Celebrating Research

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Stony Brook University, State University of New York, Libraries

Library Overview

Special Collections at Stony Brook University has been an invaluable resource for the university community, visiting scholars, and the general public for more than 35 years. The depth and uniqueness of the collections offer numerous opportunities for scholarship. Significant archives relating to the arts, literature, and the history of technology have recently been acquired by the department. Highlights include: a letter from General George Washington to his chief spymaster written in 1779 that details spying techniques; the archives of Senator Jacob K. Javits; the papers of the national organization Environmental Defense; the manuscripts of Italian-American author Pietro di Donato; and the largest English-language Chinese cookbook collection in the world, with over 2,600 titles. The Rare Book and Map Collections at Stony Brook University include over 20,000 fine and scarce volumes dating from 1493 to the present. The department is particularly recognized for its extensive Long Island Collection, which documents the history of one of the first planned suburban communities in the United States. Special Collections also serves as a regional resource for maps, atlases, and aerial photography, as it maintains over 2,000 individual items dating back to the 17th century.

The department actively contributes to national efforts to establish digital libraries. In 2003, in collaboration with the Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC), a digitization lab was established at Stony Brook University Libraries. The materials preserved by the Special Collections at Stony Brook University are unmatched in scope and depth by any other archive on Long Island. The manuscript and monograph holdings have grown significantly in the past five years due to an active outreach campaign and the generosity of donors. There is a new Web site available that contains in-depth information about Special Collections at Stony Brook University.

Special Collections and University Archives
Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library, Room E-2320
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York 11794-3323
(631) 632-7119 (t)
(631) 632-1829 (f)