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The Fales Library & Special Collections, one of three special collections at New York University, comprises over 350,000 volumes of books and other printed materials; more than 11,000 linear feet of archives, and over 100,000 individual and unique media elements.

Major collections in the Fales Library & Special Collections include the Fales Library of English and American Literature, the Downtown New York Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, the Riot Grrrl Collection, and the general Special Collections of NYU. These complement the collection policies of the Libraries by supplying rare or fine editions of text and original copies of media, or by prospectively collecting in areas of historical and cultural interest.

NYU Special Collections — Fales Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives, and University Archives — is undergoing a major renovation over the next two years. For more information, please visit the Special Collections Renovation Project website.

All repositories will be closed to researchers during the following periods:
• May 22, 2019 - September 2, 2019
• May 21, 2020 - September 7, 2020

There may be an impact on services and collections during our opening times. We request all patrons make appointments to use materials.​

The Special Collections will be unable to accommodate any outgoing loan requests during the period of renovation, fall 2018 through fall 2020.

Highlighted Collecting Areas

Fales Library of British and American Literature

The Fales Library of English and American Literature documents the history of the novel in English, broadly representing developments in narrative and prose fiction from 1700 to the present.

The Downtown Collection

The Downtown Collection, founded in 1994, comprises hundreds of archives, printed materials and media documenting the downtown arts scene that evolved in SoHo and the Lower East Side from the 1960s through to the present.

Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection

The Marion Nestle Food Studies collection documents the evolution of world cuisines and food practices with a particular focus on the United States and the food habits and activity in New York City.

The Riot Grrrl Collection

The Riot Grrrl Collection documents the evolution of the feminist, punk youth movement Riot Grrrl in the 1990s, as well as adjacent queer and feminist activism and performance emerging from or inspired by Riot Grrrl.

Special Collections

Serving as the Special Collection for the arts and humanities at NYU, the general special collections range from cuneiform tablets to modern manuscripts, and cover a wide range of material formats and subjects.