NYU Special Collections is dedicated to the stewardship and preservation of, and provision of access to, the rich, diverse collections of its three repositories.
Service Update October 24, 2022:
NYU Special Collections is open for in-person research appointments. To schedule an appointment, please ensure you have an active Special Collections Research Account (SCRA).
Appointment slots do book quickly, so please schedule as far in advance as possible.
For NYU Cardholders:
Appointments must be scheduled at least three business days in advance at all times. Appointments are scheduled via your Special Collections Research Account when you submit your research requests.
For External Researchers (Without an Active NYU ID Card):
All visitors to NYU Campus buildings, including the Library, must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Appointments must be scheduled at least three business days in advance. Please read the University’s Visitors Policy prior to requesting an appointment.
Guidelines For All Reading Room Users
- Reading room seats are limited, and appointment slots are often filled months in advance.
- Bookings are first-come, first served and we cannot guarantee the availability of preferred dates.
- Prior access to Special Collections does not guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your preferred requests at the current time.
- During visits, all individuals must abide by all health and safety protocols as per University guidelines.
Fall Term (September 6 to December 22, 2022): Monday - Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Highlights from the Special Collections
Fales 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.
The Fales materials 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.
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, 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.
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 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.
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.
New York University Archives
The archives serve as the final repository for the historical records of NYU. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the University and to provide source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other members of the University community, as well as scholars, authors, and other interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of the University’s activities on the history of American social, cultural, and intellectual development.
University records encompass the records or papers generated or received by the various administrative offices of New York University in the conduct of their business. These collections include materials from a variety of administrative offices and organizations, from minutes of the University Council/Board of Trustees to departmental records, accreditation reports, University publications, and records of the various alumni organizations. They also include materials in a wide variety of formats, from correspondence to audiovisual recordings to electronic records.
As a means of documenting the internal life and culture of the University community, we acquire and provide access to the personal and professional papers of selected New York University faculty, and offer access to records and papers related to the history of New York University.
Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM)
RISM brought the burgeoning methodologies of the social sciences to bear on the study of developing and rapidly changing societies.
John Brademas Congressional Papers
These Papers document the career of Johns Brademas as a U.S. Congressional Representative from Indiana’s Third District from 1959 to 1981.
The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Materials in the history of labor, radicalism, and progressive social movements. Tamiment/Wagner also includes the Frederick Ewen Academic Freedom Center, the Center for the United States and the Cold War, and the Archives of Irish America.
Tamiment holds the official archives of the Communist Party, USA, and the Daily Worker newspaper, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the Socialist Party, and the Democratic Socialist of America, as well as the papers of Eugene Debs, James and Esther Jackson, Michael Harrington, and Howard Zinn.
Tamiment is the official repository of New York City’s Central Labor Council and holds the archives of many of its unions, including UAW District 65, the United Federation of Teachers, and AFSCME District Council 37.
Tamiment holds many collections relating to the Cold War and its effect on U.S. society. These holdings include the papers of the Nation magazine, Phillip Agee, Howard Zinn, Alger Hiss, and the film archive of Estela Bravo.
The Archives of Irish America is part of the Tamiment Library. This important collection documents the Irish Diaspora in America, its relationship to the American labor movement, to New York City history, and to American culture and society in general. The collection includes the Mick Moloney Irish-American Music and Popular Culture Collection, one of the largest collections in the U.S. for the study of Irish-American music and popular culture.