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Cultural Collections

New destination for special collections researchers

By Lynne Raughley

The new Special Collections Research Center is located on the 6th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. Photo by Alan Pinon, courtesy the U-M Library.

In March, U-M Library celebrated the opening of the Special Collections Research Center on the 6th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. With newly-renovated spaces for reading, instruction, and consultation, the center is designed to maximize the opportunities for engaging with the library’s extensive collection of unique, rare, and primary source materials.

This new designation for what was known as the Special Collections Library reflects the space’s focus on serving the needs of individual and group research, says the center’s director Martha Conway. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer more opportunities to connect researchers, instructors, and students with our collections, and with the passionate expertise of our librarians and curators.”

The Special Collections Research Center is home to more than 300,000 published volumes, and approximately 8,000 linear feet of manuscript and archival material. Notable collections and subject strengths include the papers of distinguished authors, poets, and filmmakers; medieval and Renaissance manuscripts; early printed books; European political and military history; American culinary history; anarchism, radicalism, and social protest; children’s literature; Philippine history; the early histories of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine; and transportation history.

The Special Collections Research Center is open to students, faculty, visiting researchers, and to the wider community. Collection material must be requested in advance via the library website. For more information about the center, visit the Special Collections Research Center page or email



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