Lilly Library

  • 1200 E. 7th Street
  • Bloomington, IN 47405
  • (812) 855-2452
A preeminent rare book and manuscript library known around the world, the Lilly Library is centrally located on the university’s Fine Arts Plaza and offers over 8.5 million manuscripts, 150,000 pieces of sheet music, 30,000 mechanical puzzles, and 450,000 books. The Lilly Library serves as a resource for scholars throughout the world as well as a center of cultural enrichment. Lilly Library is open to anyone interested in its collections, and no admission fee or access card is required to visit or view exhibitions and items in the Reading Room. This is a non-circulating library. A few of our most famous items include the first printed edition of The Canterbury Tales; many beautifully illuminated medieval books of hours; the Boxer Codex, a unique 16th-century manuscript depiction of the people of the Philippines and Far East; Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Bill of Rights; and the personal and fascinating archives of cultural luminaries such as Orson Welles, Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Ng_g_ wa Thiong’o. Exhibits vary throughout the year. On permanent exhibit is the Gutenberg Bible (printed before 1456) and John James Audubon's "Birds of America" prints. Exhibit hall hours are Monday - Friday, 9 am - 6 pm and Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm. Public tours are available every Friday at 2 pm or by appointment.

The Earliest American Imprints: The Book in Mexico in the Sixteenth Century.

The Lilly Library’s collection of sixteenth-century Mexican imprints is a remarkable resource for the study of the development of the press in the New World. This impressive collection of several dozen books and broadsides, which range in date from 1544 to 1600, includes religious texts,... Learn more