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University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries

Library Overview

The genesis of the University of Missouri–Columbia's Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books Division began with a humble collection of rare books housed in the office of the University Librarian. Since then, the Rare Book collection in Ellis Library has grown both by design and through donations, boasting over 35,000 volumes. The Rare Book collection is particularly strong in the history of printing and the book arts, English political and religious history, emblemata, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and private press editions. There are an additional 55,000+ volumes in our diverse and rich collections; collections of philosophy, short stories, early American best sellers, and early common school textbooks have enriched the holdings of the division. The Comic Art Collection also contains numerous important gifts, such as the Mort Walker Beetle Bailey collection and the V. T. Hamlin Alley Oop series. The Comic Art Collection is also strong in graphic novels and underground comic books. The University Archives maintains the official records and publications of the university. More recent collection acquisitions include the Mary Lago collection, which is strong in E. M. Forster and Rabindranath Tagore materials; the Weinberg Journalists in Fiction collection containing over 3,000 novels about journalists; and the Donald Sanders collection from the Senate Watergate Committee.

In addition to the wide variety of print collections, University of Missouri also holds one of the largest microform collections in North America, between 7 and 8 million items. The collection includes materials such as FBI files, women's diaries, historic newspapers, early English books, and American periodicals.

University of Missouri–Columbia
Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books
401 Ellis Library
Columbia, Missouri 65201
(573) 882-0076 (t)
(573) 884-0027 (f)