Ronald D. Patkus

Associate Director of the Libraries for Special Collections and Adjunct Associate Professor of History on the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Chair

Ronald Patkus is a native of Connecticut. He received a BA from Boston College (1986), an MA and Certificate in Archival Management from the University of Connecticut (1987), an MS in Library Science from Simmons College (1993), and a PhD in History from Boston College (1997). Mr. Patkus serves as Associate Director of the Libraries for Special Collections and is a member of the History Department.  He holds the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Endowed Chair in Biblical Literature and Bibliography.  His teaching and research interests focus on the history of books and printing. 

BA, Boston College; MLS, Simmons College; MA, University of Connecticut; PhD, Boston College
At Vassar since 2000


Frederick F. Thompson Library
Box 20
Mon-Fri, 8:30-Noon, 1-5pm

Research and Academic Interests

History of the book
History of private and fine press printing
History of the Bible

Departments and Programs


MEDS/MRST 220 Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Selected Publications

The Privately Printed Bible: Private and Fine Press Editions of Biblical Texts in the British Isles and North America, 1892-2000 (2017)

“The Age of Alice: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Nonsense in Victorian England,” in The Age of Alice: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Nonsense in Victorian England, (2015)

“The Nuremberg Chronicle: Background, Production, Legacy,” in Never Before Has Your Like Been Printed: The Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493, (2014)

Shirley Jones and the Red Hen Press (2013)

“Building a Repository of Artists’ Books from the Women’s Studio Workshop,” Hand, Voice & Vision: Artists’ Books from the Women’s Studio Workshop, (2010)

Ars Omnia Tuetur: 25 Years of Fine Printing at the Thornwillow Press (2010)

Grants, Fellowships, Honors, Awards

Bridwell Library Fellowship (Southern Methodist University), 2016, 2019.

Tatlock Fund for Strategic Faculty Research, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Katharine Kyes Leab & Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Award, 2005, 2007, 2014.

Vassar Research Committee Grant, 2008, 2010.

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on "The Reformation of the Book, 1450-1700."

Checkpoint Charlie Foundation (Berlin) Project Subsidy, 2005.

Initiative Fortbildung Tour of German Libraries, 2003.

In the Media

Vassar Has Some New Medieval Treasures

Vassar alumna Diana Pearson ’78 has donated more than 80 manuscripts and other material from her late husband’s rare book and manuscript collection to Special Collections at Thompson Library. Some students in a medieval history class spent an hour viewing one of the manuscripts, and more students and scholars will benefit from the generous donation in the future.


Download images for non-commercial use, photo credit required.

Ronald D. Patkus
Karl Rabe