Archives and Special Collections

Collection Highlights

  • The Manuscripts Collection contains items dated from the end of the 15th Century including several Book of Hours
  • Over 14,000 rare books
  • 5 incunabula printed between 1455 and 1501
  • A Pamphlet Collection containing 4000 documents dating from 1744 to 1990
  • The Bernard and Sylvia Ostry Collection of books  
  • The Arthur Bray UFO book and periodicals collection 

What are Special Collections?

The Special Collections consist of various collections of documents, most of which are printed. The University of Ottawa Library's Special Collections has been built over time through transfers from the general collection, donations and purchases.

Special Collections include: 

  • Rare books and manuscripts
  • Art and artists books
  • Facsimiles
  • Pamphlets

Handling the material

Special Collections material are typically rare and valuable and require special care to ensure long-term preservation. 

Please follow these simple rules when visiting ARCS :

  • No food or drink in the reading room.
  • Pencils only.
  • Ensure you have clean hands before handling the material and wear gloves if instructed by ARCS staff. 
  • No flash photography.
  • Do not hold items in your hands more than necessary. 
  • Use book cradles, wedges and weights if required. 

ARCS staff will guide you on how to properly view your requested material upon your visit. 

Search the Catalogue

Special Collections materials are searchable via the Library's catalogue