Special Collections, a library department, collects, preserves, and makes available rare and unique items that require different management than general library materials. Therefore, its collections are housed separately, and its hours and rules of use are also specific to the department.

We are location on the 6th Floor of the Glickman Family Library on the USM Portland Campus. The address of the Glickman Family Library is 314 Forest Ave., Portland, Maine.

For information on parking, please visit the University’s Parking and Transportation page.

Special Collections Reading Room hours are limited. Regular and holiday hours are posted here.

Appointments are not required to visit during regular hours, but we appreciate advance notice of your visit. If you can’t visit during regular hours, please Contact Us to inquire about making an appointment.

Anyone with a photo-ID. We are free and open to the public.

You need a photo-ID. We provide pencils and loose-leaf paper. You may bring your phone, laptop, or tablet.

Pens, notebooks, food and drink are not allowed. Please review our Reading Room Policy for more information.

Yes! Unprocessed collections are available for use.

A collection is considered unprocessed when a finding aid is not available. We are happy to provide an inventory upon request. Staff will review requested folders prior to use and may choose to restrict access to individual folders to preserve third-party privacy rights. For this reason, we appreciate advance notice of your interest in unprocessed collections.

A finding aid describes the content of a manuscript collection, which contains primary source documents created by an individual or an organization. Our finding aids are available on USM Digital Commons.

Browse through each of our seven meta-collections on our Research page.

Selected items from a variety of collections have been digitalized and made available on USM Digital Commons.

No. All materials are available in the Special Collections Reading Room only.

You may handle items from our collections, and we will gladly show you how to handle items with care. We do not usually ask users to wear gloves, but based on the item, we may require gloves or other tools to support or hold the item.

Yes! We welcome university classes, K-12 classes, and community groups. Visit Teach and Learn to learn more or Contact Us.

You may request material in person, by mail, email, or telephone. Photocopies and digital files will be provided upon payment. Please review our Reproduction Policy and Request for Reproduction and/or Permission to Use Form for detailed information.

The Library of Congress defines primary sources as “the raw materials of history — original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts that retell, analyze, or interpret events, usually at a distance of time or place.”

A Greek lexicon and encyclopedia called the Suida, from the Albert A. Howard Book History Collection. It was printed in Milan by Bissolus in 1499. This book is valued for its extensive quotations from Greek literature, especially of works which no longer survive.

Special Collections has a variety of unique material cultural that supports the USM curriculum. The University Archives and Manuscript Collection documents the history of University of Southern Maine. The collections of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine document African American, Jewish, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ communities. These collections includes books, pamphlets, broadsides, posters, banners, manuscripts, photographs, audio and audio-visual items, clothes, buttons with slogans, household objects, artwork, and many other items.

No. We will search our collections to answer simple questions, but any research requiring more than 15 minutes must be carried out by the individual.

The Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine collects material documenting the ongoing histories of diverse communities. Current collections represent the African American, Jewish, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ communities. The Center promotes diversity and civil rights through research, education, and outreach. It is part of Special Collections.

The University Archives contains the records of the University of Southern Maine as well as its precursors, Gorham Normal School through the University of Maine in Gorham (1878-1970), Portland University (1921-1961), Portland Junior College (1933-1957), and the University of Maine in Portland (1957-1970); University of Maine, Portland – Gorham (1970-1978). It is part of Special Collections.

Please contact Susie R. Bock, 207-780-4269, susie.bock@maine.edu. Visit Donate Materials to learn more.

Yes, we host events related to our collections, diversity, and the African American, Jewish, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ communities of Maine. We have hosted workshops, speaking events, classes, and exhibitions. To see upcoming events, visit the University Calendar or Join Our Mailing List to learn about upcoming events.