Explore Special Collection resources

Written by John Lillis, Archives Librarian

UNK’s Special Collection is a collection of about 2,400 cataloged items, mostly books, concerning the history of Nebraska, the Plains, and the West. Because some of the items are rare and many are irreplaceable, the Library must apply some extra precautions to ensure that they remain available to future generations. Special Collection items are located on the Library’s second floor in the Alice Paine Room, which is available to all researchers by appointment.

An example of a Special Collection title is A Comprehensive Plan for Kearney, Nebraska, published in 1961. This title has a location of “Special Collection” in its catalog record, as do other Special Collection materials.

If you locate an item in the Library catalog with the words “Special Collection” in the location field, and wish to use it, please note the item’s call number and bring this to the Reference Desk for assistance in retrieving the item. If the Reference Desk is not staffed, assistance is available at the Circulation Desk. Special Collection items may be used for up to two hours within the Library, but may not leave the building.

Some Special Collection items are duplicated in the Book Collection. These additional copies, and their locations, are noted in the library catalog and may be checked out like any other circulating resource. Items needed frequently may be placed on Reserve at the Circulation Desk.

For additional information, or to arrange a visit to the Special Collection, please contact John Lillis, Archives Librarian, at 308-865-8544.