Special Collections houses rare works and contemporary artworks that support teaching and research in the arts, humanities and sciences. Our collections include rare books, medieval manuscripts, contemporary artists’ books, and a signature photobook and photography collection. Special subject collections reflect the interests and research of the CU-Boulder community and the state. Our unit has an active instruction program and welcomes requests from Front Range educational communities.

  • The D.K. Bailey Collection holds rare early-modern and modern works focused on the sciences, geography, and travel. 
  • The Mandell Creighton Collection holds rare works focused on early-modern European religious history.
  • The Samuel Goldman Collection features eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fore-edge paintings and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and American fine press books. 
  • The James Hayes and S. Harrison Thomson Collections feature a wide range of medieval manuscripts. 
  • The David H. Tippit Collection contains first editions of the seminal photobooks of the twentieth century, as well as numerous contemporary photobook titles.
  • The James Field Willard Pamphlet Collection consists of rare sixteenth- through twentieth-century British pamphlets.
  • The Ira Wolff Photographic History Collection is a major scholarly resource for the study of the history of photography.
  • The Women Poets of the Romantic Period is a significant collection of poetry by women writers of the British Romantic Period. 

Rocky Mountain Online Archives (RMOA) provides descriptions of primary source materials located at regional repositories, including CU-Boulder. Search the finding aids to discover what historical materials are available for study and where those collections are located. 

The subject bibliographies listed below highlight our special subject collections. Not all of our materials are cataloged. Please contact SCA staff for information and access at sca@colorado.edu or 303-492-6144.
  • 20th and 21st Century Military Bibliography
  • African-American Materials
  • Art and Architecture, 1450-1756
  • Artists' Books
  • Bibles and Books of the Bible
  • British Studies Collections 
  • European Facsimiles
  • Dance Materials
  • Fairy Tales
  • French Resources
  • French Revolution Pamphlet Collection
  • German Children's Books 
  • German Language and Literature
  • History of Science
  • Incunabula
  • Italian Renaissance Books and Manuscripts
  • Maps, Atlases, Travel Guides, and Selected Geographical Works
  • Martin Luther and the Reformation
  • Mesoamerican Codex Facsimiles
  • Religious Studies
  • Slavic Language and Literature Materials
  • Spanish Civil War Materials
  • Spanish Works from the Fifteenth to Twentieth Centuries
  • Third Reich Materials 

The CU-Digital Library contains a growing collection of special materials. Consult SCA staff at sca@colorado.edu to learn more.

Deborah Hollis, our interim associate director, will be pleased to consult with anyone interested in making a donation. Call Special Collections at 303-492-3910.