About Special Collections

Portland State University Library’s Special Collections is home to over 5500 items deemed unique or rare and historically significant.  Holdings include books, journals, manuscripts, documents, photographs, maps, graphic novels, audio-visual material, and realia, spanning the 15th century to the present.  Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize this rich collection in their scholarly and creative work.  The Special Collections librarian also provides instruction on primary resources and arranges tours of the collection and classroom visits with original materials.


The mission of Special Collections, guided by the mission of the Portland State University Library, is to promote learning and discovery and to advance research and scholarship by collecting, preserving, and, above all, making accessible unique materials deemed to have long-term historical value to Portland State and the greater academic community.


Special Collections is the home of vibrant original materials that inspire and serve intellectual discovery and the creation of knowledge.  Positioned within the heart of the library, Special Collections engages the campus and the surrounding community by providing access to primary resources that enrich all levels of scholarship.