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Special Collections

Welcome to Special Collections

Wayne State University Libraries' Special Collections serve as a repository for special collections materials regarding the history and development of children's literature; African American literature and culture; Detroit and Michigan history, art and literature; the sciences, including medicine and nursing; Judaica; and historical Michigan law.

Most Special Collections materials do not circulate (leave the library). Users may consult materials in the Richard and Dr. Candace Beutell Gardner Special Collections and Rare Book Room. Because our material is housed offsite, please contact us with your request before visiting.

Access Update

We are open by appointment only. Appointments are limited, but we will do our best to accommodate your research needs.

  • You may submit a request through the online catalog (see below) or contact directly.
  • Visitors must complete a Campus Daily Screener (for WSU affiliates) or Guest Campus Screener.
  • Please arrive on time as staffing is scheduled around your appointment. Because staffing is limited, we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.
  • A staff member will greet you at the front doors of the Walter P. Reuther Library and check your Campus Daily Screener confirmation.
  • All visitors must wear a mask to enter the building and at all times during their visit.
  • Restrooms are located outside of the Reading Room. Before touching materials, wash hands thoroughly. Alcohol-based sanitizers can damage documents.
  • Please do not travel to the library if you have not received an appointment confirmation email from us. If you are not feeling well, we are happy to reschedule your appointment for everyone’s safety.

Adapted from the Walter P. Reuther Library's Appointment Details 2021.

Search our Collections

Library Catalog

Search Special Collections in the library catalog by keyword or known collection title.

Digital Collections

Explore the Library System's Digital Collections for content from Special Collections and other departments.


Search ArchivesSpace for Special Collections finding aids.


The Ellesmere Chaucer

The Ellesmere Chaucer: reproduced in facsimile.

Albert Kahn, Architect

Albert Kahn, architect: Detroit, Michigan. Author's autograph presentation copy of his architectural catalog.

The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre 3D card, designed by C. Walter Hodges. Accompanies A report to founding members and other contributors (Shakespeare's Globe in America: the reconstruction project of Wayne State University Theatre).

Report of investigation

Report of investigation by the Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Wolverine Bar Association of Michigan on the summary contempt citation against George W. Crockett (of the Michigan Bar), adopted on November 16, 1949.