We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm. For a list of scheduled closings, please see our Hours and Holiday Closings page.
Special Collections is the main repository for rare books and manuscripts on the Vanderbilt University campus. We are also the home of the University Archives, the official repository for university records, publications, and artifacts; the Photographic Archives, a collection of over 300,000 images documenting the history of Vanderbilt University and the George Peabody College for Teachers; and DiscoverArchive, Vanderbilt's institutional repository. For more detailed descriptions of the material in our collections, please see the Collections page. A sampling of material can be found on our Digital Collections page.
Special Collections is a closed stack library, meaning that staff pulls all materials that patrons request and there is no browsing of the book shelves. All material is also non-circulating so it must be reviewed onsite in the Reading Room. For information on using the Reading Room, please see our Policies and Services page.
Over the years, Special Collections has created a series of annotated, subject-based research guides for frequently requested topics and for classes taught by the department. Research Guides can be developed for academic courses on request.
For books, university publications, and other printed material, researchers can search for titles or subjects using either the library catalog, Acorn, or DiscoverLibrary, the Heard Library’s search and discovery tool.
For manuscripts, alphabetical and subject guides to these collections are available on the Manuscripts page.
For University Archives material, guides to the collections can be found on the University Archives Holdings page. Information about conducting research in the Archives can also be found on the Special Collections Research Guide.
Photographic Archives material is not available for research online. We recommend scheduling an appointment in order to view images in this collection. Researchers can set up an appointment by calling the department at 615-322-2807 (2-2807 from a campus phone) or by .
For DiscoverArchive material, we recommend you explore the DiscoverArchive web site.
If you need assistance at any stage of your research, you may contact a librarian in Special Collections by calling the department at 615-322-2807 (2-2807 from a campus phone) or by .