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Special Collections


Special Collections contain rare books, periodicals and manuscripts documenting the history of Oakland County and Michigan, as well as other topics relevant to research in history, English, political science, art history, theatre, women and gender studies, and other disciplines.


Congressman Michael J. Rogers

Michael J. Rogers Congressional Collection

Michael J. "Mike" Rogers (1963- ) served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives between 2001 and 2015, representing Michigan's 8th District. He was the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2010-2015). Before his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as a Senator in the Michigan Senate in 1994-2000.

The Mike Rogers Papers, held at Oakland University, include thousands of physical and digital documents, photos, videos, and artifacts.


Cover of Dotty Dimple book

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.  The books are arranged in chronological order so that researchers can see how children's books developed over the decades.  The collection also includes a section of reference books related to children's literature.


LGBT book covers

Gaylor Collection

(KL 105, open 9:00-11:00am and 1:30-3:30pm, M-F)

The collection contains many titles of historical significance related to GLBT lives.  Fiction and non-fiction works are available, covering a wide range of disciplines such as religion, philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, politics, literature, and the arts. The collection is the gift of retired professor Robert Gaylor.


Hicks Collection of Books by and about Women

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. It includes British and American women writings from the 17th to 19th centuries.


Springer Civil War Collection

This is probably 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, pamphlets, photos, newspapers, and the "Black Papers." There are also a large number of artifacts.

Fred L. Black Papers

A collection of materials regarding the death of John Wilkes Booth and his burial.  Mr. Black was a lawyer and assistant to Henry Ford I who researched the conspiracy to kill President Lincoln and the death of John Wilkes Booth. The collection covers the 2 years of his investigation. Mr. Black was also the editor of the Dearborn Independent and wrote an unpublished manuscript on his findings.


Remembering Lincoln - selected items from the Springer collection, presented in the Remembering Lincoln project initiated by Ford’s Theatre for the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Eugene Mack, from Addison Township

Oakland County History

A variety of 19th century and early 20th century Oakland County historical records are kept in this collection.

See also the papers of Eugene Mack (1845-1940), a prominent farmer and business and civil leader of Addison Township, in Oakland County.

Other miscellaneous collections document the history of Oakland County.


Billie S. Farnum Papers

Billie Farnum served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat for the new 19th Congressional District in 1965-1967. Before that he was   Assistant Secretary of State of Michigan (1957-1960) and Auditor General of Michigan (1961-1965). In 1967-1968 he served as deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1967-1968. He was elected secretary of the Michigan Senate in 1968 and served in that capacity until his death in 1975.

The Billie S. Farnum Papers consist in the records created during his time in the House of Representatives and his various positions for the State of Michigan.

Image courtesy of Mike Herek

Anglo Irish Collection

The focus of the collection is the papers of Donagh MacDonagh, an Irish playwright. His thesis on T.S. Eliot is annotated by Eliot himself. The collection includes letters to and from T.S. Eliot, other Irish writers, and typescripts of MacDonagh's plays.

There are also about 200 volumes of Anglo Irish literature, including imprints from the famous Cuala and Dolmen Presses.


Fine binding

Book Room

3000 volumes which have been deemed valuable because of their individual value or because of the uniqueness of the book. Some items are autographed, some have special significance to OU.  The collection is particularly strong on Michigan history and American literature, with numerous books signed by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, and other American authors.


James Collection

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.


Opan Redman

China Gift Collection

(326-328 KL)

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.

Robert Malcolmson

Malcomson Gift

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

Faculty Collection

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."

Thesis Collection

(KL 3rd floor by room 300)

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'.

Past Exhibits in Kresge Library


Remembering Lincoln
(Spring 2015)


Created by Name / Updated on November 6, 2017 by Name

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