Special Collections and University Archives is the main repository for rare books and manuscripts on the Vanderbilt University campus. We are also the home of the University Archives, the official repository for university records and artifacts.
There are three main divisions within the department:
The mission of Special Collections and University Archives is to preserve, store and provide access to Vanderbilt University's impressive collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia.
The Vanderbilt University Photographic Archive contains approximately 300,000 photographs relating to the history and development of the university since its founding in 1875.
The George Peabody College Photograph Collection is also housed in the department. This collection includes over 20,000 photographs from the school's early beginnings as the University of Nashville to the school’s merger with Vanderbilt University in 1979.
The University Archives preserves the historical memory of the university and makes this information available to the Vanderbilt community and the general public. It collects and preserves historical records and artifacts for Vanderbilt University and George Peabody College.
Please see the Special Collections Research Guide for more information on using our collections.
Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is open by appointment.
SCUA has never stopped providing online reference and digitization services. You’ll find we have further expanded and improved access to our collection resources during the pandemic. In all we do, we follow University protocol to enhance the safety of our spaces. This page provides important information that will make your next visit to Special Collections and University Archives a success.
During the semester some classes will be held in Special Collections that may affect the availability for appointments. Please keep this in mind as you plan your visit, and we thank you in advance for your flexibility.