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This collection presents a variety of materials selected from the Department of Special Collections in the UW–Madison Libraries. Items have been chosen to showcase the department's holdings, highlight specific collections, and provide broader access to material that is rare, fragile, or otherwise difficult to work with.
In addition to the materials found here, a number of Special Collections' books have been scanned in their entirety and can be found elsewhere in the Digital Collections, especially in the Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture and in the History of Science and Technology Collection. The Publishers' Bindings Online Collection also pulled heavily from Special Collections materials.
The Department of Special Collections was founded in 1946 and now features one of the nation's leading collections for history of science. Other collection strengths include literary magazines, the Cairns Collection of American Women Writers Before 1920, Italian history and culture, European political movements, the history of the book, and philosophy and theology, among others. For more information about these collections, visit the Special Collections website.