Explore Our Collections
Washington University Libraries collect, preserve, promote, and make accessible rare, archival, and primary source materials that enrich teaching, learning, and research for the university community and beyond.
The Julian Edison Department of Special Collections focuses on six primary areas: the Dowd Illustration Research Archive, Film & Media Archive, Local History, Manuscripts, Rare Books, and the University Archives. An active program of class visits, exhibitions, workshops, and public events highlight the Department’s vital role in scholarship at Washington University and the wider community.
Digital Collections highlight those portions of the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections that have been made or born-digital.
Dowd Illustration Research Archive
The Dowd Illustration Research Archive (formerly Dowd Modern Graphic History Library) at Washington University is comprised of original art and printed material from many fields of popular American pictorial graphic culture.
East Asian Library Special Collections
The East Asian Library houses about 800 volumes of rare and special books, manuscripts, and other types of materials in its special collection.
Film & Media Archive
The Archive is committed to the preservation of documentary film and other media which chronicles America's great political and social movements with a particular emphasis on the African-American experience.
Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library Special Collections
The Art & Architecture Special Collections is a 4,200-volume collection of rare and unique art and design printed materials located at the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library. The main focus is illustrated books, prints, and photographs from the 18th and 19th centuries and contemporary book design.
The local history collecting area focuses on the history of St. Louis and the surrounding region.
Washington University Libraries' Julian Edison Department of Special Collections Manuscript collections contain a broad range of materials dating from the 2nd century BC through the present.
Modern Literature Collection
The Modern Literature Collection includes more than 175 authors, presses, and journals, with more than 125 of these represented by manuscript materials.
Music Special Collections
Special Collections at the Gaylord Music Library include sheet music, manuscripts, rare books, and digital materials.
Rare Book Collections
The Rare Book Collections include books from all Special Collection areas. The collections’ primary strengths are in the areas of literature; the material culture of the book, including the history of printing, graphic design, and the book arts; and aspects of American and world history.
Washington University Archives chronicles the history of Washington University in St. Louis from 1853 to today, with over 300 unique collections including campus publications, reports, photographic prints and negatives, books, film, sound recordings, oral histories, architectural plans, and artifacts.
Jack Kirkland has been part of the Brown School of Social Work faculty for over 50 years. He began his...View Collection about Jack A. Kirkland Papers
In 1980 Hildegard von Gontard gave the University Libraries a significant collection of books and manuscript collections belonging to her...View Collection about Gert von Gontard Collection
Pascal Pia was the pen name of Pierre Durand (1903-1979), a French writer, journalist, and critic. Pia moved to Paris...View Collection about Pascal Pia Collection
Washington University professor of physics Michael W. Friedlander (1928-2021) led a life dedicated to his family and students at Washington...View Collection about Michael W. Friedlander Papers
“Iwanami Bunko/岩波文庫” allows for the spread of literature and broader academic titles around the world through its publication of paperbacks.View Collection about Iwanami Bunko: Global Classics in Translation After WWII
A renowned poet and translator, Aaron Coleman, has been widely published in venues like The New York Times Magazine, and...View Collection about Aaron Coleman Papers
The Assembly Series Lectures in University Archives is a collection of public lectures held at Washington University.View Collection about Assembly Series Lectures
The Maid of McMillan is a silent film written and produced by Washington University in St. Louis students in the...View Collection about The Maid of McMillan Student Film, 1916
William K. Bixby made significant donations of manuscripts, letters, and printed books to the Washington University Libraries. The Bixby Collection...View Collection about William K. Bixby Collection
The Rose O'Neill Collection holds original artwork, Kewpie illustrations, and other published books, proofs, and tear sheet materials.View Collection about Rose O’Neill Collection
The Craig Yoe Teaching Collection's materials encompass the story of the history of comics and their creators and will allow...View Collection about Craig Yoe Teaching Collection
The award-winning nonprofit production company Kartemquin Films donated the physical materials in its archives to Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive.View Collection about Kartemquin Films Collection