About the Special Collections Library

The Special Collections Library holds internationally renowned collections of books, serials, manuscripts, posters, playbills, photographs, and original artwork. It is home to some of the most historically significant treasures at the University of Michigan and includes in its holdings some 275,000 published volumes, approximately 6,500 linear feet of archival material, about 450 incunabula (books printed before 1501), and nearly 1,400 early manuscripts on vellum and paper.

The Special Collections Library is open to the public -- to students, faculty, visiting researchers, and members of the community. Our collections do not circulate; material is retrieved upon request for use in our reading room. Because many of our collections are stored off-site (and therefore are not immediately accessible), we encourage you to contact us in advance of your visit, especially if you are coming from far away and/or have a limited amount of time to spend on campus.

Much of the material in our collections is represented in Mirlyn, our online catalog; other material is described in finding aids (some of which are online here) and in various bibliographies, databases, and card files. Library staff and subject specialists are available for research consultation and classroom instruction. Photocopying and digital reproduction services are available, for a fee, upon request; reproduction decisions are made, and the use of personal cameras is allowed, according to the physical condition of the item and relevant copyright laws.

Welcome to the Special Collections Library!

Page maintained by Martha O'Hara Conway
Last modified: 01/10/2012