Collections Overview


MU Libraries

Ellis Library, the main library on the MU campus, contains the principal resources for research in the humanities, the social sciences, and the basic sciences. Six additional branch libraries hold most material pertaining to health sciences, veterinary medicine, geology, engineering, math, and journalism. University Archives is the depository of official records of the University of Missouri at Columbia as well as of the administrative records of the University of Missouri System. Two off-site storage facilities (the UM Libraries Depository 1 and 2) hold the bulk of the libraries' older volumes. All together, the holdings of the main library, branches and off-site storage facilities amount to over three million volumes and six million microforms.

Collections based on format and type

  • Journal Collections

The MU Libraries provide access to over 33,000 periodical titles. The most recent issues of print-based titles housed in Ellis Library are kept with the bound volumes (as of 2014). Unbound issues of the following high-use titles are available at the Ellis Library Circulation Desk: Consumer Reports, Ebony, Jet, and Vogue. A valid MU ID card is required to use these titles. Many journals are only available in electronic format.

  • Fiction

The best way to find fiction (by authors writing in English) is to use the MERLIN Catalog and search by either title or author. However, if you wish to browse, try the following call number ranges on 2 East:

PR6051-PR9639.3- recent 20th century Commonwealth fiction, e.g. Maeve Binchly, P.D. James, Carol Shields
PS3551-PS3576- recent 20th century U.S. fiction, e.g. Tony Hillerman, Jude Deveraux
PZ3-PZ4- 20th century U.S. and Commonwealth fiction, e.g. P.G. Wodehouse.

  • Government Documents

First Floor East (573) 882-6733 Marie Concannon
Many federal and Missouri state publications are integrated with regular library collections under standard (Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal) call numbers. However, some government publications are kept in special section on the east side of Ellis Library's first floor. These documents are generally findable through MERLIN and may be retrieved as any other publication would be – using the location and call number that MERLIN provides.

  • Microforms

Fourth Floor West 882-0076 Karen Paulik Witt
Most microforms in Ellis Library are centralized in the Special Collections Department. Government Documents and United Nations microforms are kept in a microfiche room on the northeast side of the first floor. Department of Energy microfiche are in a non-accessible area of the basement; simply ask for what you want at the Government Documents office on the 1st floor. ERIC (education) microfiche are located in the central section of the first floor, near the elevator rear doors. There are miscellaneous microform sets in the Ellis Library Reference area – test instruments, telephone books, journal citation reports are just a few. Ask for these at the Reference Desk if you have trouble finding them.


  • Recorded Sound Collection

Fourth Floor East (573) 882-4835 Michael Muchow
Staffed by: David Truesdell
Many phonograph records, compact discs, audio cassettes, videos, videodiscs and DVDs are kept in the Recorded Sound Collection. Facilities include listening stations and headphones. Please note that the Recorded Sound Collection has limited hours of operation.

  • Special Collections

Fourth Floor West 882-0076 Alla Barabtarlo
Special Collections holds the libraries most rare and valuable materials, as well as several microform and map collections. Please note that the Special Collections department has limited hours of operation.




Branch Libraries

  • J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library houses collections related to medicine, nursing, health professions, medical research, patient care, health services management and health informatics. The Donald Silver Rare Books Room's historical collection covers both human and veterinary medicine.
  • The Zalk Veterinary Medical Library collects all aspects of veterinary medicine including comparative medicine, laboratory animals, human-animal bond, animal welfare, and animal law. Strengths of the collection include veterinary conference proceedings; veterinary history; and mules, the mascot of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • The A.G. Unkleshabay Geological Sciences Library is a US Geological Survey Depository and provides access to print and digital maps including topographic, geologic, and thematic for the entire US. We also have a significant collection for the history of earth sciences.


University Archives

  • University Archives is the depository of official records of the University of Missouri at Columbia as well as of the administrative records of the University of Missouri System. University Archives also houses and preserves private papers, organizational records, and manuscripts that relate to the history of the University, the University community, and the University System.


UM Libraries Depositories

  • Established in 1997, the UM Libraries Depository (UMLD) is a facility for the storage of permanent, important, but infrequently used research library materials. The collection contains materials from the libraries of the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Missouri-Rolla, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The UMLD is managed through the University of Missouri-Columbia by the Director of Libraries through the Access Services Division Head and staff on site.
  • UM Libraries Depository Module 2 (U2) and MU Library Annex

U2 is the second module of the UM Libraries Depository, and is also a closed stack repository for lesser-used materials from the libraries of the University of Missouri. This includes those items that were formerly stored at the MU Library Annex. MU Library Annex items will eventually become a part of the U2 Collection.

  • Unaffiliated persons who wish to use materials housed in UMLD and U2 should make prior arrangements, preferably through email, with June DeWeese, Head of Access Services (573-882-7315) or Esther Schnase, Head of the Ellis Circulation Department (573-882-6038). Please allow 2-3 weekdays between the time of your request and your anticipated arrival in Columbia. Please wait for an email response telling you that the item is ready for your use before you arrive.