In addition to the main collections, each of the five units of Special Collections maintains its own reference and bibliography collection, available for browsing in the individual unitsí Reading Rooms. Different subjects are covered by each unit:
Film Archive: civil rights, African American history, social justice topics
Manuscripts & Rare Books: history of the book as a cultural object, publishing history, printed catalogs of rare book collections formed by others and guides to the buying and selling of books
Modern Graphic History Library: illustration history, popular culture topics
University Archives: history of Washington University and history of St. Louis in the twentieth century
Special Collections staff are available to assist patrons in using the library catalog, the library web site, the reference collections, and other specialized reference tools. In addition, Special Collections staff are available to assist patrons in locating primary source materials in collections outside of Washington University.
Although the staff are not permitted to conduct appraisals nor to search for price information, they can instruct a visitor on how to go about such a search.