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Special Collections and Archives

Buley LIbrary, Southern Connecticut State University

Welcome to Special Collections

Buley Library Special Collections is where you will find rare and fragile materials such as manuscripts, rare books, prints and photographs, university yearbooks, the New Haven mayoral papers, materials relating to the institutional memory of the university, and other resources. Our collections may be consulted in the special collections reading room located on the Ground Floor of Buley Library. Due to the rare and fragile nature of special collections, all materials are non-circulating. Some of the highlights of our collections include 19th and early 20th century children’s literature, artists' books, labor posters, and the mayoral papers of John DeStefano, Jr.

In addition to our physical collections, our digital collections include early 20th century postcards, and The Laurel, yearbooks of Southern CT State University and mayoral papers for the town of New Haven. Please visit our digital collections here.

Special Collections materials can be searched via the main library catalog, SouthernSearch. (Use the location limiter on the left to limit searched to special collections materials.) During non-pandemic times, Librarians are available to assist with locating materials in our collections. Over time, we will be adding additional finding aids and inventories for our collections and university archives.

Covid-19 Service Notes: Please note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Special Collections will be open by appointment only. Please contact Patrick Crowley (crowleyp5@southernct.edu) or (203) 392-5746 for more information. E-mail is preferred.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Hilton C. Buley Library is to provide resources, instruction, services, and facilities to support and enhance the teaching, learning, scholarship, and research mission of Southern Connecticut State University. Buley Library Special Collections maintains collections of primary source documents, early-printed materials, artists books, and University archives in order to support instruction and research in our areas of strength. We are open to all, including students and faculty of SCSU, local community members, and outside researchers. Our foremost goal to provide equitable access to these collections for the purpose of inspiring intellectual curiosity and informing interactive learning encounters with primary source materials.

More than this, however, Special Collections faculty aim to make Buley's Special Collections a friendly, welcoming, interactive environment for students, encouraging earning, exploration of primary sources, interaction with the past, and research. Special Collections is not just a place for instruction and research. We hope to encourage a spirit of experimentation and exploration, whether students are looking at material for class work or they are doing personal reading from early editions of favorite books--whether they are looking at leaves from a 15th century illustrated book or a limited edition modern artist's book or both of these side by side. To this end, Buley Special Collections works to make our material available both in the reading room and outside of it through scanned materials, synchronous virtual encounters, video introductions to materials, and physical and digital exhibitions. It also aims to provide interesting, timely, and interactive encounters with special materials through talks led by faculty, staff, and students and through pop-up events.

While the materials that we curate and care for are special, the very fact that they are special drives us to make them available to students, faculty, and the wider community. These special materials must be made available to enrich and inform the intellectual and cultural lives of all who might find them of value.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community of creation, inquiry, and conversation.

Featured Selection

View Urania’s Mirror, a set of 32 engraved educational cards illustrating the constellations published in London in 1825.

[Horae divrnae brevi ariiroma]. Antiphonal, Catholic Church. Front Cover. 18th century.

[Horae divrnae brevi ariiroma]. Antiphonal, Catholic Church. Leaf 35v. 18th century.