Special Collections & University Archives
Seidman House contains the Grand Valley State University Libraries’ rare book collection, regional historical manuscripts, historical maps and other works of art, as well as the University Archives.
Both Special Collections and the University Archives were represented in the Library’s collections and services shortly after the establishment of the institution in the early 1960s. The purchase of an Ohio scholar’s library in 1962 to acquire one thousand books towards the University’s (then College’s) opening-day collection also provided a dozen examples of books printed in the 1500s. So too were records and publications relating to the institution consciously collected to form a fledgling college archive.
By the early 1990s the continually growing library collections, services, and staff located in the library building (Zumberge Library) had severely restricted the space allotted to Special Collections & University Archives. In 1995 Seidman House, originally built in 1965 as the Collegiate Center was renovated and remodeled for use by the Libraries as a new home for Special Collections & University Archives.
An addition to Seidman House was built in 2001 primarily to house the large gift of books and other materials that had been donated periodically by a major benefactor who also funded the project.
The Special Collections & University Archives holdings are housed in secure stack areas where environmental conditions are carefully monitored to insure a stable temperature and humidity within ranges appropriate for the preservation of special materials. Materials do not circulate outside the library. Procedures for use are designed to assure proper handling of materials consistent with the library's commitment to preserving its collections for future generations.
A growing number of items from these collections are available on the Digital Collections site.
Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
While these hours are generally stable, researchers and visitors not affiliated with Grand Valley State University are advised to telephone or e-mail to make appointments.
Special Collections & University Archives
Grand Valley State University Libraries
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, Michigan 49401
Director of Special Collections & University Archives
Seidman House is on the Allendale Campus of Grand Valley State University, 15 miles west of Grand Rapids, Michigan. To get to Seidman House, follow Campus Drive until you come to parking lot, M on the north (left)—see Visitor Parking, below. Follow the sidewalk north from Lot M past two buildings on the left. As you walk toward the Zumberge Library from Lot M, Seidman House will be on your right. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..
Where to stay:
- The Grand Valley State University Alumni House and Visitor Center is located on the north end of the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University. It stands at the entrance to campus just off Lake Michigan Drive. The facility is available for use by researchers who are visiting the Special Collections and Archives. The building features four overnight rooms. Call 616-331-3590 for information.
- The nearest hotel is the Sleep Inn & Suites (4869 Backer Drive, Allendale MI 49401), located adjacent to the GVSU campus. Call 616-892-8000.
- There are many others accommodations available in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and other area communities.
All visitors are required to have a temporary permit to park in any non-metered parking area between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visitor permits are available at no cost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the Department of Public Safety Services office in the Service Building. Metered parking is available for short-term use adjacent to the Kirkhof Center/Performing Arts Center, and in Lots C, F and M. Parking meters in these areas are enforced from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce that the Jim Harrison Papers (1938-present) are now available to researchers. Thanks to a grant from Meijer Foundation, GVSU acquired the papers of Michigan writer Jim Harrison in 2005. Harrison’s poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature has been published since the early 1960s. The collection contains extensive correspondence to Harrison from friends, family, fans, and fellow writers including Tom McGuane, Ted Kooser, Dan Gerber, Gary Snyder, Denise Levertov, Rick Bass, Terry Tempest Williams, Louise Erdrich, Peter Matthiessen, artist and writer Russell Chatham, French gourmand Gerard Oberle, and chef Mario Batali.
Exhibit cases at Seidman House feature items from Special Collections on a rotating basis. Examples of Incunabula and 16th-century printing, Abraham Lincoln art and artifacts, Civil War memorabilia, and books from Michigan authors are currently on display.
The Winter 2007 issue of Grand Valley Magazine highlights two collections from the Special Collections & University Archives. The Papers of Michigan writer Jim Harrison and the University Archives collection of concert posters are featured in this issue.
Jim Harrison: A prolific author catalogs his work and life
A prolific author catalogs his work and life
Rocking the Dome
Everyday people brought rock's biggest acts to Grand Valley
Events and Projects
To be announced.
Page last modified May 6, 2010