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.
The Mary Jo Bang Papers consists of manuscripts and an assortment of materials relating to the artist's work outside of...View Collection about Mary Jo Bang
Materials related to the life and work of Eugene O’Neill along with first editions of the playwright’s works located in...View Collection about Eugene O’Neill
The A. E. Hotchner Papers consist of manuscript, editorial material, scripts for Hemingway adaptations, correspondence, photographs, and other memorabilia.View Collection about A. E. Hotchner
Richard Beymer's works, including footage from his time working with the Freedom Summer volunteers from SNCC, is preserved with the...View Collection about A Regular Bouquet Collection
The Steve Carver Collection contains photographs and publicity material related to the production of More Than One Thing, a 1969...View Collection about Steve Carver Collection
Materials related to two Paradigm films dealing with issues of social justice and inclusion.View Collection about Paradigm Productions Collection
Judy Richardson made her mark as a film producer, editor, and lecturer and continues to conduct workshops for teaching the...View Collection about Judy Richardson Personal Papers
The River Styx pioneered a multicultural, community‐based approach to literature that was new to St. Louis and much of the...View Collection about River Styx: Liberating the Spoken Word
The Kevin Herbert Papers include a small selection of slides used in his coursework on the subjects of Alexander &...View Collection about Professor Kevin Herbert’s Slide Collection
Never exactly mainstream, Beckett is widely recognized as one of the most important European writers of the 20th century for...View Collection about Samuel Beckett
Stanley Lawrence Elkin wrote extravagant, satirical fiction in innumerable darkly comic variations. This Collection honors his work at the University...View Collection about Stanley Elkin
Consists largely of the author's own manuscript material and a substantial amount of personal and general correspondence, particularly to editors,...View Collection about William Gaddis