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HIST 3000W - The History Workshop

Archives & Special Collections

1101 19th AvS


The mission of Special Collections is to deliver a sustainable legacy of unique cultural heritage by preserving and providing access in perpetuity to Vanderbilt University’s impressive collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, audio-visual, and institutional archives in our care whatever the format (analog or digital).

Collections Overview: Special Collections & University Archives

Starting Your Research at Special Collections

History of Medicine Collection @ Biomedical Library

Vanderbilt Observer, 1882Special Collections and University Archives, now located at 1101 19th Ave South,  owns approximately 700 manuscript collections on a variety of topics including civil rights, performing arts, astronomy and physics, and others.  The collections listed here are a select list of manuscript collections held by Vanderbilt Libraries. 

Special Collections Finding Aids.

For a list of all special collections by subject, please see the collections Subject List.

For a list of all the special collections by title, please see the collections Alphabetical List

Please note that for the alphabetical and subject lists, a handful of items are owned by other libraries in the system even though most items belong to Special Collections.  If you are uncertain which library owns an item on the list contact Special Collections.


If the phrase "off-site" appears next to a collection title, then the collection is stored at our off-site facility.  Individual boxes will need to be requested for use in class and in the Special Collections Reading Room.  Due to limited storage on our hold shelf, only two boxes per person may be requested at a time from off-site storage.

Inventory Available

If the phrase "inventory available" appears next to a collection title, then a paper-based inventory is available for the collection.  To request a PDF of the inventory, please contact Special Collections for assistance.

Small Collection

If the phrase "small collection" appears next to a collection title, it contains less than one full box of material.  All other collections contain at least one full box of papers.

Thanks to Teresa Gray, Public Services Librarian, Special Collections, for compling this manuscripts page.