In 1956, the first official acquisition for the Special Collections Research Center of Morris Library was a small collection of Walt Whitman first editions. Over the past 50 years, Special Collections Research Center has expanded to include manuscript collections, political papers, university archives, and rare books.
Morris Library has a sustained commitment to its manuscript collections, as demonstrated by its extensive collections documenting: American philosophy; First Amendment freedom issues; the Irish Literary Renaissance; American, British, and Irish theater; American and British expatriate authors (especially for the period between World War I and World War II); and southern Illinois history and culture.
The focus on southern Illinois history has resulted in the acquisition of political papers, notably the collections of United States Senator Paul Simon, United States Representative Ken Gray, and Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, Clarence Harmon. Grass roots politics is also documented.
Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale Archives traces the history of the university, which was one of the first educational institutions in the state to address issues of physical and financial accessibility. It contains a wealth of administrative information including the records of past presidents, as well as campus publications.
The rare books parallel all the other collections. They relate to First Amendment freedoms, as well as to expatriate and modernist literature, the Irish Literary Renaissance, American philosophy, American and British expatriate authors, James Joyce, John Dewey, fine printing, SIU faculty and southern Illinois history and culture. Building on the strengths of all these collections is one of the library's primary strategic directions.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Library
Special Collections Research Center
Morris Library (MC 6632)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
(618) 453-2516 (t)
(618) 453-3451 (f)