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.
- William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections
Located on the lower level of Mills Library, L-B101, L-B102
Telephone: (905)525-9140 x 27369 or x22079
- The Archives of Hamilton Health Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences
Located on the lower level of the Health Sciences Library, Health Sciences Centre, 1B31.
Telephone: (905)525-9140 x22928
- The Canadian Baptist Archives
Located in Divinity College, Room 152
Telephone: (905) 525-9140 x23511 or x23512
3. To find Special Collections located outside of McMaster University:
- Directory of Special Collections of Research Value in Canadian Libraries
- Repositories of Primary Sources
- Rare Books on the Web