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This is a guide to Special Collections and University Archives at Simpson Library, including the rare books collection and the University archives.
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Hours and Services

Special Collections

Research Room, Special Collections

Open Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons: 1:30 - 4:30 PM and by appointment at (540) 654-1752. Special Collections is not open on weekends.

Please call or email in advance, so we can pull materials ahead for your research topic and confirm your appointment time.

Can't make it during our regular hours? Call or email us to make an appointment.

Want to schedule a Special Collections session for a class that you teach? Request an instruction session.


Welcome to Special Collections

UMW Libraries' Special Collections includes rare books and print materials and the University archives.  Special Collections is located on the second floor of Simpson Library in Room 217, immediately in front of the central staircase. Items may be used in that room only.


Rare Books & Journals Collection

The rare books collection includes over 1500 volumes of works from various scholarly fields. There are first editions from literary figures such as James Joyce, Willa Cather, Ellen Glasgow, John Dos Passos, and William B. Yeats, as well as treaties on travel, religion, art and history. The collection includes incunabula; books published in the 16th - 19th centuries on such subjects as architecture, history, English and American literature, science, and philosophy; first and limited editions; and fine and private press editions.  

Special Collections also houses selected issues of rare journals from the 18th to the 20th century. Some of the titles in our collections are The Gentleman's Magazine (1731-1800), Godey's Magazine (1845-1873), and the Yellow Book (1894-1897).


University Archives

Collected in the archives is the non-current written and photographic history of the University of Mary Washington. This collection serves as the repository for archival and historical materials for all offices, departments, and divisions of the University. Issues of the University’s student newspaper, the Bullet (1922-present), and its yearbook, the Battlefield (1913-present), as well as departmental honors papers, are located here. The archives also contains the papers of renowned faculty members - Dr. James L. Farmer, founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Dr. Kurt F. Leidecker, founder of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for the Study of Religious Freedom.

Special Collections Librarian/University Archivist

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Carolyn S. Parsons
Contact Info
Simpson Library
Special Collections, Room 217
(540) 654-1752
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Subject Guide

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Suzanne Huffman

UMW Libraries | University of Mary Washington | 1801 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 | 540.654.1125
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