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Special Collections

Collection Highlights

Man standing in front of American flag on aircraft carrier

Dennis Cooper Standing in Front of an American Flag

Hand-tinted lantern slide of Dennis Glen Cooper standing in front of an American flag, likely on an aircraft carrier. (Dennis Glen Cooper Collection, MSS.004)

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Sir Robert Rawlinson

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Mr. Rawlinson

This short letter to Mr. Rawlinson from Florence seems to state that she will rewrite information needed for a particular hospital or government office. This letter was most likely Sir Robert Rawlinson, (1810-1898), a civil engineer. (Florence Nightingale Collection, 354:28)

Sea monster-like fisherman on beach with walking stick

The Marvelous Adventures of Pinocchio

Adventures every child should know: The marvelous adventures of Pinocchio / by Carlo Lorenzini ; edited by Mary E. Burt from an original translation by Augustus G. Caprani ; illustrated and decorated by Emily Hall Chamberlin. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1909. (Eloise Ramsey Collection of Literature for Young People, 889)

Engraved title page

The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland owned by William Morris

The chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland / compiled by Raphael Holinshed and others. London, 1587. Formerly owned by William Morris. (Vault 704:37)

Yellow envelope addressed to a Van Riper, Flat Rock, Michigan

Van Riper Family Correspondence

Empty envelope addressed to a Van Riper family member in Flat Rock, Michigan. (Van Riper Family Correspondence, MSS-001-001-006-026_R)

Poem

"After" by author Naomi Long Madgett

Beyond the blues: new poems / by American Negroes. Lympne, Kent: Hand and Flower Press, 1962. Inscribed poem by Detroit artist, Lotus Press founder, and WSU alumna Naomi Long Madgett.

Accessing Print Collections

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.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are closed until further notice.

Digital Collections

The Wayne State University Library System, through its digital publishing initiatives, strives to bring unique, important, or institutionally relevant content to Wayne State University’s academic community and to the larger world. Our Digital Collections represent text, images, and audiovisual material that support this mission through a diversity of projects.

The Library System's Digital Collections are created through grant-funded partnerships with a range local cultural and educational institutions; digitization of material held in our special collections and archives; and licensed materials from publishers. Our collections, provided through a handful of interrelated systems, support research, teaching and learning across multiple disciplines, in the classroom and beyond. Over 50,000 images and texts celebrate Detroit's contributions to the arts, fashion, history, architecture, interior design, medicine, and more.

Primary Sources

Search for Primary Sources in the Main Catalog by Keyword

You can search the Library Catalog to find direct references to primary source material. Perform a keyword search for your topic and add one of the words from the list of examples below:

  • charters
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works
  • interviews
  • manuscripts
  • oratory
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • speeches
  • letters
  • documents

Search here for books, media, and the titles of journals we own.