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Special Collections and Rare Books: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use Special Collections?

Anyone! Those interested in using the collection can search the library's catalog via the advanced search option, and enter "b8:special" in one of the search boxes (label it "keyword" using the drop-down menu). You can your add other search terms in other boxes, or browse the whole collection by entering only b8:special. Although these items cannot be checked out, anyone is free to take a peek (or a long stare) at our collections.

How do I access Special Collections materials?

Please speak with the College Archives staff or a Reference Librarian who will happily help you access our materials.

You can contact the College Archives at 507-933-7554,, or by stopping by our office on the third floor.

Do I have to make an appointment to use Special Collections materials?

While appointments are never discouraged, you do not need one to use our materials.

What are the rules for using the Special Collections Room?

Leave your bags or personal belongings on the floor near you.

Leave any food or drinks closed and on the floor.

Only use a pencil, no pens or markers.

Laptops and cell phones are welcome.

Can I make photocopies or take photographs?

Photocopies may be possible depending on the condition of the materials, however, we recommend you try taking a photograph, either with a camera or a phone, but please turn off the flash.

Can I donate items to Special Collections and Rare Books?

Yes you can, as long as the materials fit into the scope of Gustavus Special Collections and Rare Books.  For more information please contact the College Archives staff at 507-933-7554 or

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