Rare Books and Special Collections in the Wayne State University Library System contain materials that support the teaching and research mission of the University. At WSULS, a distinction is made between Rare Books and Special Collections.
Rare Books are defined as books or manuscripts that, because age, uniqueness, monetary or historic value, scarcity or limited/nonexistent holdings elsewhere, are housed separately from the circulating collections in a secure location. The criteria may be expanded, as needed, to include other book materials deemed significant.
Special Collections are identified groups of library holdings that have been arranged by theme, provenance, format, or subject comprehensiveness/intentional groupings. Special Collections are usually housed separately from the general collections, but may be distributed throughout the general collections and intellectually grouped through guides, finding aids, or catalog access. Rare Books may be part of a Special Collection.
Check out the Wayne State University Libraries Digital Collections. It contains some digitized Special Collections materials online, free to all. It includes rare letters to and from Abraham Lincoln as well as fully-digitized versions of rare juvenile literature.
The WSULS Special Collections Committee is working hard to preserve the valuable rare materials in the library and to share them with the wider community. If you would like to help, contact Special Collections Coordinator Cynthia Krolikowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find materials in Special Collections go to the Catalog Advanced Search, and enter the collection name in the "Simple search" box, searching by title. This will bring up books in that collection. To search for something specific within a collection, go to the same page and search in the "Keyword search" area. First, change the first search box under "Keyword search" to "Title:" and enter the collection name. You can then search by keyword, author, or subject in the search box below.
Many of these materials are rare and so are stored in closed rooms. To request access, contact Special Collections Coordinator Cynthia Krolikowski at email@example.com.