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Michigan State University

ANP 859: Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change

What is Special Collections?

Special Collections is the library's rare book room, where we keep materials that are old, fragile, and valuable.

We also have strong holdings of contemporary popular culture and political radicalism.

Items can be requested online or when you arrive. If you request material ahead of time, we'll have it waiting for you.

Special Collections materials cannot be checked out; they must be used in the Reading Room during our open hours.

Search Special Collections

Screenshot of the Special Collections homepage with the search box highlighted.

Request items

To request items in Special Collections:

  • Click the Get It! button.
  • On the next page, click Request the Item.
  • Then log in to your Special Collections account, or create an account.
  • The request form will import the title and call number for your item.
  • Add the date of your visit at the bottom, and click Submit.

Screenshot of a catalog record with the GET IT button highlighted.

Remote storage

Some material is off-site in "Remote Storage." If the Location says Remote, you must request it three business days before your visit so we can bring the material back to the Main Library for you.

What is an archival collection?

An archival collection is a set of papers generated by a person or organization over some period of time.

• An individual's personal papers might include journals, photo albums, family letters, and documents like a marriage certificate.

• An individual's professional papers might include research notes for the books and articles s/he wrote; awards received; and correspondence with colleagues.

• The papers of a non-profit organization might include minutes of board meetings, the newsletter, lists of donors, fundraising letters and annual reports.

An archival collection can range from a few folders of material to hundreds of boxes.

A finding aid is the document describing the contents of an archival collection -- usually not every document, but folder by folder.

Search Special Collections finding aids. This interface works best if you type AND between each keyword in your search.

Michigan State University