Baker_001“When it became clear that one of the Drew Library’s main needs was provision for the preservation of older materials and systematic organization of our older valuable books, it was Julia’s conscientiousness as well as her love of the old printing and fine bindings that led her to present a program for preservation, to investigate personally the practices of the Library of Congress,…and to become herself a rare book librarian.”
–Art Jones, Director Emeritus, Drew University Library, Memorial Speech for Julia E. Baker


Julia E. Baker (1913-1987) arrived at Drew University in 1954 as Catalog Librarian. She was responsible for seeing the need to separate the rare and valuable materials from the circulating collection and to create the McClintock Collection, named after Drew Theological Seminary’s first president. In 1975, she was named the McClintock Collection Librarian and worked with the rare materials held in the library until her retirement in 1978.

The scope and range of what constitutes a rare book is as vast as the materials contained in the Baker Rare Book Collection. The collection contains the oldest and most valuable books in the Drew University Library, but also newer books that have been signed by authors or famous owners.

Since the formation of the John McClintock Collection, many other rare book collections have been integrated into the original collection. In 2014, the Special Collections and Archives Department decided to name the rare book collection for Julia E. Baker, to honor her foresight and work with the rare books. The Julia E. Baker Rare Book Collection encompasses the John McClintock Collection, the Glen Surgeon Collection of African American Literature, the John Ruskin Collection, the Maxine Kumin Collection, and the Norman B. Tomlinson Collection.

The Julia E. Baker Rare Book Collection is partially cataloged and some items may be unavailable for research. For more information, please contact

Search the Drew Library Catalog for books in the Julia E. Baker Rare Book Collection