The largest and founding collection within the CLRC, the Kerlan Collection contains original art and manuscripts for 1700 authors and illustrators, as well as books, including signed first editions.
The Borger Collection is home to over 40,000 comic books, as well as magazines, fantasy and sci-fi novels, and a small number of figurines.
The Ellis Collection holds a large number of dime novels and other materials related to the writing career of Edward S. Ellis and his contemporaries.
The Hess Collection holds primarily inexpensive, popular literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as story papers, dime novels, series books, Big Little Books, pulps, and comic books.
The Oz Collection is a personal collection of Oziana, other Baum-related materials, and miscellaneous children's literature collected by Laura Jane Musser throughout her lifetime.
The Paul Bunyan Collections contains books, pamphlets, archival materials, and other items related to the history of the legendary figure.
Collector Lionel Johnson donated several extensive book collections to the CLRC, including books related to Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and pirates.