Special Collections

Guide to Finding Materials in Special Collections


A majority of Special Collections’ Rare Book Collections have now been cataloged and can be found in URSUS, the online library catalog, following the steps below.

Go to the home page for USM Libraries.

Under Search the Library, select URSUS Catalog

Select Advanced Search at left under greysearch box.

Under Enter Search Terms add keywords for your topic.

Hint: use truncation (add an asterisk * to the root of word) to improve search. For example, “environment*” retrieves: environment, environmental, and environmentalism. 

URSUS Search Box

Under Library Catalog, click arrow for Narrow by Scope, scroll down and click on USM Dept of Special Collections. 

Narrow by Scope

Hint: you can also limit results by date range, by adding dates under Year.


For more information about individual book collections visit http://usm.maine.edu/library/specialcollections/book-collections.

We have created links which will allow searching within a single book collection. For example, if you would like to search only the Shirley S. and Bernard Kazon Americana Collection, go to our Book Collections page and scroll down to the Kazon Collection.

Click Search the Kazon Americana Collection in the online catalog URSUS.

This collection has almost 1200 titles, too many to scroll through! Narrow your search by clicking on Modify Search at the top of the screen.

You can add search terms and limit by date. For example, if you would like to see titles related to slavery written in the 1840s, you could enter slav* and enter From 1840 To 1849.

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University Archives

Learn more about the University Archives here.

A complete list of material in the University Archives is not available online. For further research assistance, contact Susie R. Bock, 780-4269, susie.bock@maine.edu.

Manuscript Collections

A finding aid provides a description of the types of materials and date range of the items and lists what is in each box and folder of the collection.  It is possible to search across the finding aids of all our collections which have been processed in Digital Commons in the search box in the upper left. 

Find out more about our manuscript materials in the links below:

General Manuscript Collection

Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

Note: Not all manuscript collections are available for searching online. For assistance with these collections, contact Susie R. Bock, 207-780-4269, susie.bock@maine.edu.

Digital Images

Some of our materials have been digitized and can be found online in the Digital Commons, http://digitalcommons.usm.maine.edu/special_collections/.

Reading Room Location and Hours

Special Collections, 6th floor, Glickman Library

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday from 1 - 5 p.m.

To make an appointment outside regular open hours or for further research assistance, contact Susie R. Bock, 207-780-4269, susie.bock@maine.edu.

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