Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection

The Arnold Semeiology Collection is perhaps the most varied and unusual of the rare book collections. Broadly concerned with the history of communications, its particular strengths are in the areas of cryptography; artificial memory; decipherment of ancient writing systems; universal languages; and early developments in stenography, Braille, languages for the deaf, and various forms of non-verbal communication.

After his initial gift, Arnold worked with Special Collections for roughly 30 years to develop and expand the collection to some 1,600 volumes. The collection includes materials from 1490 to the present and the Department continues to make additions, most recently through the purchase of Francis Guelker’s collection of books on 20th-century cryptography.

A replica of the Codex Cospi from the Arnold Semeiology Collection.