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Collections

This page highlights several of the Washington University Libraries' collections. While most of the collections are represented in the various library catalogs, some are not, and many are shelved in special locations. For additional information on resources in your subject area, or to suggest books and other materials for acquisition, please contact your Subject Librarian.

The following collections are discussed below:

Special Collections & University Archives
American Periodical Series
Black Film Promotional Material Collection
Contemporary German Literature Collection
The Dred Scott Case
Early American Newspapers
Education Curriculum Collection
European Union Publications
Gellman Collection
Harris Collection
Henry Hampton Collection
Index to International Statistics
Islamic Studies
Jewish Studies
Mozart & Beethoven Collection
Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue
Popular Literature Collection (PopLit)
RAND Publications
Sheet Music Collection
Sturgis Collection
Suhrkamp/Insel Collection
United Nations Publications
U.S. Government Publications
Washington University Digital Gateway
Wing's Short-Title Catalogue
Special Collections and University Archives
American Periodicals Series (APS I, II, and III), 1741-1941

Over 1,000 periodicals reproduced on over 2,700 reels of microfilm, this collection is invaluable for anyone studying American history, literature, or culture from the 18th through the early 20th century. This extensive microfilm collection is being digitally reproduced as American Periodicals. More info.

Black Film Promotional Material Collection

A new collection acquired by University Archives in October 2005, this significant collection of non-film promotional material documents how blacks were portrayed in films from 1915 to 1980. The collection contains ca. 2,700 promotional items including photographic stills, programs, trade advertisements, advertising materials, advertising supplements, lobby cards, pressbooks, and posters, representing approximately 400 films, ranging in date from 1915 to 1980. The finding aid for the collection can be found online at: http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/archives/guides/pdf/black-film.pdf. The press release can be found online at: http://record.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/6703.html

Contemporary German Literature Collection

The Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature was founded in 1984 by its director, Paul Michael Lützeler, Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities. The Center promotes teaching and research of modern German literature and supports cooperation among American students/scholars and German/Austrian/Swiss writers, critics, scholars and students in this field. The Center is supported by the Max Kade Foundation in New York and several foundations from the German-speaking countries.

The Contemporary German Literature Collection is the research basis of the Center and is the largest of its kind in North America. It is a cooperative effort of the German Department and Olin Library at Washington University. The collection is cataloged and housed within the German contemporary literature section (PT 2660-2728) on Level A of Olin Library. Materials from the collection are also made available to other universities via Interlibrary Loan. About 900-1000 books are received annually as gifts from the literary publishers of German-speaking Europe. An annotated bibliography is made available online to the general public: Collection of Contemporary German Literature. For more information, see the Spring 2007 issue of Off the Shelf.

The Dred Scott Case

"In 1846, Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit for their freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court. This suit began an eleven-year legal fight that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued a landmark decision declaring that Scott remain a slave... The records displayed in this exhibit document the Scotts' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant records of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court."

Early American Newspapers

This microform collection contains many of the newspapers listed in Clarence Brigham's History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820. Many of the newspapers reproduced come from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society. The Libraries have purchased access to this collection via the web; please see Early American Newspapers, 1690-1876. More info.

Education Curriculum Collection

The Curriculum Collection is housed in the general collection of Olin Library. The collection supports the teaching and research needs of faculty, graduates and undergraduates in the Department of Education. The collection contains a variety of textbooks in history, social studies, language arts, reading, algebra, biology and chemistry, to name a few, that are used in elementary and secondary curriculums. There are also various teacher's guides and manuals, learning kits and manipulative materials, and a wide range of children's literature. To locate materials within the Curriculum Collection, use the phrase "curriculum collection" as part of your search in the online catalog.

European Union Publications

The Olin Library at Washington University is a depository for many official publications of the European Union and maintains a collection of documents and supporting materials.

Gellman Collection

Children's literature, purchased in honor of Vivian Gellman. View a list of titles in the collection: Gellman, Vivian - Honoree. Located in Olin Library, Level A, shelved by call number, which are mostly in the PZ's.

Harris Collection

The Whitney R. Harris Third Reich Collection is a comprehensive collection on Germany from 1933 to 1945. It began in 1980 with a donation of funds, books, and documents from Whitney R. Harris, who played a key role in prosecuting Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946. His book Tyranny on Trial is recognized as the first significant study of Nuremberg and its legacy.

The collection, which has grown to over 2,400 items in both English and German, includes non-fiction and fiction on all aspects of the Third Reich. It also includes transcripts of the trials. The majority of the collection resides on Level 2 of Olin Library in the Harris Reading Room, named in honor of Whitney and Jane Harris in recognition of their gifts to the University Libraries. Older materials are shelved in the general stacks. List of all items in the collection. | Bibliography of items added 1999-2008 (pdf) | Older print bibliographies.

Henry Hampton Collection

The Henry Hampton Collection consists primarily of audio and audiovisual materials relating to the American Civil Rights Movement. The materials were collected in connection with the various documentary films made by the late Henry Hampton, a 1961 graduate of Washington University, and his production company Blackside, Inc. Included in the archive is his award winning series "Eyes on the Prize."

Index to International Statistics: Statistical publications of international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)

Statistical publications of international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are essential sources of basic information on the population, business, foreign trade, education, health, and other socio-economic demographic characteristics of nations and continents. No central clearinghouse existed for these publications until 1983 when the Index to International Statistics (IIS) began its abstracting service. Olin Library received microfiche copies of statistical publications from the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), OPEC, and other IGOs from 1983-2009 through IIS. The microfiche texts are found in the microforms cabinets in Olin Library, on Level A (outside the Arc). Current statistics are available from ProQuest Statistical Datasets an interactive service which allows users to create tables from multiple sources, with references to the original publications.

Islamic and Near Eastern Studies

The Islamic & Near Eastern Collection is the only specialized collection for this subject in the state of Missouri. The Collection serves the Washington University community as part of the Olin Libraries System while serving the information and research needs of the Asia and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures Department and the Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies Program. It is also heavily used by the Muslim community in St. Louis.

Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies collection includes approximately 40,000 volumes and supports research in the areas of history, religion, philosophy, literature, language, art, and music. Contact the Librarian for more information about this collection.

Mozart and Beethoven Collection: First and early editions of the work of Mozart and Beethoven

The Gaylord Music Library acquired 168 Mozart and 100 Beethoven first and early editions, formerly the property of the eminent British musicologist Alan Tyson. Tyson is well known for his studies of music from the classical period, especially the compositional practices of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Clementi.

While the Mozart editions are all posthumous, many of them are first editions since much of his music was still unpublished at his death. The collection of Beethoven editions contains many fine first editions as well, especially of the orchestral works and string quartets. Together, the collection provides a rich source of examples that document the reception history of both composers in the period 1790 to 1830, the time when both were established as leading masters of the age.

The collection also provides valuable material for the study of music printing at the time. The moveable type of Breitkopf und Hartel's editions, for example, the high quality of copper engravings, and the gracious presentation of title pages and publishers' advertisements add much to the appreciation of this mostly familiar music. The collection is cataloged and is part of the Gaylord Special Collections. View the list of titles in the collection: Tyson, Alan Former Owner.

Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue

Early English Books I (Pollard and Redgrave, STC I), 1475-1640. From the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this incomparable microfilm collection contains nearly all of the 26,500 titles listed in A.W. Pollard and G.R. Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue and its revised edition. The library currently holds over 2,000 reels of microfilm. This collection is also being reproduced digitally as English Books Online (EEBO), a database to which the library subscribes. More info.

Popular Literature Collection (PopLit)

PopLit is a collection of books and audiobooks that has been assembled for your reading and listening pleasure.

RAND Publications: Research reports on foreign and domestic public policy

The RAND Corporation has a long history of research on issues relating to the national security and public welfare of the United States and other countries, and it publishes the results of this research to serve the public interest. RAND publishes on a uniquely broad front, assisting public policymakers at all levels, private sector leaders in many industries, and the public at large in efforts to strengthen the nation's and the world's economy, maintain its security, and improve its quality of life. They do so by analyzing choices and developments in many areas, including national defense, education and training, health care, criminal and civil justice, labor and population, science and technology, community development, international relations, and regional studies. Olin Library receives a majority of RAND reports, shelving them under LC class AS36. The Library Catalog lists some RAND publications, and abstracts and full-text of recent RAND publications are available from the RAND website.

Sheet Music Collection

A collection of approximately 60,000 items, many of them published prior to 1875, and many from St. Louis publishers. Post-1875 collections include vocal music, piano music, and popular music from 1890-1950 by artists such as Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, and Stephen Foster. The sheet music is part of Gaylord Music Library's Special Collections.

Sturgis Collection: Architectural photographs from the collection of Russell Sturgis (1836-1909)

The Sturgis Collection includes 15,286 loose architectural prints, located at West Campus Library, and 1,037 prints bound in albums, located in the Art & Architecture Library's Special Collections. (An inventory of the collection is in the Art & Architecture Library, Art Ref NA202 H35 1997.) Also available: a guide to the collection, along with an online exhibit featuring photographs from the collection.

Highlights of the collection:

  • Large-format early work (1853-1860) from some of Europe's most celebrated topographic photographers, including Edouard-Denis Baldus, Charles Clifford, Robert Macpherson, Bisson Freres, and Leopoldo Alinari.
  • Egyptian work by William H. Rau from 1882.
  • Work of French photographers Mederic Mieusement (1870s-1880s) and Moise Leon and Isaac Levy (1870s-1880s).
  • Prints from the 1899-1900 American Archaeological Expedition to Syria by Howard C. Butler.
  • Work from William James Stillman's 1869 and 1882 photographic projects in Athens.
  • Work by the landscape/genre photographer Charles Famin and other regional photographers in France.
  • Prints of temples and palaces from Mitla, Uxmal and Chichen Itza by Desire Charnay made in 1859 and 1860.
  • Prints of Greek and Italian architecture and church interiors completed in 1895 by William Henry Goodyear.
  • Images of Rome by Ludovico Tuminello and early photographs of Venice by Carlo Ponti and Domenico Bresolin.
Suhrkamp/Insel Collection: German language publications in literature, philosophy, and the social sciences

The Suhrkamp/Insel Collection was started in 1983, when Paul Michael Lützeler, the Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities, approached Siegfried Unseld, Head of the Suhrkamp Verlag (publishing company) in Frankfurt, Germany, about the creation of such a collection at Olin Library. Every year both Suhrkamp and Insel have donated copies their German-language publications in the fields of literature, criticism, philosophy, and the social sciences, consisting of about 300 books per year. When Jüdischer Verlag became part of Suhrkamp Verlag, publications of that company were also included. The Suhrkamp/Insel collection is located on Level A of Olin Library. Older volumes are shelved in the general collection. For more information, see the Spring 2007 issue of Off the Shelf. List of all items in this collection.

United Nations Publications

The West Campus Library has a significant number of United Nations Documents, consisting of reports of the Preparatory Commission 1945 - 1946, Official Records and Sales Publications, covering the period from 1946 - 1993. Official Records are published by the principal organs of the United Nations and consist of records of meetings, supplements, and annexes. Sales Publications include reference material, reports, working papers and documents other than Official Records.

UN documents are best searched using indexes and bibliographies. The United Nations publishes indexes for the official records of the major organs of the UN, usually at the end of each session. Other United Nations research tools are available at the West Campus Library, Olin Library, and online.

U. S. Government Publications

The St. Louis area contains 12 depositories for publications distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Olin Library became a GPO selective depository in 1906, and the Law Library followed in 1978. Today Washington University Libraries shelve over 400,000 government publications by their Superintendent of Documents classification numbers and another 200,000 by their Library of Congress classification numbers. The Olin Library depository currently receives 60% and the Law Library receives 25% of the publications available through the GPO depository program. These publications are the property of the people of Missouri's First Congressional District; as such they may be consulted by the general public any time the library is open for business. Most government publications circulate only to Washington University faculty, staff, and students. While current documents are primarily shelved in Olin Library, a large number documents, mostly older ones, are shelved at the West Campus Library; please consult this finding aid to see what's there.

Washington University Digital Gateway

The Digital Gateway serves as a single entry point for discovery of all digital collections available at Washington University, especially locally-created digital resources, and provides an entry point for anyone in the Washington University community interested in developing digital projects.

Wing's Short-Title Catalogue

Early English Books II (Wing, STC II), 1641-1700. Donald Wing continued where Pollard and Redgrave left off in listing all books published in English. The Wing Collection is approaching 3,000 reels of microfilm. This collection is also being reproduced digitally as English Books Online (EEBO), a database to which the library subscribes. More info.

 
Curious about any of these collections? Ask your subject librarian!