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Bentley Rare Book Gallery facts for kids

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The Bentley Rare Book Gallery is a rare book library housed on the lower level of the Horace W. Sturgis Library at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, United States. It is one of only three certified, museum-grade rare book libraries in Georgia, the others located at the University of Georgia in Athens and Emory University in Atlanta. Named after Mr. Fred D. Bentley, Sr, one of its principal benefactors, and his wife Sarah Bentley, the library contains a diverse collection of works documenting the history of the written and printed word in English.


The rare book room was a result of a collaboration between Library Director, Robert Williams, College President, Dr. Betty Siegel, and Fred Bentley.


The gallery is designed to resemble a "domestic library in a middle-class household during the reign of King George III (1760-1820)." Other cited sources for the design were Agatha Christie's description of her ideal home in her autobiography, the Edwardian imagery of E. M. Forster, and Edith Wharton's "The Decoration of Houses."

The space, on the ground floor of the Sturgis Library, was dramatically transformed into an immersive environment in which patrons can interact with and appreciate the collection. The room’s woodwork was entirely hand crafted to evoke an authentic atmosphere. Behind these beautiful surroundings, modern technology and systems were utilized to make the space secure and environmentally controlled. The Gallery was completed with period pieces that highlight the rich cultural and social history of objects and complement their setting.

Notable volumes and literary items

Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books

The Bentley Rare Book Gallery is part of Kennesaw State University's Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books. In addition to the rare book collection, the department is responsible for the University Archives and Special Collections, Records Management, Art Museum and Galleries, and the Museum of History and Holocaust Education.

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