Deets Library Special Collections

Special Collections consist of “…manuscripts, archival collections of mixed format including prints, drawings and photographs, and graphic materials such as maps, theatrical publications, pamphlets, advertizing and posters, and sometimes newspapers, which were not published in book form. ‘Special collections’ also can be extended to include distinct collections of material relating to a particular subject or part of the world…” Special Collections in ARL Libraries A Discussion Report from the ARL Working Group on Special Collections. March 2009.

Special collections have characteristics that set them apart from other types of collections in libraries. These special aspects may include:

  • Rarity: books, manuscripts and other materials that are old, scarce or unique.
  • Format: photographs, slides, films, audio recordings, maps, artworks, artifacts and other objects that need special handling.
  • Comprehensiveness: accumulation of materials that are individually not unique, but collectively make up an important resource because of their relevance to a particular topic or individual.

These characteristics also mean that special collections are not readily replaceable and require a higher level of security and special preservation environments to insure their survival. In contrast to museum collections assembled for visual display, special collections focus on research as their primary mission. Thus, they complement general research collections and are often located in institutions that house both kinds of collections.

Special Collections that are managed by Deets Library include:

The SC Hammocking organization donated hammocks to loan. Current SC students who sign a physical release while logged in to Outlook are welcome to borrow a hammock to use on or off campus. 

The Kopke Bible is an edition of the Geneva Bible printed in 1611. Given by Charles H. Kopke in memory of his parents, friends of Southwestern provided for an ongoing display of the Kopke Bible in Deets Library.

The Lucille Campbell Collection is focused on her research into pollution in Neodesha, Kansas.

Southwestern College celebrates United States Constitution Day each year. Deets Library supports this celebration with a page including portals to primary source documents visible online.

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