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Kent State University Libraries and Media Services

Library Overview

The Department of Special Collections and Archives provides access to primary sources and rare materials that support the teaching and research programs of Kent State University. Since its founding in 1967, the department has acquired over 100,000 volumes of books and periodicals and 10,000 cubic feet of manuscript and archival collections in a number of subject areas. Holdings in printing, publishing, and the book arts are punctuated by 12 incunabula specimens, a number of books produced by William Morris's Kelmscott Press, and a nearly complete collection of the hand-press publications of papermaking expert Dard Hunter. The department houses significant collections of 19th- and 20th-century British and American literature with holdings from the personal libraries of noted collectors Paul Louis Feiss, B. George Ulizio, C. E. Frazer Clark Jr., and Matthew J. Bruccoli. A fine collection of 20th-century and contemporary poetry includes books and manuscripts of Hart Crane, Robert Duncan, Cid Corman, James Broughton, Gary Snyder, d. a. levy, and many other noted poets. The true crime and history of crime collection of Albert and Helen Borowitz contains over 12,000 books supplemented by artifacts, manuscripts, and ephemera. During the 1970s and 1980s, the department built impressive collections in theater, film, and the performing arts, most notably including the papers of the avant-garde Open Theater, actor/director Robert Lewis, and film star Lois Wilson. Publications of the Saalfield Publishing Company and a vast collection of Babar the Elephant books and merchandise are high spots of the children's literature collection. University Archives include the historical institutional records of Kent State University as well as the May 4 Collection, which documents the 1970 Kent State shootings and their aftermath. Additionally, the department houses extensive collections regarding Americana and Ohioana, detective fiction, science fiction and fantasy, labor history, and Queen Marie of Romania.

Kent State University Libraries and Media Services
Department of Special Collections and Archives
Box 5190
1 Eastway Drive
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001
(330) 672-2270 (t)
(330) 672-9318 (f)