Special Collections contains a wide range of rare books and manuscripts. Its primary charge is the collection and preservation of original sources for use by students and scholars of the humanities, the history of science, and the history of the book.
Special Collections presently holds about 250,000 volumes printed since the mid-fifteenth century and about 500,000 manuscripts dating from Antiquity to the present.
Please select one of the general collecting areas below to learn more about the Spencer Research Library's holdings in that area. For a general introduction to our collections, see "Overview of Printed Books, Manuscripts and Reference Collections."