This is the "Introduction to Special Collections" page of the "American & British Literature: Special Collections Resources" guide.
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American & British Literature: Special Collections Resources   Tags: english, literature, primary sources, special_collections  

Special Collections Resources for English and American Literature Students
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Introduction to Special Collections Print Page

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?

Anthologized versions of books are often drastically different from original editions. An early copy might contain a different version of the author's words or include images or notes that provide insight to the work. Special Collections also holds some rare books that can provide context to the place and time of better known works. You may even find helpful non-book materials such as the papers or journals of an author you're studying, for example a letter written by Herman Melville when he was a child. Non-book materials such as books and journals are in a separate catalog, so you will need to visit Special Collections to identify these resources.


    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.

    How can you access Special Collections materials?

    To view Special Collections materials, follow the signs on the second floor of Smith Library Center to the Special Collections office - Room 254. These 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 books 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!

    The same Voyager online catalog that allows you to locate books, DVDs, videos and more in the main library can also help you find materials in Special Collections. You can limit your Voyager search results to only items from Special Collections in one of two ways:

    1) By going to "Limit Your Search" on the right side of the search result screen and selecting "Add filter: Special Collections"



    2) By limiting results to Special Collections under the Advanced Keyword Search features



    Care and handling of materials


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