LOOP » Doing Research » Special Collections

Special Collections |

Things to Remember!
  • There is an extensive selection of Brooklyn- and Brooklyn College-related material housed in Special Collections.
  • While you are free to peruse the Special Collections (under the supervision of an archivist and only in the Special Collections area), you may not take any of the items home with you.
  • Special Collections is accessible Mondays through Fridays from 9 AM until 5 PM. (Please note that it is closed on weekends.)

Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections Division of the Brooklyn College Library was established in 1950. It is committed to acquiring, preserving, and providing access to the records of enduring value that document the Brooklyn College community. The department collects both published and unpublished works relating to the unique cultural, social, and historical development of the Borough of Brooklyn and its many and varied neighborhoods.

The Archives' records, files, and materials include a wide array of sources, such as reports, studies, memoranda, correspondence, newspapers, photographs, drawings, paintings, maps, atlases, audiotapes and video recordings, and memorabilia. These materials document the growth and development of the institution and the students, faculty, and administrators associated with it. The department relies upon the transfer of records from the college's academic and administrative departments and the direct donation of archival materials from alumni, faculty, and other private donors to build the collections. The holdings of the Archives and Special Collections Department are divided into five distinct and unique collections:


Brooklyniana Collection
Collections in this grouping document the evolution of the borough of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn College Archives
Contains Brooklyn College-related material, including Master's theses, yearbooks, newspapers, and departmental records.

Hess Collections
Devoted to colonial issues and the colonial period. The materials date from the late 18th to the mid-twentieth centuries.

Historical Manuscript Collection
Collections include the personal and professional papers and memorabilia of individuals who have national and social importance.

Rare Book Collection
Contains some 2,000 volumes ranging from the late 16th century to the early 20th century.

Research Assistance

Reference and research assistance is offered to all Brooklyn College students, alumni, faculty, and administrators. Please consult the Special Collections website for further information on accessing the archives and collections.

The book titles in the Archives and Special Collections Division are cataloged and appear in both OneSearch and the catalog. Some of the Special Collections finding aids are available online at the Online Finding Aid page.