U-M 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.

As the repository for a broad and rich array of material selected and acquired to support, stimulate, and enrich teaching, learning, and research at the University of Michigan, the Special Collections Library holds important collections of material in all formats and in a variety of subject areas. Notable collections and subject strengths include:

  • Astronomy and Mathematics
  • Children’s Literature
  • English and American Literature
  • European History
  • Islamic Manuscripts
  • Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
  • Philippine History
  • Social Protest and Radical History
  • Theater, Radio, Television, and Film
  • Transportation History

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. Photocopying and digital reproduction services are available and the use of personal cameras is allowed, according to the physical condition of the item and relevant copyright laws. Library staff and subject specialists are available for research consultation, group presentations, and course-related instruction.

“UMSI graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for careers in archives and special collections librarianship. This is due in large part to the fact that, as students, they have many opportunities to acquire practical, hands-on experience in a variety of settings.”

Visit their main Web site: www.lib.umich.edu/special-collections-library

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