections of published materials have been set aside for their historical significance and rarity. The rare book collections are available for research but must remain inside the Heritage Hall reading room. 

 Use the Hekman Library online catalog to browse the rare book collection.

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Highlights of the Rare Book Collection

antique bible rare books

Antique Bibles

Heritage Hall houses an extensive collection of antique bibles dating back as far as the 16th century. The collection includes foreign language bibles: most prominently in Dutch and German. These behemoths of printing were often passed down through multiple generations of the same family, with lineages carefully recorded in the first few pages. 

Bavinck Collection books

Bavinck Collection

The Bavinck Collection has been compiled by the Bavinck Institute of Calvin Theological Seminary to promote international scholarship and collegiality in the Reformed catholic tradition of Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) and related thinkers.

It contains some 1,750 books including copies of original and unpublished Bavinck manuscripts as well as scholarly essays by and about Bavinck, Abraham Kuyper, and Dutch neo-Calvinism. It is available to faculty, students, and visiting scholars.

Faculty published books

Faculty Publications

Calvin University's faculty pursue ongoing, continuing, independent research that produces scholarship and artistic achievement that advances our understanding of ourselves and God's creation. Heritage Hall maintains a collection of each major publication by Calvin University and Seminary faculty. All books are available on reserve in the Heritage Hall reading room. 

Bult Collection rare books

Conrad and Delores Bult Children's Literature Collection

Conrad, a "preacher's kid," had a great love for knowledge. He graduated from Iliana Christian High School and then from Calvin in 1957 as a history major. Afterward, he spent two years in the army as a helicopter mechanic. When he left the army in 1959, he continued his education at the University of Michigan, receiving two masters degrees in history and library science. For a time, he was librarian at Iliana and taught English at Chicago Christian High School. In the fall of 1965, he returned to Calvin’s Franklin Campus as the periodicals librarian. He eventually oversaw the periodicals, rare books and reference departments at the Hekman Library from 1965 to 1999.

During his years at Calvin, Conrad was a regular at History department gatherings. For years, Conrad was known as the public face of Hekman Library and he loved serving others finding resources or supporting student and faculty research. Along with loving knowledge, Conrad loved books. With his wife, Delores, ("Dee") who worked in the Financial Aid office for more than twenty years, the Bults collected nineteenth and early twentieth-century illustrated children's books. In their 50 years of collecting, the Bults amassed an astounding collection of more than 5,500 children’s books, each hand selected for its beauty, rarity, and delight it brought these bibliophiles.  The collection also includes children's literature-related ephemera and realia, such as toys, plates, character cut-outs, illustrations, and advertising.