The University of Chicago Library stimulates discovery and creativity in all areas of the arts. Strong collections in the arts have been a tradition of the University of Chicago Library since its founding in 1892. A collection of over 900 engravings of Rome and Roman antiquities from the 16th through the 18th century was part of the founding collection, and early music scores, movie stills, and theatrical works were collected from the early 20th century. The gift of the archive of Poetry; A Magazine of Verse established a firm foundation for collecting modern and contemporary poetry that continues to this day. In addition to continuing to supporting traditional areas of arts inquiry, the collection has grown to encompass genres such as contemporary artists’ books, graphic novels, zines and, most recently, videogames. Guides to humanities collections illustrate the range and depth of available resources.

The Special Collections Research Center is home to the Library's rare books, manuscripts, University Archives, and the Chicago Jazz Archive.  In addition to serving as the steward of these rare materials, Special Collections makes primary sources available to stimulate, enrich, and support research, teaching, learning, and administration at the University of Chicago, and to a broad constituency as part of the University's engagement with the larger community of scholars and independent researchers.  Special Collections also hosts an active exhibition program, featuring selected materials from our collections in a state-of-the-art gallery located on the first floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library.  Exhibitions are free and open to the public and can be viewed during the Research Center's regular public service hours.

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The Special Collections Research Center and its Exhibition Gallery are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. while classes at the University of Chicago are in session.

Exhibits at the John Crerar Library are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 

For current hours for all libraries, visit

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