Special Collections

Special Collections holds rare and archival materials mainly in the areas 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.

Scholars, researchers, and the public can access our space and materials, including rare books, literature, printed materials, manuscript collections, photographs, maps, and audio and visual recordings.

Departmental key contacts

Public Services & Instruction Unit

Provides researchers with reference services and easy access to the diverse materials held at Special Collections. We coordinate timely and inspiring exhibits, programming, and instruction.

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

Assists with acquisitions, donor relations, exhibitions, and events programs. We also contribute to our education programming and consults on preservation decisions.

Reclaiming the Border Narrative project

Funded by the Ford Foundation, the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry (CCI) and Special Collections 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.