The Special Collections Department serves as the holder of primary research materials including rare books, literature, printed materials, manuscript collections, photographs and maps that contribute to the interdisciplinary investigations of students, researchers, and scholars. The rare book collection includes more than 10,000 books from 1530 to present, including codices, manuscripts, illustrated books and small press editions.
The Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection offers a wide variety of primary source materials with more than 13,000 items. At the core of the collection are first and later editions of books, manuscripts and pamphlets that were printed before 1865. In all, the collection contains publications spanning six centuries and relate to the ideas of democracy, political reform and the creation of America.
The Print Music Collections contain more than 30,000 musical scores organized in the following major areas: American Popular, Yiddish, Jewish and Cantorial. These materials date from the 19th through 21st centuries and include rare and unique manuscripts, published scores and sheet music.
The Manuscripts & Letters Collections contain diaries, manuscripts and personal papers. Highlights include Civil War letters from the Clarke Family Papers and Cross Collection; WWII documents, letters, and photographs from Harold L. Glasser Collection and Korf Papers; research notes and lectures by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky; and screenplays and books from Florida author Theodore Pratt.