About Special Collections and Museums

The Special Collections and Museums Division of the Library, Museums and Press seeks to build its collections in support of the research and learning mission of the University of Delaware. These collections are open and available to faculty, students, and the public in support of scholarship and general interest. Special Collections, which includes printed materials and archival collections, focuses its collecting on areas that support the educational programs of the University, with an emphasis on the fine, decorative, and applied arts; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana, with a concentration in the greater regions of Delmarva and the Delaware Valley; the history of the book and technology around printing and papermaking; horticulture; and history of science and technology with concentrations in the history of chemistry and engineering. There are three museums that each have a distinct area of focus: the Mineralogical Museum, which displays minerals; Mechanical Hall Gallery, where art is displayed, often with a strong emphasis on African American art; and Old College Gallery, which focuses broadly on works of art.

Together, Special Collections and Museums respond to the growing interest in collaborative interdisciplinary research, and also support research of primary sources, rare books and other publications, and artwork. Our exhibitions and galleries are free of charge to students, faculty and the general public. Exhibitions and related programming focus on specific aspects of the collection, or draw on the collections to explore issues that might be historical, political, literary, or artistic. Tours are arranged upon request. Working with individual faculty, members of the staff use the collections to design classes or small exhibitions tailored to specific teaching needs. We encourage members of the University community to schedule an appointment to discuss how the collections might enhance your research and teaching.

Students, faculty, members of the UD community, and the general public are invited to attend our exhibitions and programs. For hours, locations, and other details, please see the visiting section of this site.