The Wangenheim Room
The Wangenheim Room, which is open to everyone, is on the 3rd floor of the Central Library. It contains a collection of rare books, manuscripts and artifacts illustrating the development of books through the ages in all its aspects - paper making, book binding, book illustration, and the history of printing. It spans more than 4,000 years, ranging from Babylonian clay tablets ca. 2300 BCE to a rare and exquisitely illustrated 20th century manuscript of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
The Man - Julius Wangenheim 1866-1942
The collection is named for San Diego banker, civic leader and bibliophile Julius Wangenheim who developed this collection on the history of the book. Read more about Julius Wangenheim.
The Wangenheim collection includes Egyptian papyrus, vellum manuscripts, lacquered palm leaf books from India, a bark codex, Chinese silk scrolls, and early handmade papers from Japan. Read and see more about the richness of the collection.
The walnut-wood shelved room features Persian rugs and fine artwork. It has the tranquility and feel of a 19th century private library. Read more and see room photos.
Past Events & Exhibits
View the past events and exhibits that have been held in or was related to the Wangenheim Room.
Become a Docent
Docents are vital to Wangenheim Room operations. Docents welcome visitors, conduct tours, answer questions about exhibits in Wangenheim Room. To be a docent, you must interact well with people, be able to remember text of tour script, present in friendly manner and feel comfortable working in a quiet setting. An appreciation and understanding of historical artifacts is desirable. You also must commit to working 1 day a week for 3 hours a day for at least 6 months. For more information, contact Rick Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 236-5852.
Wangenheim Room Support
Private support helps additions to the collection and funds preservation of the existing collection. Those interested in supporting the Wangenheim Room may contact Vera Miller at email@example.com or at the Wangenheim Rare Book Collection Foundation (WRBCF) at (619) 619-291-8800.