Skip to main content

U. S. Civil War: Special Collections Resources: Introduction to Special Collections

Special Collections

  • What is a Special Collection? 

    A separate part of a library that includes materials that are too valuable, rare, or delicate to be included in the general collection. Special Collections often include smaller collections of works by/about a specific author or on a particular subject.

  • Why use Special Collections?

    Special Collections includes archives of materials that can't be found anywhere such as letters, journals, and photographs. Non-book materials are for the most part not included in Voyager, so you will need to visit Special Collections to search for those items.

    Using Special Collections

    What can you find in Special Collections?

    Here you will find rare books including notable copies of works of literature, history, religion, and other subjects. In addition to books, Special Collections also has archives of materials relevant to Southwestern University, Georgetown, and Texas history. The archives include an array of interesting Civil War materials such as correspondence about the war and Confederate money.

    How can you access Special Collections materials?

    To retrieve Special Collections materials, follow the signs on the second floor of Smith Library Center to the Special Collections office suite 241 - just come in and pop your head into one of the two offices!  Don't worry that you're interruping! The collections are open from 9:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. The Special Collections staff will have you sign in and then they will retrieve the items for you. You can study the materials you requested in the reading room, which is labeled on the map as John G. Tower Library.

    VISIT OUR WEBPAGE for contact information and more!

    Archives can primarily be searched from a database that is accessible in Special Collections, but books can be located through the same online catalog that you use to find materials in the main library.  You may discover special collections materials while searching the online catalog, but if you want to deliberately search just special collections materials, use the special search box at our WEBPAGE - or ask for help in special collections.  We're eager to help students and researchers find what they need.

    Subject Guide