The Kenneth Spencer Research Library is home to some of the rarest and most precious volumes and materials in the world. The collections here encompass recorded human knowledge ranging from cuneiform tablets written four millennia ago, to the imagined far-future landscapes of science fiction authors being published today.

Spencer Research Library is open to everyone. We welcome the public as well as researchers and scholars from all academic disciplines.

The Collections

Collections at Spencer

The unique and treasured collections at the Spencer Research Library include ancient and medieval manuscripts; one of the largest collections of Irish literature outside Dublin; special collections in the history of science and education; the Kansas Collection, the Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, and the University Archives.

More about the collections...

Visiting Spencer

Hours for Academic Year 2013-2014

Monday – Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 1 pm*
Sunday: Closed

For closings and hours during semester breaks and holidays, see our Exception Dates.

*Beginning on January 25, 2014, the Library will be open on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm while KU classes are in session.


1.5 million visits a year at 7 library locations
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection
—American Library Association
KU ScholarWorks offers access to more than 7,000 items created by KU faculty and students
An international leader in the open access movement
Users check out nearly 300,000 items every year
Users access more than 3.3 million articles online each year
More than 111,000 scores, books, sound recordings, and other volumes in Music & Dance Library
Anschutz Library serves as KU’s 24-hour study facility for students
More than 700 Vosper Society members support the mission of KU Libraries