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 D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Film & Media Archive, Local History, Modern Literature, Rare Books, and 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.
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.
Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library Special Collections
The Art & Architecture Special Collections is a 3,600 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.
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.
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 St. Louis History Collection holds the City of St. Louis Mayor's administrations and board of aldermen files, offering a...View Collection about St. Louis History
Detailed original drawings for notable local structures along with documents from architectural firms.View Collection about Architecture Collections
A 14-part series that is considered to be the definitive documentary on the Civil Rights Movement.View Collection about Eyes on the Prize
William Miles was a documentary filmmaker whose work highlighted stories of African American achievements in the military, the arts, sports,...View Collection about William Miles Collection
The Henry Raleigh collection includes original artwork and published materials dating from 1910-1940.View Collection about Henry Raleigh Collection
The Louis and Jodi Atkin Family Collection consists of World War I memorabilia and over 400 recruitment and propaganda posters.View Collection about Louis & Jodi Atkin Family Collection
The John Held Jr. Collection consists mostly of correspondence from later in Held's career, covering a sizable gap in biographical...View Collection about John Held Jr. Collection
The Pokenia comic strip was created by Spencer Thronton Banks and ran throughout the 1940s.View Collection about Pokenia Comic Strip Collection
The collection includes original artwork and published materials by the artists of The Ink Tank Archive, founded in 1978 by...View Collection about Ink Tank Archive
The Center for the Humanities Comics Collection is mainly comprised of comic books, periodicals, pulp magazines, and graphic novels.View Collection about Center for the Humanities Comics Collection