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Time periods collected

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About the Collections
Collecting Strategies & Rationale
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• Time Periods Collected
Digital Collections & Publications

Special Collections concentrates its purchasing on 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century materials. Items produced earlier may be purchased with endowments where considered appropriate. Imprints in the collection date from the 15th century through the 21st century, while manuscript materials date from the 14th through the 21st centuries. Date is not a factor when documenting seminal scholarly activity in disciplines in which the department collects.

For all intents and purposes, items in the Libraries’ collection printed prior to 1825 should be transferred to the Special Collections Research Center; these items are by their very age produced in the hand-press and early machine-press eras, where print runs were naturally quite small. Further, all materials from 1825 through 1890 should be routinely reviewed to determine if they should be transferred to Special Collections. The goal is to ensure that rare, highly valuable, or difficult-to-replace items are kept in secure storage while maintaining their accessibility to researchers.