Find Special Collections

Special Collections are....

  • printed material on a wide variety of subjects but may contain manuscripts and ephemera.
  • often primary source material.
  • considered to be historically significant and comprehensive within a discipline.
  • focused on a particular subject or individual.
  • maintained to meet the requirements of research.
  • available for use by researchers.
  • accessible through McMaster's library catalogue with some exceptions.

Some examples are:

  • pre-1800 books, imprints and journals with an emphasis on eighteenth-century English and European authors and subject areas (social history, literature, etc.)
  • post-1800 printed materials including many British and Canadian authors (H.G. Wells, temperance, Macmillan Canada Imprints, etc.)
  • History of Health and Medicine Collection with an emphasis on Canadian, American and British experience.(Military Medicine, Mental Health and Psychiatry, etc.)
  • Baptistiana (Canadian Baptist Church history and thought, hymnals, bibles, periodicals, a collection of Baptist church records from the United States and other countries)

How to Find Material in these Collections

1. Search the Library Catalogue

Search the Catalogue by Author, Title, Subjects - Library of Congress (LCSH) or Medical Subjects.

2. Unable to find archival material in the Library Catalogue? Contact one of the archival repositories listed below.

3. To find Special Collections located outside of McMaster University: