Established in 1982, Special Collections supports the University's academic programs and its instructional and research interests. It also preserves and promotes collections that hold particular historical and cultural significance. Holdings range from manuscripts and rare books to works of art and visual material.
The book collections include several named collections, such as the James A. Michener Papers Book Collection, and a large general collection, including scarce, valuable, and irreplaceable titles gathered over the years through gifts from individuals in the University of Northern Colorado community, from the Libraries' stacks, and from other donations.
The term "manuscript" encompasses a broad array of documents and records in various formats created by individuals and organizations and comprised of materials that have been collected on the basis of some shared characteristic such as the same format (sheet music or postcards, for example), relate to a particular subject (Dearfield, earth buildings), be written by the same author (Connie Willis, Khunying Vinita Diteeyont ), or simply have been assembled by an individual or organization.