Perusing the library's hidden stacks
John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff; Caption by Meghan Colloton/ Boston.com Correspondent
On the fifth floor of the Boston Public Library, Mary Bender looks for a book along the rows of shelves— a no man's land for visitors, where the research material and rare and valuable books are kept. The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department is home to more than 600,000 printed items and a million manuscripts, including Colonial pieces, medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and fine printing. The Special Collections material, like the Alice M. Jordan Children's Literature Collection, must be used under staff supervision within the Research Library or viewed in the Rare Books Reading Room.