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Peer Navigator Corner: Special Collections

Written by: Margaret Gillam

One hidden gem that Ellis Library holds within its walls is the Special Collections and Archives, which is a collection of rare artifacts, papers, manuscripts and literature, located on the fourth floor west of the library. The Special Collections date back to 1962 and are available to learn about at any time – you just need to make an appointment so they can pull whatever you’re interested in! The collections aim to make rare and significant materials available for research and learning.

During my freshman year, my Honors Greek Mythology professor scheduled a workshop for our class in Special Collections. We had the opportunity to look at papyrus books that dated back to the Egyptians, and got to practice writing cuneiform on our own small blocks of clay. This experience provided my classmates and me with a hands-on experience that sparked a deeper interest in Greek mythology and its rich history, and certainly made class more enjoyable.

To reach Special Collections, take the elevator to the third floor, turn left, and take the wheelchair lift or stairs to the fourth floor on the west side. These collections are a great way to foster more interest in class material, giving students the opportunity to see, feel and learn about artifacts relevant to their studies. To learn more about Special Collections, schedule a visit, or see its hours and location, visit