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Primary Sources

Special Collections

You can find a wide variety of primary sources in Special Collections.  Here, students, faculty, and visitors from all over the world can access books, manuscripts, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, maps, photographs, ephemera, and realia from the fifteenth century to the present.  

Special Collections has particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; history of science and technology; and politics and policy.

You can see many highlights from our collections in our exhibitions.  In addition to visiting our gallery in Morris Library,  previous exhibitions can be viewed online.

Finding UD's Special Collections

Books and Other Published Materials

Published items held in Special Collections, such as books, journals, pamphlets, and broadsides, are searchable in DELCAT.  It is possible to limit your search to ONLY materials held in Special Collections by selecting the box next to "Special Collections" under the "Library" tab on the sidebar.


Special Collections' manuscripts collections contain a very wide range of materials, such as personal papers, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, drafts, photographs, business records, reports, ephemera, audio, video, and born-digital content. The guides to these collections are called finding aids and they can be browsed and searched here:  Not all finding aids or collection descriptions are online, so please contact Special Collections if you need help with your search.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and writers and illustrators of the 1890s. It comprises more than 9,500 books, letters, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and artworks, including many items signed by such figures as Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Max Beerbohm, William Morris, Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Aubrey Beardsley.

Please note that only a small portion of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection is listed in DELCAT.  Access is by appointment only. For information, contact the collection

Visiting Us

Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Morris Library.  Open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. During the academic year, it is also open Wednesday, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Closed University holidays and breaks. Up-to-date hours can always be found online.