Short Description

The Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP), including the University Archives, is home to a rich collection of rare and unique historical materials.

Visitors are welcome. RBSCP's spaces include the Jacob Robert Cominsky Reading Room, the Hyam Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing, and the William Henry Seward Room.


Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP) is open to everyone. We partner with students, faculty, and the community through exhibitions, classes, workshops, and lectures.

Our in-person research hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. In the Fall 2023 semester, we will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24 and Saturday, December 23 - Sunday, January 7. 

For questions about the department, including reproductions, please contact us. If you have questions about a specific collection or research topic, your email will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. 

Fall 2023 update - we are updating the user interface for ArchivesSpace, the software we use to create and manage our finding aids. This new interface will launch on October 23 and will feature robust search and filter options, as well as a new layout that is more user-friendly. Researchers will be able to filter search results by subject, library, language, keyword, and date and sort by date and title. The new interface will make research in and across our collections significantly easier. Stay tuned for more information!

Explore RBSCP

Welcome! More information about who we are and how to visit us.  

We are open to everyone and partner with students, faculty, and the community on instruction, research, internships, events, and physical and digital exhibitions.

Rare Books and Special Collections
Learn more about our collections through our finding aids, subject guides, and our access and collection development policies. 

Digital Exhibitions and Projects
Links to a wide range of digital exhibitions and projects created by students, faculty, and RBSCP staff. 

Our blog contains information about the collections, people, and events of RBSCP and the University Archives.

University Archives
Discover the history of the University of Rochester through manuscripts, publications, images, exhibitions, and more.

Digital Collections and Publications
Links to fully digitized collections and publications from RBSCP and the University Archives.

Databases for Collections
Databases have been developed for a number of manuscript, book, and print collections in the department to enable access to their contents.

This video gives you an overview to the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation. It includes a bird's eye view of our collections, how we are different from the rest of River Campus Libraries, and an introduction to our online exhibits and collections.

Mailing Address
755 Library Road
Rochester NY 14627
Phone: 585-275-4477
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