Special Collections

Special Collections holds primary research materials chiefly in the fields of literature, Arizona and Southwestern history, and the sciences. We also have important and substantial collections relating to the lands and peoples of Arizona and the US-Mexican borderlands region. We offer access to rare and unique materials for scholars, researchers, and the public including rare books, literature, printed materials, manuscript collections, photographs, maps and audio-visual materials.

Departmental key contacts

Public Services & Instruction Unit

The Public Services Unit provides researchers with reference services and easy access to the diverse materials held at Special Collections. We support and coordinate timely and inspiring exhibits, programming, and instruction that contributes to student learning and beyond. 

Collections Management Unit

The Collections Management Unit stewards materials in Special Collections through long-term preservation, access and use. We focus on arrangement and description, collections and space management, digital collections creation, and preservation of materials in all formats.

Curatorial Unit

The Curatorial Unit sets direction for our acquisitions, donor relations, exhibitions, and events programs. The Unit also contributes to our education program and is a consultative body for preservation decisions.

Reclaiming the Border Narrative project

Funded by the Ford Foundation, the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry (CCI) and UA Libraries’ Special Collections (UALSC) are the Archival Partner with dozens of U.S.-Mexico borderlands artists, advocates, journalists, and cultural practitioners to build and activate a digital archive of projects aimed at Reclaiming the Border Narrative, advancing migrant justice and addressing gaps in the archival record.