Rare and Distinctive Collections (RaD) includes Special Collections, Archives, the Government Information Library, and the Map Library. Most of the information on this page relates to Special Collections and Archives. For more info on the other two collections, see the pages below:
Government Information Library webpage
Map Library webpage


Discover our materials and view a list of collection highlights.


Learn more about the virtual research services we are currently providing.

Instruction and Tours

Learn more about classroom instruction sessions and tours using our primary sources.


Explore virtual exhibits that highlight our unique collections.

Resources and Guides

Selected resources for using and discovering archival materials and special collections. Includes general guides as well as those for specific courses.

About Us

Learn more about our mission and our preservation unit. 

The Rare and Distinctive Collections Virtual Reading Room is now open! Get a referral or quick help with Archives, Special Collections, Government Information & Maps on Zoom. Visit the Virtual Reading Room on Mondays-Thursdays between 11a-3p and Tuesdays-Thursdays between 7-8pm.

You can also schedule a consultation or contact us at rad@colorado.edu

We may take longer than usual to reply to reference requests, as our staff are onsite for limited hours each week. We can fulfill PDF reproduction orders in limited quantities with priority given to CU Boulder faculty, staff, and students. Very limited photocopy or other digital reproduction orders can be fulfilled at this time.

The Rare and Distinctive Collections Reading Room located inside Norlin Library will be closed until further notice. Please see the latest updates and information about our services during COVID-19

Give to RaD

Please Note: The Rare and Distinctive Collections at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries cannot accept most new donations to our collections until further notice, due to ongoing issues related to COVID-19.  For more information about donating to Rare and Distinctive Collections, please contact rad@colorado.edu.

For more information or general inquiries, please contact us at rad@colorado.edu. We can also be reached by phone Monday - Friday, 11a - 4p, at 303-492-2834.