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A student studies inside the glass atrium at the Seymour Library.

The Preston Player Collection


Knox College Library

Special Collections and Archives

371 S. West Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



Stacks of library books inside Seymour Library.

An outstanding gathering of rare books, maps and prints pertaining to the early history of the Mississippi River were compiled by Preston Player.

Upon Player's death, in the 1930s the collection came to Knox College. It is a remarkable complement to the Finley Collection and brings the era of early exploration into focus.

The Player Collection centers on the discovery, history, commerce and culture of the Mississippi River from De Soto to Mark Twain. Maps dating as early as 1694 and lithographs of cities that border the river are unique elements of the collection. Around thirty Currier and Ives prints of the river, paddle wheel steamboats and town views are also included in the collection.

Map: View of the Valley of the Mississippi
Map of the United States, taken from
Baird's View of the Valley of the Mississippi, 1834.
Knox College

Printed on Monday, May 17, 2021