The University of Houston (UH) Libraries' Special Collections is a relatively young department that came into being in 1968. Holdings, exclusive of books, across its four units currently number 233 collections.
Major strengths in the Special Collections unit's manuscript holdings include Texas and Houston-area history and politics, American literature, performing arts, and World War II-related collections. Houston-area architecture, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the history of quantum theory also are represented.
Book collections focus on Texas and Houston history, US history, English and American literature, the history of the book and of writing, gay and lesbian studies, historic dictionaries, children's literature, history of science and quantum theory, science fiction and fantasy, the occult sciences, and fine-press printing. Faculty and other patrons are pleasantly surprised to find incunabula, as well as the medieval and Renaissance manuscript books highlighted here.
The Women's Archives' original focus was the papers of Houston-area women's organizations across a wide range of subject areas. This collecting focus has expanded to include individual politicians, civic leaders, social workers, and women's movement activists in and around Houston. The Houston History Archives contain the papers of political and civic leaders in the early 20th century, as well as area environmental, commercial, and civil rights collections dating from the latter half of the 20th century.
The University Archives collects selectively, two of its largest collections being its historical photographs and the papers and selected films of KUHT-Channel 8, the first educational television station in the United States. Other collections include UH presidential records, distinguished faculty papers, campus organizations and events, and architectural and construction records.
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