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Special Collections  

Last Updated: Mar 3, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Find special collections for your research.

What are "special collections"?  These are library materials from all subjects that are unique, rare, hard-to-find or are otherwise chosen to receive special care (preservation). These materials generally do not circulate outside of the library. The library's special collections department is the Center for Southwest Research, located in Zimmerman Library, but a few other special collections exist elsewhere in the library system, including special sections within Government Information, the Map & Geographic Information Center, and the Centennial Science & Engineering Library.

Examples of special collections include:

  • Regional books, reports, journals
  • Rare and limited edition books
  • Archival, unique materials including: personal papers, organization & business records, political papers, photographs, oral histories, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, architectural records
  • UNM records and publications

Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections

Find special collections materials at the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections (CSWR). This library department holds a wide variety of books, periodicals, archives and other materials relating to many New Mexico and Southwestern U.S. subjects. They also house rare books from around the world.

The majority of the CSWR collections may be searched through three sources:

LIBROS. UNM’s online catalog. Search for CSWR holdings of books, periodicals, videos, and brief descriptions of archives.

Rocky Mountain Online Archive (RMOA). Search archival collection finding aids (inventories and other detailed descriptive information) from the CSWR and over 25 other archival institutions in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Digital Collections. Selected online documents, photographs, maps, posters, art and music from the CSWR and other New Mexico cultural heritage institutions.

See the Center for Southwest Research website at

Contact us at 277-3814 or

The CSWR is located on the main floor of Zimmerman Library.

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Nancy Brown-Martinez
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1 University of New Mexico
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