Special Collections brings together the University of Washington Libraries' most rare and unique resources. From papyrus to born-digital, our holdings span history and the globe, and offer boundless opportunities for exploration and discovery.
Students, faculty, and visitors are invited to examine manuscripts, printed works, artists' books, photographs, maps, and other materials in the protected environment of the Special Collections reading room. Our digital collections are available on the web.
Special Collections Tips
Research using Special Collections material is different from more typical library research. The unique nature of the material dictates that there are stricter security procedures -- users need to register, manuscript materials need to be requested, personal belongings are placed in lockers, photocopying is limited, etc. The following tips can help you when using the material in Special Collections:
Requests are made in-person at Special Collections.
For books, we need to know at least the call number, title, or author so we can look up the rest of the information needed to fill out the rest of the call slip.
For archival collections, we at least need the name of the collection or the accession number so we can look up the finding aid and the location of the collection. Additionally, if the collection is large, we'll need to know what box(es) you're interested in seeing. Some collections are held offsite and will require advanced notice to be seen.