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Special Collections

Science Collections

These collections relate to scientific the fields of Biology, Environmental Sciences, Nursing and Health Professions, and Psychology. 

Florence Nightingale Collection

The Wayne State University Florence Nightingale Collection attempts contains a variety of works by and about Florence Nightingale. It includes copies of the major works written by her, the two definitive biographies, a sampling of the various books written about and inspired by her, some representative letters, and a few pieces of memorabilia. The collection was assembled by the late Dr. Otto Fischer, of Detroit, for whom it represented a happy conjunction of his profession, medicine, and his avocation, book-collecting. It was acquired from him in 1961 through the joint effort of the College of Nursing and the University Library. In addition to the books and letters, the collection includes some Nightingale pictures, mostly reproductions, a twentieth century re-recording of her voice as transcribed on an Edison cylinder, and a few letters of people who were in some way associated with her.

Kresge-Hooker Scientific Library

The Hooker Library was built upon the collection of chemist Samuel Cox Hooker (1864-1935) and was recognized "as one of the world's most complete collections of books and journals on chemistry." Originally housed at Central College (Fayette, Missouri), it was transferred to Wayne University in 1944. The Library was widely used by research scientists throughout the United States who utilized the reference and translation services supported by the Friends of the Hooker Scientific Library.

Jeheskel (Hezy) Shoshani library Endowed Collection

The Jeheskel (Hezy) Shoshani Library Endowed Collection (formerly known as the Elephant Research Foundation Library, or ERFL) is a diverse collection of information and display resources about elephants and their relatives, both past and present.

The collection of more than 1,100 items continues to grow. It contains published materials, archival material gathered and created by Shoshani during his research, and biological samples.

Merrill-Palmer Institute Collection

The Merrill-Palmer Institute Collection contains books and journals in the subject of childhood education, psychology and sociology.

Many of its monographs are rare and some date back to the early 1900s. The collection was donated to Wayne State University by the Merrill-Palmer Institute.

River Rouge Archive

The Rouge River Archive is a collection of reports, conference proceedings, and other documents related to efforts to remediate and manage the watershed of the Rouge River in Southeastern Michigan. Items in the collection were published by a variety of government agencies and consultants between 1955-1995; the focus of the collection is the period between 1978-1995 when efforts to manage pollution and flooding in the watershed gained momentum.

Shiffman Medical Library Historic Collection

Includes historic medical texts dating back to the mid-1500s and publications by local hospitals. The included hospitals are:

  • 36th General Hospital
  • Children's Hospital of Michigan
  • Colleges of the City of Detroit
  • Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery
  • Detroit College of Medicine
  • Detroit Medical Center
  • Detroit Medical College
  • Detroit Receiving
  • Grace Hospital 
  • Harper Hospital 
  • Hutzel Women's Hospital 
  • Kresge Eye Institute
  • Medical Science Center
  • Michigan College of Medicine
  • Sinai Hospital 
  • Sinai-Grace Hospital
  • Woman's Hospital