What We Have

Materials in Special Collections and University Archives fall into three broad categories: Special Collections, University Archives, and Rare Books. Within each of these areas, we work to collect, care for, and preserve materials of continuing value and interest to our campus community. Materials preserved in Special Collections and University Archives are unique, fragile, and historically valuable. They do not circulate like other library materials, and can be used only in our onsite Reading Room in Seidman House or through our digital collections online.


James Ochs WWII photograph

Special Collections

Special Collections contains archival and manuscript collections of individuals, families, businesses and organizations related to:

  • Regional history, art, and literature
  • The United States Civil War and slavery
  • Grand Valley State University founders and alumni
  • Veterans history, especially WWII

...and much more!

Each collection may contain material in a variety of formats, including documents, diaries and correspondence, photographs and negatives, audiovisual media, and digital files. 

Learn more about Special Collections

Special Collections and University Archives storage

University Archives

Grand Valley State University Archives is the repository for official and supplemental historical records created by the University's administration, academic departments, faculty, students, and campus organizations. The University Archives collects paper and digital records, photographs and negatives, audio, video, and digital media that document and support the university's mission to contribute to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service.

Search Grand Valley State University History

Rare book shelfie

Rare Books

Our Rare Books collections encompass many different collecting areas. 

  • Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, and Slavery
  • History of Books and Printing
  • History of Medicine
  • Incunabula
  • Regional history
  • Michigan in the Novel
  • Independent presses
  • Literature and genre fiction 

...and much more! 

Learn more about our Rare Books collections

Frequently Asked Questions

Our digital collections include oral histories, Grand Valley State University photographs, veteran's history collections, and much more. 


We also have University publications available on the University's Institutional Repository, ScholarWorks. These collections include press releases, yearbooks, Presidential speeches, student newspapers, and the faculty newsletter The Forum.

Make an appointment with us by emailing [email protected]. All physical materials must be used onsite at Seidman House. 

Special Collections and University Archives is located in Seidman House, on the Allendale Campus. 

We have particular collecting strengths in:

  • Veterans' and military history, in particular WWII
  • West Michigan regional history 
  • Local artists
  • Abraham Lincoln and the United States Civil War
  • History of the book and printing arts
Digital Collections

Discover materials in our Digital Collections

Search our collections

Find out what's available to view on site.

Request a research appointment

View our materials at Seidman House

Page last modified June 3, 2022