Rare Books &


The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Ave Maria University houses a wealth of historical Catholic artifacts. Along with our 8,000 volumes of Catholic Americana, our collections have historical documents, fine bindings and artwork, all of which is available for academic use.



Manuscript Hebrew Sefer Torah Scroll

Scribed in a Jewish Scriptorium in the mid-20th Century by Israeli Jews, likely right after the formation of the new nation of Israel. Includes the Five Books of Moses, the first five books of the Jewish Bible, and the Christian Old Testament.

Rare Books and Special Collections

A rotating themed display which features books, manuscripts, and more from various collections within the Rare Books and Special Collections. Items in the case coordinate with the monthly Rare Books and Special Collections display, which may be viewed in the Rare Books Reading Room (Library 222).

Jewish Star worn by Bernard Katzeff during World War II. Donated to Ave Maria University in April 2008, as a remembrance of the horror of the Holocaust, but also as a testimony of the revelation and inspiration that came to him and led to his conversion to Catholicism.

Bust of St. Thomas More, by Reed Armstrong.

Custom built Jefferson bookcase with The Yale Editions of The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, 1997.

American Eagle Award, given to Michael Novak by the Board of Governors of Invest-in-America National Council.

Frank Lloyd Wright Wasmuth Portfolio Lithographs

Quadruple Block Plan for the PrairieVictor Metzger House

Susan Lawrence Dana HouseThomas P. Hardy House

Burton J. Westcott House

Larkin Company Pavilion and Browne’s Bookstore

Avery Coonley House

Harold McCormick House

The Canizaro Exhibit Gallery, located on the second floor of the Canizaro Library, features a rotating selection of works by local artists, international artists, and students.


The Shroud of Jesus
April 2024 -




Insight: Martha Cantu Draws From Her World
November 2023 – January 2024

Tony Rosa’s: American Pickers
September 11, 2022-December 11, 2022

Urban Sketchers: Sketch Tour Portugal
March 10, 2020-Extended

Cuba: The Natural Beauty, The Photographic Expeditions of Clyde Butcher
December 13, 2019-February 28, 2020

The Evolution of Florida’s Borders
October 24-December 7, 2019

The Art of Charles Laurel Vavrina
September 2-October 13, 2019

10 Years of Exhibits at The Canizaro Library: A Retrospective

Heritage and Harvest: Paintings and Stories of Southwest Florida, by Paul Arsenault

Spring exhibition

AveFy: An exhibit featuring songs that inspire AMU students

Winter exhibition

Pray to Love, Love to Pray
August 28, 2017 – October 30, 2017

Gordon Hartshorne Woodcuts and Monoprints
March 30 – May 7, 2017

Florida Artists Group Regional Exhibition
January 19 – March 17, 2017

The Humanity of Service: Portraits by Michael Collopy
September 1 – December 16, 2016.

Joan Brechin Sonnenberg
March 11 – May 9, 2016

Marie Constantin’s Photographs of Mother Teresa
December 7, 2015 – February 29, 2016

September 7th – November 15th, 2015

Sacred Art and the Theology of the Body: Cornelius Sullivan Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings, Etchings.
April 15, 2015- May 15, 2015
More information

Rome: Lasting impressions from the 2014 class trip
January 19, 2015-March 27, 2015

Photos from the Bolshoi Ballet:Don Quixote, Giselle, La Sylphide, Swan Lake
May 2-July 29, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright Wasmuth Portfolio Lithographs
September 27– November 22, 2013

The Saint John’s Bible

March 22 – May 7, 2012
More information

Faith in His Hands: The Annunciation Sculpture by Márton Váró.
March 25 – May 15, 2011

Living Splendor: Florida’s Wildlife Illustrated. The Art of Megan Kissinger.
October 8 – November 11, 2010.

One Aim/One Vision: The Bolshoi Ballet in Still Photography.
March 27, 2010 – May 9, 2010
More information

Incarnate Words: Works on Paper by Karen Laub-Novak.
March 20, 2009 – May 10, 2009

Colorful Inspirations: An Exhibition of Works by Two Local Artists.
February 6, 2009 – March 27, 2009
More information

Redeeming Beauty: Religious Works of Contemporary Artists.
March 9, 2008 – May 12, 2008

Support the Special Collections

Do you wish to make a donation of a work of art or literature to the special collections? Find out how you can add to AMU’s library.



The University Archives, established in 2005, collects, organizes, describes, preserves, and makes accessible selected records of enduring value that document the history and development of Ave Maria University. The records collected consist of non-current materials relating to administrative and academic aspects of the University’s operation. The records include materials produced by the University’s constituent groups, namely the governing and oversight boards, administrators, staff, faculty, and students, as well as alumni, benefactors, and the external community. The Archives includes documentation of the spiritual, philosophic, and scholarly development of the University as a Catholic institution of higher education.

The University Archives also collects materials that pertain to publications, photographs, scrapbooks and artifacts. A broad cross section of university materials reflective of the mission of the University are identified for inclusion in the University Archives to provide a comprehensive picture of the history and development of Ave Maria University.The Archives follows the Library’s procedures of confidentiality, copyright, and access. Consistent with the mission of the Library, the Archives conducts its operations in conformity with the educational principles articulated in Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

Collections within the University Archives are described in the Canizaro Library’s Catalog. The catalog records are updated as new accessions are received.

Ave Maria University Archives is located on the second floor of the Canizaro Library.

The Archive’s holdings are non-circulating and hours are by appointment. Contact: Jennifer Nodes, Director of the Library (239)-348-4710

Explore our collections and finding aids here.

In-house preservation services are aimed at preserving and maintaining both general and special collections, archives, as well as supporting exhibits.  Preservation evaluates the condition and treatment needs of collections and establishes treatment standards based on best practices. Some services include:

  • Surface cleaning
  • Treatment and repair of damaged and deteriorating materials
  • Tipping in loose pages
  • Mending tears
  • Repairing bindings, hinge repairs, and replacing spines for books in the general collection
  • Creating pockets for loose material
  • Constructing protective enclosures


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