Special Collections is Carnegie Mellon University’s repository for rare books, manuscripts, and early scientific instruments and calculating machines. It is open to all members of the CMU community and the public for research and instruction. 

Areas of collections strength include the history of science, cryptology, and computing; early Shakespeare editions (including the Rosenbloom First Folio); the history of the book; and graphic arts and fine printing. 

Housed in the Special Collections Reading Room (Hunt Library, 4th floor) and the Posner Center, Special Collections originated with the 1964 donation of Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt’s non-botanical books and has grown through the addition of important gifts, including the bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, the deposit of the Posner Memorial Collection, and the gift of the Traub-McCorduck collection in 2018.

Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley administers access, interpretation, acquisitions, and research. His own areas of research expertise include bibliography, the culture and literature of the seventeenth century, and the history of science and technology. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Virginia and an MLIS from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science.

For questions about donations or Special Collections’ acquisitions strategy, see What We Collect.