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The University Libraries Collections

stacksEach library or collection focuses on a particular subject or set of subjects. You can discover which library has information on your subject.

Most of our libraries or collections have their own web page. You can find a listing of the different libraries or collections on the main library home page.

  • Building and reference hours vary for each library. Hours information is available on the library's Hours page.
  • Some libraries are open 24 hours a day during finals week. Please see the hour information above for details.

  • rareThe University of Minnesota Libraries has a large and varied selection of rare and unique primary research materials. Eleven special collections serve as general repository for items that require special attention because of age, value, or fragility. These include materials such as clay tablets, papyri, medieval manuscripts, and fine printing and fine bindings.

    Rare books are also a part of the special collections. A wide scope of material is represented such as on horticulture, botany, landscape architecture, art history, and African-American literature.

    Archives include a great variety of material - not just books - that document a period of history on a subject, person, place, or primary institution. Examples of archives include the collection on the YMCA of the USA, the history of American immigration, the history of the Guthrie Theatre and Minnesota Orchestra. We also archive all of the University memorabilia, legal documents, faculty papers, and photographs.

    To use the archives and special collections it is necessary to make an appointment with a librarian or curator who will introduce you to the collection and how to use it. 

    digitalThe University Libraries have an extensive digital collection. Images is an online image database containing a variety of subjects from collections around the University of Minnesota.

    rareThe University Libraries is the regional depository for United States government publications and serves Minnesota and South Dakota. It is a depository for the United Nations, the European Union, and Canada.

    You can find additional primary sources by searching the University of Minnesota Libraries catalog (MNCAT), consulting the Library, or asking your subject librarian.