Accessing our Collections

Find Published Material

RaD's published material (books, pamphlets, sheet music, magazines, maps, government documents, etc.) can be found in the general library catalog. For more precision, run an advanced keyword search and limit the location to one of our four collections: Special Collections, Archives, Government Information Library, or Map Library.

Search Archival Holdings

Our manuscript material and original photographs, as well as their finding aids, can be found by keyword searching our repository on ArchivesSpace. Note our Statement on Potentially Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Browse our Digital Collections

Explore our digital collections in the CU Digital Library.

For inquiries on uncataloged or unprocessed material, please email

Collection Highlights

See below for some of our book and archival highlights, by topic:

  • RaD holds the historical papers of the University of Colorado at Boulder and University System Administration. Included in these university holdings are the papers and records of regents, presidents, administrators and faculty, students, university offices, and university groups.
  • US Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School Archival Project - From 1942-1946, the U. S. Navy located its Japanese/Oriental Language School (JLS) at the University of Colorado, which now houses the JLS collections. Upon graduation from a Japanese immersion course, these men and women served in the Pacific Wars as Naval and Marine officer interpreters, interrogators, translators and cryptographers. After the War, many graduates became experts on Japan and Asia translating the Far East for America on academic, intelligence, and diplomatic levels.

  • Early scientific activity at CU, including the photographs from the early CU Museum and the papers of prominent science professors in the early 20th century
  • Atomic West Collections - The Atomic West collecting area at CU contains materials regarding nuclear activity in the Western United States. This includes activism and environmental concerns surrounding Rocky Flats, testing of nuclear products, and clean-up efforts, among other nuclear-related topics.
  • The D.K. Bailey Collection holds rare publications focused on the sciences, geography, and travel (c. 1600-1900)
  • A variety of important rare or first edition works in the sciences, including those of well-known scientists such as Galileo, Hooke, Newton, Einstein, and many more

  • Thousands of Fairy Tales from the 1690s to the mid-1900s. A small number have been digitized here
  • The Emily Wood Epsteen Collection consists of thousands of children’s books, particularly textbooks and fairy tales, c. 1780-1920s
  • The Donald Beaty Bloch Collection holds over 2000 children’s books, c. 1800-1950
  • The Ira Wolff Photo-Illustrated Children’s Collection contains over 5,000 children’s books that include photography, on all topics and themes, 1850s-present [NOTE: These books are not yet cataloged online. Please contact for more information]

  • Over one million original photographs, many of CU Boulder and the area. Many can be found by searching in ArchivesSpace
  • The Ira Wolff Photographic History Collection includes over 10,000 photography books and thousands of original photographic prints detailing the history of photography, 1840-2000 [NOTE: Most of these books are not yet cataloged online. Please contact for more information]
  • The Allan Scuba Collection consists of over 7,000 photography books, many dealing with travel and culture, c. 1900-1980
  • The David H. Tippot (DHT) Collection is our largest collection of photography books, now over 16,000 in number, and is still gaining new acquisitions, c. 1900-present

  • Over 4,600 reels of moving image film are held within the Archives' diverse collections, including documentary production elements, home movies and travelogues, publicity films, educational films, research and scientific films, and filmed lectures and events.
  • Download a full list of collections and film titles here

  • The AMRC houses the region's largest repository of archival music materials, with particular collection strengths in the music of Colorado and the American West, American popular song, swing-era jazz; film and television composers, music of the silent film era, and New England Colonial tunebooks.

  • The Glenn Miller Archive Hall of Fame honors the individuals who have provided us with their leadership, support and guidance to develop the international resource and national treasure that honors, preserves and shares the legacy of Glenn Miller and the “big band era” of American Popular Music. 

  • The Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections exist to document the work of the individuals and groups who transformed, and in many cases are still transforming, the American Jewish experience in the post-World War II period, and to make that experience accessible to students, researchers, and interested parties of all kinds. 

  • RaD holds many examples of medieval manuscripts, including hundreds of leaves (most are digitized here), a complete Book of Hours, and two complete Bibles.
  • The James Hayes and S. Harrison Thomson Collections feature a wide range of medieval manuscripts, from fragments to handwritten letters. 

  • The Mandell Creighton Collection holds rare works focused on early-modern European religious history.
  • The James Field Willard Pamphlet Collection consists of rare sixteenth- through twentieth-century British pamphlets.

  • For over 20 years, CU has developed the Women Poets of the Romantic Period Collection. It now contains over 400 titles and is actively growing. One of the unique manuscripts in the collection now forms the basis for the Stainforth Library of Women's Writing (a digital humanities project).

  • We hold collections of significant politicians from Colorado. These include the papers of former senators, representatives, and governors.

And much more!