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Visiting Special Collections

Special Collections at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery


The Special Collections department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value -- housing, preserving, and making accessible materials that are original, rare, unique, fragile, and archival. Our collections and staff support UMBC's research and educational mission and its dedication to cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility and lifelong learning.

Our diverse collections include a wide variety of formats such as rare books, photographs, manuscripts, archives, audio and visual recordings, digital items and artifacts. They are available for research use on site by faculty, students, staff, visiting scholars, and the general public.

Why are these materials held in the Special Collections department?

  • The item is unique or rare: many of our items are rare or even one-of-a-kind and require an additional level of security to make sure that they are available for future researchers.
  • The item requires additional facilitation during access: archival collections come in many different formats and often require assistance from the Special Collections staff during use.

What types of mateials are available?

Special Collections and archival repositories often have identified collecting areas - subjects or topics that they focus on when selecting items to include in their collections. Check out this video to get an overview of the UMBC Special Collections holdings or view the Browse Collections webpage.