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. 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.


Patrons are welcomed to the reading room Monday through Friday from 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.


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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Global War: Reflections on a Decade of Conflict, 1935-1945

Special Collections and Archives, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, presents Global War: Reflections on a Decade of Conflict, 1935-1945. The reflections of soldiers and civilians – east and west – who experienced the tumultuous era of political and military conflict between 1935 and 1945 make up the heart of this exhibit. Featured works include the photography of Germaine Kellerman and of Carl Mydans. The diaries and letters of American, Japanese, and German soldiers that are displayed offer impressions of daily life on both sides of the war.


The exhibit is free and open to the public, Monday-Friday, 10-4. For more information, please contact us at spc@colorado.edu or call 303/492-6144.

This exhibit is curated by Sean Babbs, graduate student in the Department of History, University of Colorado Boulder, and William Sutherland-Keller, graduate student in Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina. Michael W. Harris, Ph.D., Gregory Robl, M.A., and Susan Guinn-Chipman, Ph.D, added content and editorial contributions.

Special thanks are due to Alan Cass, Hon. Doc. Hum., and Eric Harbeson, M.M., M.S., American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries; to Adam Lisbon, MLIS, Asian Studies Collection, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries; to Bruce Montgomery, M.A., and David Hays, M.A., Special Collections and Archives, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries; to Mr. Joel Stewart; the National Archives; and to private collectors for their generous contributions to this exhibit.

Past Exhibits



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. Students are encouraged to return to the reading room to use our materials in their coursework.


Instruction for late afternoon or evening classes is possible; 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.


Search the Special Collections webpages


Goethe: Faust Hurley: Antactica Cameraman New Receipts Monsson