Oakland University has a number of eclectic Special
Collections which include rare books along with
Access to the collections is
restricted and by appointment only.
Please fill out the User Request Form if you wish to use any of the materials in these collections.
Most of the materials in Special
Collections are listed in the Library Online Catalog.
Mr. Royce Butler, former head librarian at Oakland University, secured a small
200 volume collection of Anglo Irish materials. Most of the collection
consists of Irish periodicals from the late 1800s. The collection also includes
some original play scripts by Irish authors.
This is a collection of around 600 volumes that are noteworthy for their fine
bindings. The content of the collection is varied; the value lies
in the excellent examples presented of the book binder's art.
The Jane M. Bingham Retrospective Collection of Children's
Literature (2d floor, southwest wing)
Professor Jane M. Bingham, a retired education professor at Oakland University,
is an expert on children's literature. She amassed this collection of
historic children's books, periodicals, and artifacts over a number of years.
The collection is non-circulating and is located on the north end of the 2nd
floor of Kresge Library, beyond the microforms. The books are arranged
in chronological order so that researchers can actually see how children's books
developed over the decades. The collection also includes a section of
reference books related to children's literature.
This is the largest of Oakland's special collections and consists of around
3000 volumes which have been deemed valuable because of their individual value
or because of the uniqueness of the book; for example, some items are autographed,
some have special significance to OU. The collection is particularly strong
on Michigan history and American literature.
China Gift Collection (326-328 Kresge Library)
This collection of over 400 contemporary books on China has been made possible through the generosity of Opal Redman. Ms. Redman, a retired Detroit school teacher, went to China first in 1990 to train teachers of English and eventually coordinated the efforts of the SEHS Chinese Summer Language Institute at Guizhou Normal University in Giuyang, China for many years. She is the author of "The Ripple Effect" and co-author of "Change and Growth in the Oakland/Guizhou Program" in which she talks about her experiences with the Guizhou - Oakland partnership.
Books and book chapters published by Oakland University faculty are available in the circulating collection and are searchable via a keyword search for "Oakland University Faculty Collection"
Frederick L. Black Papers
Mr. Springer is the same collector that amassed the Lincoln material in Special
Gaylor Collection (KL 106)
Hicks Collection of Books by and
Mrs. Margaret Hicks was a former English literature professor at Wayne State
University and a book collector. She collected books by women writers
from the time when women were not supposed to be educated, much less to become
writers. This unique collection of approximately 900 titles is exceptional.
Many of the items are one of a kind and scholars from around the country come
to study this collection. Items date back to the 15th century.
Dr. Thelma James was a professor at Wayne State University for many years and
accumulated a large collection of folklore materials. Her donation of
some 650+ volumes is strong on the folklore of various countries and on witchcraft.
Robert Malcomson was a movie enthusiast and built a collection of film books, magazines and film memorabilia. After his death in 1999, Kresge Library obtained his wonderful collection of approximately 500 books and movie journals through the efforts of English professors Robert Eberwein and Brian Murphy. The books are now part of the general circulating collection and can be identified by a keyword search for “malcomson gift”
Oakland County Historical Records
A variety of 19th century and early 20th century Oakland County historical records are kept in this collection.
Springer Civil War Collection
This is probably the foremost collection at Oakland University and one of the
strongest collections on the Civil War in any Michigan library. Mr. Springer
was the editor of the New Center News published in Detroit and was an
avid collection of Civil War materials. The collection consists of 2000
volumes, lots of original materials, and the "Black Papers." Mr. Black
was an attorney that Mr. Henry Ford I hired to investigate the death of John
Wilkes Booth. There are also a number of artifacts in this collection.
Thesis Collection (KL 100)
This is a collection of the master's and Ph.D. theses that
have been written by Oakland University graduate students.
The over 1000 theses can be found by doing a Subject Search in the library catalog for 'oakland university dissertations'.
Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426