UCB Libraries

Daguerreotype from Photo Collection

Special Collections


Special Collections at CU-Boulder houses rare books, artwork, and primary source materials for undergraduate and graduate research.  With an active instruction program we are dedicated to enhancing the student experience by collaborating with instructors from the university and community to incorporate rare materials into their courses. These sessions are designed to provide context and increase engagement with the course through the opportunity to read and study primary and historical materials. The general rare book collection is strongest in Western literature while the special subject collections allow us to welcome classes and researchers involved in both the humanities and the sciences. Students are encouraged to return to the reading room to use our materials in their coursework.


Patrons are welcomed to the reading room Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. Email spc@colorado.edu or call 303-492-6144 to schedule an appointment. Materials may need to be paged from our off-site storage facility through an advance request in Chinook.


Evening and weekend classes held after 4 pm can be scheduled with advance notice; requests must be submitted at least three weeks in advance.  Please contact susan.guinn-chipman@colorado.edu to discuss instruction needs. 


Please note that many materials housed in Special Collections do not have online records in Chinook, the Libraries' online catalog. Access to materials not found in Chinook is provided here on the Department webpages and in the card catalog and finding guides kept in the Department's reading room.


Gifts & Donations
Many of the important works in the collection are gifts, or their acquisition was made possible by donation. Deborah Hollis, the Associate Faculty Director, would be pleased to consult with anyone interested in making a contribution. Call Special Collections at 303-492-6144.


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Current Exhibit:


poster for World War One exhibit showing men standing in the snow by a ruined building



Previous Exhibits:

Systematic Wonder: Science Observed Through Rare, Historic, and Artistic Works




New Objectivity poster




Earlier Exhibits



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We are currently experiencing problems with the embedded Google search. An alternate method is to go directly to Google Advanced, enter your search terms in the appropriate boxes, and paste "http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/specialcollections" (without quote marks) into the 'site or domain' box in the 'narrow your results' section. We apologize for the inconvenience.



Goethe: Faust Hurley: Antactica Cameraman New Receipts Monsson