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Unique Collections on the UM Campus   Tags: arts, business, engineering, health_sciences, humanities, international_studies, science, social_sciences  

Unusual collections in the University of Michigan Library and on the UM Campus (Ann Arbor).
Last Updated: Jan 8, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Photograph from the artist book "Cover to Cover" by Michael Snow.

There are many other unique collections on the UM campus. If you know of any others, please contact me at or leave a comment.

Unique Collections on the UM Campus

  • AAEL Artists' Books
    The Art, Architecture & Engineering Library (AAEL) Special Collections has a growing collection of artists' books in its holdings.
  • African American Music Collection
    The archive contains personal papers, books, sheet music, printed scores, playbills, sound and video recordings, instruments, photographic material, and other material culture that enhances the understanding of peoples of the African Diaspora.
  • Amulet Collection - Taubman Health Science Library  
    The magical amulet collection at the University of Michigan's Taubman Health Sciences Library was a gift of Dr. Fredrick A. Coller. The amulets were collected and formerly owned by Dr. Campbell Bonner. Dr. Bonner purchased the amulets in Syria and Egypt and from dealers in Greece and England. According to Dr. Bonner's definition, an amulet is, "any object which by its contact or close proximity to the person who owns it, or to any possession of his, exerts power for his good, either by keeping evil from him and his property or by endowing his with positive advantages."*
  • Art on View
    The Ross School of Business has acquired an impressive collection of art which consists of over 145 contemporary works on paper including abstracts, representational works and landscapes.
  • Art, Architecture & Engineering Special Collections
    Includes rare, fragile, and/or limited editions. Strengths include publications from the first decades of the twentieth century, especially those by Le Corbusier and various Bauhaus designers, as well as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Asia Library  
    One of the largest and most comprehensive collections in North America for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials.
  • Askwith Media Library
    The Askwith Media Library maintains a collection of over 25,000 titles, including feature films, documentaries, animated films, and instructional programs.
  • Bentley Historical Library - Michigan Historical Collections
    Documents the history of the state of Michigan and the activities of its people and organizations. Its rich collections draw university students, Michigan citizens, and scholars from all over the world.
  • Center for Southeast Asian Studies
    In addition to its library collections, the University of Michigan houses an extensive Southeast Asia related museum collections.
  • Children's Literature Collection  
    The Collection’s core includes over 100 shelves of editions of Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, and Swiss Family Robinson, the work of Arthur Rackham, and over 6,000 picture books from the 20th century, as well as 2,300 pop-up and movable books.
  • China Data Center  
    a new initiative to advance the study and understanding of China. A primary goal of the Center will be the integration of historical, social and natural science data in a geographic information system.
  • Donald Hall Collection
    The primary mission of this collection is to support screenwriting. The library contains thousands of screenplays, DVDs, videotapes and laserdiscs. In addition, viewing stations are available for patrons who wish to screen films for academic assignments or personal pleasure.
  • Gerald R. Ford Library  
    The Gerald R. Ford Library collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public a rich body of archival materials on U.S. domestic issues, foreign relations, and political affairs during the Cold War era.
  • Imageworks  
    The Imageworks Library is a public service unit of the University Library system. The collection consists of approximately 110,000 slides, approx. 2,000 videos and dvds, and numerous blueprints and maps.
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
    ICPSR is the world's largest archive of digital social science data. They acquire, preserve, and distribute original research data and provide training in its analysis. They also offer access to publications based on their data holdings.
  • Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
    The Kelsey today houses approximately 100,000 artifacts, ranging from prehistoric through medieval times. Most derive from the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, dynastic and Roman Egypt, or the Near East.
  • Labadie Collection  
    Collection's strengths include: anarchism, civil liberties , socialism, communism, colonialism and imperialism, American labor history through the 1930s, the IWW, the Spanish Civil War, sexual freedom, the underground press, and student protest.
  • Local Color
    A collection of art on display on the campus of the University of Michigan. Local Color is a project of the U-M Art, Architecture and Engineering Library.
  • Map Library  
    The largest collection of printed maps in Michigan. The Map Library is the principal collection for cartographic materials, with an emphasis on both historic and modern mapping, including digital resources.
  • Mark & Dave Harris Jewish Heritage Collection  
    In addition to the Graduate Library’s collections of books and periodicals, the Special Collections Library holds a growing number of rare Hebraica books, manuscripts, and Holocaust materials.
  • Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
    Provide a hands-on University and community laboratory for conserving, restoring, and celebrating the environment through trails, display gardens, natural areas and other exhibits.
  • MLibrary Image Collections
    Collections of digitized images of artworks, cultural and historical artifacts, etc., from museums and other sources maintained by the UM Digital Library Production Service. The collections include those held by the University of Michigan.
  • Museum of Anthropology  
    Collections derive from excavations and surveys throughout the world, and include artifacts such as pottery, tools, animal bones, ethnobotanical and sediment samples, and accompanying field notes, maps, photographs, and other documents and records.
  • Museum of Paleontology
    A research and teaching museum illuminating the history and meaning of life through geological time. The collection is organized in four subdisciplines, paleobotany, micropaleontology, invertebrate paleontology and vertebrate paleontology.
  • Museum of Zoology  
    Collections include extinct species and populations, providing a portion of the only record available for studying effects of environmental change on the distributions, appearances, and genetic features of the world's animals, fungi and plants.
  • Public Art: Outdoor Campus Sculptures, Artifacts and Memorials, Architectural Features
    An online database of public art on the University of Michigan campus.
  • Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry
    The mission of the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry is to educate its audiences about the history of dentistry through museum exhibition, related programs, research, and preservation of its collections.
  • Special Collections Library  
    The Special Collections Library holds internationally recognized collections of books, serials, ancient and modern manuscripts, posters, playbills, photographs, pamphlets, artwork, and other materials.
  • Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments  
    Holding over 2500 pieces of historical and contemporary musical instruments from all over the world, the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments is one of the largest accumulations of such artifacts housed in a North American university.
  • Transportation History Collection  
    An important body of printed and visual materials on the history of transportation, covering both modes of transportation and the infrastructure that supports them. The 70,000 item collection includes rare books, pamphlets, photographs, brochures, etc.
  • UM - History & Tradition - Numbered Marker Series & Other Plaques  
    The numbered marker series is meant to be a limited number of cast bronze plaques which commemorate major events, milestones, persons, sites, and buildings significant to the history of the University of Michigan or the nation.
  • University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History  
    Exhibits include displays on prehistoric life with the most extensive dinosaur exhibits in the state of Michigan, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, and a Planetarium. A new gallery for temporary exhibits was created in 2005.
  • University of Michigan Herbarium
    A research and teaching unit dedicated to the study of the diversity of plants and fungi and the discovery of the principles of evolutionary biology. Collections include over 1.7 million specimens.
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art  
    One of the finest university art museums in the country, UMMA holds collections representing 150 years of art collecting. Through 2008 while construction is under way, the Museum is operating a temporary exhibition space called UMMA Off/Site.
  • University of Michigan Papyrology Collection
    With over 7,000 inventory numbers and more than 10,000 individual fragments, this collection is one of the largest of its type in the world.
  • Visual Resources Collections of the Department of the History of Art
    The Visual Resources Collections of the Department of the History of Art is a facility that gives scholars access to visual surrogates of artworks, to aid in the study of the History of Art. Surrogates include 35mm and lantern slides, prints, etc.
  • William L. Clements Library  
    The Clements Library collects primary source materials in all formats relating to the history of America prior to the mid-twentieth century.

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