The Department of Special Research Collections collects, maintains, preserves, and makes accessible UCSB Library's most valuable, rare, and unique materials. Included are printed materials such as books and serials, as well as manuscripts, and audio-visual materials. Among Special Research Collections holdings are approximately 250,000 volumes, 16,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 100,000 photographs and more than 200,000 early sound recordings.

Major Collections and Collecting Areas:

Browsing Tools and Resources

To browse by collecting area, select a 'named' collection from the Major Collections and Collecting Areas list. To browse our collections by subject, use our various Subject Guides and other collection listings. Special Research Collections materials can also be found by name using the Alphabetical List of Collections. Most of our collections can be found using the UCSB Library Catalog or exploring the Melvyl Catalog. Serials from the American Religions Collection can be found in the ARC database. To view guides for our manuscript collections use the Online Archive of California (OAC).

Additional Collections and Subject Areas


 Contact special [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu if you need assistance getting started. To donate to Special Research Collections please visit the Giving to Special Research Collections page.