Special Collections

Collections

Special Collections is made up of seven metacollections:

To get started searching our collections, see this Guide to Finding Materials in Special Collections.

Rare Book Collection

Collections of print material acquired by a single collector, named by or for the collector. Collections span the 15th to 21st centuries, but most collections date from the 19th through 21st centuries. Learn more about the Rare Book Collection.

Manuscript Collection

Contains the papers of individuals, such as students, professors, presidents, and archives of organizations, such as the archives of the University of Southern Maine’s (USM) predecessors (Gorham Academy, Gorham Campus Collection, Portland University, University of Maine Portland, Portland Junior College). There are also collections of photographs, printed material, and other material culture about USM and collections supporting the curriculum. The collections date from the 19th century to the present. Learn more about the Manuscript Collection.

University Archives

These are the records produced by the University. The Archives is arranged according to the hierarchal structure of the University.

  • Record Group (Colleges, Administrative Units)
  • Subgroups (Academic Departments, Offices)
  • Series (record types, genres, i.e., correspondence, reports)

The Archives is divided into two groups:

  1. 1970—June 30, 2011 (RG). This group also includes the records of University of Maine, Portland-Gorham.
  2. post-July 1, 2011 (RG2011)

The Archives consists of unit level records documenting administration and unit activities (programming, publications) and do not include personnel records which are maintained by Human Resources. The Archives includes paper, printed, audio, visual, audio-visual materials. Major University publications are cataloged, particularly serials and sets, such as yearbooks and catalogs (See Archives Print Collection). Learn more abut the University Archives.

Sampson General Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

This collection, part of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations who worked for civil rights and diversity in Maine. It includes the papers of Jean Byers Sampson, for whom the Center was named. It also contains a print collection, primarily of publications by the Sampson Center. The collection focuses on historical sources, excluding creative works of fiction or art, unless such works document civil rights and diversity in Maine. Most of the material dates from the 21st century to the present. Learn more about the Sampson General Collection.

African American Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

This collection, part of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations active in the African American community of Maine. The bulk of the manuscript collection dates from the 20th century to the present, but a few collections contain items from the 19th century. There are also rare or unique print materials about the community (all 20th century or later) and the book collection of Gerald E. Talbot. The collection focuses on historical sources, excluding creative works of fiction or art, unless such works document the community. Learn more about the African American Collection.

Judaica Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

This collection, part of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations active in the Jewish community of Maine. The bulk of the manuscript collections date from the 20th century or later, but there is one item from the 17th century. There are also rare or unique print materials about the community (all 20th century or later). The collection focuses on historical sources, excluding creative works of fiction or art, unless such works document the community. Learn more about the Judaica Collection.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

This collection, part of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations active in the LGBTQ+ communities of Maine. The manuscript collections date from the 1970s to the present. There are also rare or unique print materials about the community (all 1970s or later), including a unique series of 42 newspapers by community groups around the state. The collection focuses on historical sources, excluding creative works of fiction or art, unless such works document the community. Learn about the LGBTQ+ Collection.