John Sayles book cover

In addition to writing and editing films, John Sayles has had a long career as a novelist and short-story writer. His most recent book is "A Moment in the Sun", a sprawling novel about Cuba, the Philippines, and the United States at the turn of the 20th century. (From the John Sayles Archive)

Special Collections Library

Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library (South)
913 S. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-9377 (p)
Hours this week:
Monday10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hours this Month

Due to a major consolidation of our offsite storage locations, we will not be able to retrieve materials from storage December 11-15, 2017.  This includes most archival collections and many collections of books/published materials.  Please contact us at as soon as possible if you intend to access materials on those dates (or the following week) to make arrangements.

In keeping with the University Library’s mission to collect, describe, preserve, and make available the record of human knowledge, the Special Collections Library acquires, cares for, interprets, and promotes the use of important collections of unique, rare, primary source, and other material in all formats and in a variety of subject areas. 

In 1899, by creating a number of caged areas in the stacks for the safe and convenient storage of its “books of exceptional value," the University of Michigan Library established one of the first rare book rooms in the country. Because books of exceptional value were pulled for safekeeping from all areas of the “general” collections, our “special” collections are wide-ranging in subject matter.

Our holdings consist of approximately 300,000 volumes and more than 7,000 linear feet of archival and manuscript material. Notable collections and subject strengths include the papers of distinguished authors, poets, and filmmakers; Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts; early printed books (including more than 350 incunables); European military history; American culinary history; anarchism, radicalism, and social protest; children’s literature; Philippine history; the early histories of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine; and transportation history.

The Special Collections Library is open to students, faculty, visiting researchers, and members of the community. Our collections do not circulate; requested material can be used in our reading room on the eighth floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. We encourage you to contact us in advance of your visit. 

Photography is allowed, and photocopying and digital reproduction services are available, upon request, subject to the physical condition of the item and relevant copyright laws.

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Page maintained by Martha O'Hara Conway
Last modified: 11/07/2017