University of Missouri Collection



From its inception, the Libraries have collected University publications. In 1953-54 an attempt was made to create as complete a collection as possible of every item published by University students, faculty, and staff. The materials were classified according to a special scheme, placed in the Language Reading Room and named the M Collection. When the Libraries converted its collection to the Library of Congress classification scheme, M Collection classification designations conflicted and thus became confusing. The collection was reclassified to Library of Congress and given a SPEC-M location prefix. SPEC-M was one of the collections comprising the Special Materials Department (now Special Collections) when it was formed in 1960-61.


The University of Missouri Collection is comprised of publications emanating from the University of Missouri System and the Columbia campus administrative and academic offices. These publications include printed and/or published books, newsletters, yearbooks, catalogs, directories, pamphlets, manuals, newspapers, and documents. Manuscript materials are not included. Works by faculty members published off campus are accepted as gifts and purchased as funds are available. The Catalog for 1842/43 is one of the earliest publications in the collection.

This collection is complemented by University of Missouri material in University Archives. While there is some duplication of material, the SPEC-M Collection focuses on published material, while 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. The University Archives also houses and preserves private papers, organizational records, and manuscripts that relate to the history of the University and the University System.

Holdings: over 6750 volumes

Memorial Union on MU Campus


All titles are cataloged and available through MERLIN, the University’s online catalog. The collection can be searched in MERLIN through the heading University of Missouri Collection (University of Missouri–Columbia. Libraries). A guide to University publications is Resources for Research on the University of Missouri-Columbia by Margaret A. Howell, Lynn Gentzler and D.J. Wade (Columbia, Missouri, Ellis Library, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1989). The collection does not circulate. Photocopying is permitted subject to the condition of the volume.

The collection must be used in Special Collections’ reading room

Many titles in the University of Missouri Collection have been digitzed and are available on the web through our Digital Collections.