Special Collections at the University of Saskatchewan Library began with the purchase of the Adam Shortt collection of Canadiana in 1921. Dr. Shortt, a professor and University Librarian at Queen's University was an inveterate collector. Indeed, the collection at the University of Saskatchewan was one of his two personal collections. This collection has been augmented over time and now concentrates on western Canadian history. While it includes old and rare materials, such as 18th- and 19th-century editions of explorers' and missionaries' accounts, it also emphasizes the history of First Nations and Metis people. The library is particularly proud to own an original letter/poem written by resistance leader Louis Riel to his jailer just two weeks before he was hanged for treason.
The work of the English Department has been supported over the years with the purchase of the Conrad Aiken collection in 1972. It contains his novels, poetry, commentaries, and manuscripts. Prior to this, the library purchased collected works by Canadian poets Irving Layton and Al Purdy. These too include published and unpublished materials.
Another important collection consists of the manuscripts, notebooks, and clippings from the private library of Dr. Pitirim A. Sorokin, one of the major social theorists of our era. It includes copious and handwritten annotations in many books, articles by and about Sorokin, lecture notebooks, and research data.
Other collections include the 1,800-plus-volume University Authors Collection; over 10,000 Canadiana pamphlets; and the Arthur S. Morton manuscript collection, which also emphasizes the history of western Canada. The library is also home to the Saskatchewan Music collection and the Rosen Collection of Veterinary Medicine History.
University of Saskatchewan
Special Collections Department
3 Campus Drive
(306) 966-6029 (t)
(306) 966-6040 (f)