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Special Collections and Rare Book Department: Home

Outlines major collections, provides links to finding aids and describes services of the Special Collections and Rare Book Department at Western Michigan University.

Special Collections update

Special Collections has moved to the Zhang Legacy Collections Center as of November 2021. 

Most collections which were held in the reference room have now been transferred to the general stacks in Waldo Library and can be accessed there by call number.

Special Collections and Rare Books at Western Michigan University

The Special Collections and Rare Books Department at WMU is focused upon instruction and research and is housed in the Zhang Legacy Collections Center.  Though the materials can not be checked out,  students, faculty, staff and the larger regional and academic communities are encouraged to use the collections or simply to visit and enjoy some of the exciting and unusual materials available. 

As its name implies, "special collections" departments are not designed to support the entire curriculum or all areas of research, though the books and artifacts in the collection are diverse and extensive, but rather focus upon specific research areas and provide a safe environment for fragile materials.  WMU's collections are strong in several areas:

  • Medieval studies
  • Monastic studies
  • American women's poetry
  • World War II period serials (German and Allied), photographs and ephemera
  • Children's literature
  • Miniature books
  • secondary material and examples of highlights in book history and typography

Rare Books, Cistercian & Monastic Studies, Medieval Studies

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Susan Steuer
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008