The Special Collections Department is the general designation for rare books, general manuscripts, and special collections which belong to the University of Pittsburgh. Established in 1966, the collections consists of over 52,000 physical volumes, 560 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, 13,000 photographs, 500,000 theatre programs, and various slides, microfilms, posters, recordings, ephemera, and memorabilia. Materials collected by the Special Collections Department are housed in both Hillman Library and the Library Collections Storage Unit (LCSU) in Point Breeze.
The Nesbitt Collection is comprised primarily of children's literature and material related to the history of children and their books and media. The collection encompasses more than 12,000 items dating from the 1600's through the present day and incudes books, magazines, audio-visual material, manuscripts, artifacts, and more.
While many of the items are located within Hillman Library in Special Collections or Microforms, a number of items are housed in our Archives Service Center or our Storage Facility. This research guide describes resources from the Nesbitt Collection and how to access materials from a variety of locations and in a variety of formats.
The Nietz Old Textbook Collection is one of several well-known collections of 19th Century schoolbooks in the United States. Among the 16,000 volumes are many titles that are rarely held and have not yet been reproduced in microform collections or reprint editions. The collection is used by Pitt faculty and students as well as visiting scholars from other colleges and universities. The ULS received two U.S. Higher Education Act Title IIC grants (1985-1987) to catalog the original collection.