Special Collections

  • Engraved title page from the Story of Glittering Plain written and printed by William Morris, proprietor of the Kelmscott Press.
  • Steel engraving by Thomas Kelly, after a painting by Thomas Gainsborough, printed in A Gallery of English and American Women Famous in Song.
  • Illustrated page from a manuscript of St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs.
  • 14th century Belgian legal scroll pertaining to the Cistercian Abbey of Cambron.

Located on the third floor of Waldo Library, Special Collections is one of the repositories of primary resources and research materials in the WMU Libraries. It has more than 41,000 books, including 40 medieval manuscripts, modern and early modern printed editions, and fine press edition books.

The holdings are organized into different research collections, emphasizing Cistercian and monastic studies, medieval studies, American women's poetry, historical children's books, pop-up and movable books, 19th and 20th century literature, fine printing, archives of modern writers, and artists' books.

View online finding aids for archival collections in the WMU Libraries' Special Collections.

More information on services and collections can be found on the Special Collections and Rare Book department guide

Class Visits

Faculty and instructors are invited to bring students for a hands-on experience using the books, manuscripts and other materials in our special collections. We can help you create an educational opportunity for your students that will encourage them to think critically about sources and ask new questions. To schedule a class visit, fill out our Class Visit Request form and we will contact you as soon as we can.

Contact information

  • Phone: (269) 387-5221
  • Location: Waldo Library, Third Floor, Room 3016