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Missouri State University Libraries

Special Collections and Archives:
General Information

The information below will answer the most common questions about accessing the collections in the Special Collections and Archives Department. Researchers are urged to contact the department with any additional questions – the archives staff welcome the chance to work with you.

Contact Information

Missouri State University
Special Collections and Archives
Meyer Library Room 306
901 S National Ave
Springfield, MO 65897

(417) 836-5428


Meet the Staff

Guidelines for Donations

The Special Collections and Archives Department is actively seeking materials that complement the existing holdings. Potential donors are encouraged to contact the Archives to discuss guidelines for donations to the collections.

Accessing the Collections

When processing is complete on an archival collection, a finding aid is developed and placed online. Currently the finding aids may be accessed alphabetically by collection name and by broad subject heading.

Special Collections often allows access to unprocessed collections, but such access is at the discretion of the archives staff. Researchers planning to use unprocessed materials should make arrangements ahead of time so the materials can be reviewed. Researchers should also recognize that working with collections with minimal or no organization can be a time consuming, but potentially rewarding, task.

In addition, the book collections are cataloged and included in the University Libraries online catalog, SWAN. As with all materials in Special Collections, the books must be used in the Reading Room and cannot be checked out.

Please note that the holdings listed on this webpage and in SWAN are only a part of the department’s materials. Researchers should contact the department to learn about the collections that are not yet included here.

Use Policies

  • All users must show positive current photo identification.
  • Food, drink, and smoking are not permitted.
  • Keep the records in their present arrangement. Loose pages will stay in order if turned like pages in a book.
  • Please use only one folder of materials at a time.
  • Make no marks, erasures or other changes to the records.
  • Use pencil only; the use of ink is prohibited.
  • Photocopying is permitted if it is in accordance with donor agreements and copyright restrictions, unless the item is fragile or too large. All photocopying is done by archives personnel.
  • Materials are for reference use only. The user agrees to publish no portion of them without the written permission of Missouri State University Libraries, and assumes sole responsibility for any infringement of the literary rights, copyrights, or other rights which pertain to these materials.
  • The materials may not circulate outside the Department.
  • Theft, destruction or mutilation of library materials is a crime (MoRS 570.200-570.215)
  • Citations should follow this format: identification of the item, name of the collection, Special Collections and Archives, Missouri State University.

Suggestions For First Time Visitors

  • Bring pencils and paper; we do not allow pens and some items may be too fragile to photocopy.
  • Photocopying is done at the discretion of archives staff.
  • Patrons should have their University or other photo identification available.
  • Complete call number information is necessary when requesting a book. This information can be obtained by consulting the online catalog (SWAN).
  • Research in primary sources is often time-consuming, so allow adequate time to use special collections and archives materials. It is advisable to consult secondary or published sources before beginning research in primary sources.
  • Prior to visiting campus, researchers are encouraged to contact the department to discuss research needs. Brief contact prior to a visit can result in a more efficient research experience.
  • Visitor parking information is available online.