The primary purpose of Special Collections is to collect, preserve, arrange, describe, and provide access to unique historical materials and significant research collections. To support and complement this primary mission, we engage in many other activities and offer several services.

  • Gifts & Donations
  • Reference & Reproductions
  • Instruction
  • Outreach

Gifts and donations are important to the vitality of Special Collections and its mission to support the research, teaching, and service aspects of this land grant university. The department accepts gifts that will enhance existing collections, contribute to original scholarship conducted by the university community, and further develop the richness of resources used by the University Libraries' patrons.

Special Collections accepts materials in electronic, digital, paper-based, and other physical formats. We are committed to acquiring publications, manuscripts, and other materials related to these collecting areas that document the experience of underrepresented and/or marginalized communities, groups, or individuals.

Read the Gifts & Donations Policy for more information.

Special Collections individually helps patrons find resources necessary for their work. We have a reference desk as you enter Special Collections with a staff member who can help you in your research.

To request reference help, please contact us.

Reproduction & Publication

Special Collections also makes copies of items for people on request. We provide digital copies or photocopies to patrons, and patrons who come into Special Collections may take photos or make photocopies themselves, with a few limitations. We also provide digital copies for publication, when possible.

Read the Reproduction & Publication Policy for more information.

Special Collections has an active program of instruction through university courses and instructional sessions. Sessions aimed at introducing Special Collections and enriching more specific topics are available to all instructors.

Though we do many sessions for the History and English departments, as one might expect, we have also provided instruction to classes in Art History, Architecture, Africana Studies, Appalachian Studies, Cinema, Engineering, Forest Resources, Horticulture, Public Administration, Science and Technology Studies, and others. We also offer sessions to K-12 classes.

Contact us for more information or to request an instruction session.

Visit the University Libraries' Instruction & Workshops page for general library instruction requests.

Special Collections maintains an active schedule of in-house exhibits, works with the University Libraries on library-wide exhibits, and collaborates with the Alumni Association to update the Alumni Museum at the Holtzman Alumni Center. We are also engaged in a busy program of establishing additional outreach opportunities with other campus departments, local, off-campus institutions, and community groups.

Contact us to discuss opportunities for outreach and exhibits, and connect with us social media and follow our blogs to see announcements about our outreach activities.

Visit Online Collections & Exhibits to learn about and view our digital exhibits.


Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM*
*with exceptions

Site Map of
Special Collections