Explore Our Collections
Washington University Libraries’ Julian Edison Department of Special Collections invites researchers to explore our extensive collections. We collect, preserve, promote, and make accessible rare, archival, and primary source materials that enrich teaching, learning, and research for the Washington University community and beyond. 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.
D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library
The D.B. 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.
Digital Collections highlight those portions of the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections that have been made or born-digital.
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.
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.
This digital collection uses maps to explore the region’s LGBTQ communities from 1945 to passage of St. Louis’s first gay...View Collection about Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis
Includes personal and professional development materials, photographs of artist models, original artwork, and published materials featuring his artwork.View Collection about Al Parker Collection
The Walt Reed Illustration Archive is a comprehensive collection that includes over 200,000 magazine tear sheets, 8,000 magazines, 1,200 books,...View Collection about Walt Reed Illustration Archive
Henry Hampton's work in documentary film chronicled the 20th century’s great political and social movements focusing on the lives of...View Collection about Henry Hampton Collection
Responsible for guiding the Department's collection of the book arts, Holly Hall was particularly interested in materials discussing the nature...View Collection about Holly Hall Book Arts Collection
This Collection includes the published output of the Kelmscott, Doves, and Ashendene presses, which together represent the pinnacle of English...View Collection about Triple Crown Collection
The James Merrill Papers consists of drafts, diaries, correspondence, photographs, and more that detail the life of this remarkable poet....View Collection about James Merrill
Described as one of the masters of the contemporary short story, the Joy Williams Collection spans over five decades consists...View Collection about Joy Williams
Documentary materials tackling racism, poverty, and environmental issues focusing on “unheard voices, unserved voices.”View Collection about Jack Willis Collection
Repository for publications such as the University newspaper, alumni publications, departmental newsletters, admission publications, and more.View Collection about University Publications Collections
The City of St. Louis Mayor's administrations and board of aldermen files offer a detailed look at choices made in...View Collection about St. Louis History
Detailed original drawings for notable local structures along with documents from architectural firms.View Collection about Architecture Collections