Special Collections

Our wonderful special collections are due to the generosity of many people who have given personal or family papers, organizational papers, treasured books, and other items over the years.  We continue to rely primarily on donations, both monetary and material, to build our collections.  Whenever possible, gift titles are previewed for suitability before being accepted.  If you are interested in donating books or funds to purchase books, please contact us.

We are truly fortunate to possess such rich and varied collections; Swem takes seriously its role as trusted steward of these irreplaceable artifacts.  Given the breadth and depth of Swem's collections, its conservation needs are considerable.  A conservator recently evaluated the library's Special Collections and estimated that approximately 50 percent of its rare books need some attention. If you have an interest in a particular subject, we would be happy to help you find a book relating to that subject for you to preserve.  For these specific requests, or general information, please visit Special Collections.

The generous support of donors helps ensure these materials are made available for interactive study that brings history to life. You can make a difference!

Helpful Guides

What We Collect

Review our collection policy.


Contact Swem External Relations or Special Collections.