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Artifact Analysis Assignment in Special Collections: Home

What is Special Collections?

Special Collections and Rare Books houses rare and unique materials that span over four thousand years.  The collections include books, maps, posters, pamphlets, comics, artwork, artifacts, personal papers, and over 8 million titles on microform. Many of these materials are valuable primary sources. 

The materials in Special Collections are here because they are fragile, one-of-a-kind, and they have lasting value for research.  Because of this, the procedures for using books and other materials are a little different from what you may be used to in libraries.  This guide will walk you through the process of finding and requesting materials in Special Collections.


Know Before You Go

If at all possible, please register as a Special Collections user in advance.  Online registration form

Bring a photo ID!  Your MU student ID or a driver's license will be fine.

Most materials can't be checked out, but you can put them on hold in the reading room.

Allowed at the reading tables: pencils, paper, laptop computers, mobile devices (silenced), and cameras.  You'll be asked to store your backpack, coat, and other personal belongings elsewhere.

You can take pictures with your phone or a camera.  But remember - no flash!  Special Collections staff can make photos or scans for you for a fee.

More information on using Special Collections


Introduction Video to Special Collections and Rare Books


Kelli Hansen
401 Ellis Library
(573) 882-3755
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