Special Collections

University Libraries' Special Collections collect, preserve, and promote the use of distinctive collections, unique resources and primary research materials. Our diverse collections are available for use by Ohio State University faculty and students as well as visiting scholars and the general public.

Please visit each special collection's web site for more information including locations and hours.

Some special collections' holdings are available digitally. Many more are accessible only on site in each collection's designated reading room. Learn more by visiting the special collections listed below.

Use the Special Collections Registry to search or browse finding aids for hundreds of the University Libraries' Special Collections archival collections. A search of the library catalog may be limited to only special collections holdings by selecting “Special Collections and Archives” in place of “Search Full Catalog”.

Billy Ireland drawing

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is the largest and most comprehensive academic research facility documenting printed cartoon art, including editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and manga.

Polar explorers

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program makes unique historical material documenting polar exploration and scientific investigation available for research and educational use, including records of explorers, scientists and polar research organizations.

religious icon

Hilandar Research Library houses the largest collection of medieval Slavic Cyrillic manuscripts on microform in the world. The Library is a collaboration between the Ohio State University Libraries and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies.

dancer in a horse costume

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute acquires, preserves, documents, and makes accessible materials that reveal our performing arts culture and history for scholarship and education.

Operating room at protestant hospital

The Medical Heritage Center preserves, promotes, teaches and celebrates the health care legacy of central Ohio as the essential foundation from which the future of the health sciences is born.

Senator John Glenn

Established in 2004 to build upon the papers of Senator John Glenn, Ohio Public Policy Archives is a collaborative effort of The Ohio State University Libraries and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

An Illuminated Manuscript

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library contains primary-source materials and related published works from the medieval period to modern literature and the arts and which are available for advanced study and research.

The Oval

The mission of The Ohio State University Archives is to serve as the official memory of the University. The Archives identifies, preserves, and makes available records and documentation of continuing and historical value to the University.