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Using Special Collections and University Archives: Introduction

Discover and engage with unique and historic research materials


This guide offers an introduction to using Special Collections and University Archives. It includes procedures for visiting the Department as well as instructions for identifying, accessing and working with Special Collections materials.

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives acquires, preserves, and makes available materials of enduring historic value to support the research needs of Stanford students and faculty, and the larger community of scholars. Collections include personal papers of scientists, artists, political activists, and writers; photographs; manuscript drafts; rare books; audio visual materials and more. For more information visit the Special Collections and University Archives website.

Access to collections is provided through Stanford Libraries' Catalog, SearchWorks.

Stanford University instructors interested in teaching with Special Collections materials should consult the Teaching with Special Collections LibGuide.


Visiting Special Collections

Special Collections and University Archives address is:

Green Library 557 Escondido Mall Stanford, CA 94305-6064

The Special Collections Reading Room is located on the second floor of the Green Library Bing Wing.

  • Consult current guidelines about visiting Special Collections.
  • Find general information about Special Collections hours and access.
  • To arrange an introductory drop in session, contact the Special Collections by email.