Special Collections accepts donations of books, manuscripts, photographs, films, oral histories, and other primary/secondary source materials. Decisions are based upon both the quality and condition of the items but also whether it falls within our collecting policy. In general, we do not collect artifacts, clothing, or other materials that fall outside the scope of our collecting policy.
Special Collections documents the history of Kentucky and beyond in the following areas: African American history; agriculture; Americana; Appalachia; authors of Kentucky; botanical literature; the bourbon industry; British and American literature of the 18th century; chapbooks, broadsides, posters, hand-bills, maps, and dime novels; children's books; coal mining; education; English literature of the 17th century; equine industry; family and local history; Hispanic/Latino culture; Kentuckiana; medicine; Mexicana; military history; politics and public policy; printing history; science and technology; science fiction; sports history; tobacco; the University of Kentucky history; and women's history.
The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.