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Special Collections

Materials in Special Collections total over 90,000 items. The collections are diverse and range from a substantial rare book collection with material dating to the eighth century to the comic arts collection, focused on underground comics, classic comic strips, and graphic novels. The collections include books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, posters, printed ephemera, and artifacts.

See our subject guides for more information on areas of strength in the collections. A complete alphabetical listing of collections can be accessed as well.

How to Use the Collections

Materials in Special Collections are not browsable, and most cannot be checked out. In order to use materials, patrons must come to the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular operating hours, and staff will retrieve materials from the closed stacks. Librarians can help patrons identify materials of interest.

Patrons may also need to show a photo identification card, which may be either an MU ID card or another official identification card such as a driver’s license. For more information on using the book collections, please see Reading Room Rules.