Facebook Pixel Special Collections Library | Western Kentucky University

Special Collections Library

About the Special Collections Library

The Special Collections Library is a unique research center of primary sources for both the university community and general public users. Originally called the "Kentucky Library" with a mission to collect "all things Kentucky," the collection quickly grew to encompass the world. We house rare books, photographs, sheet music, rare periodicals, and specialized research collections in diverse languages or formats dating from the 15th century to today.

Our holdings are unique artifacts of local, national and international importance.  Current collection holdings include more than 75,000 books and periodicals, thousands of unique extant examples of ephemera, music and political memorabilia, and an ever growing number of photographs, images, and sound / video recordings. The Special Collections Library is also the home of the Robert Penn Warren Library. Our materials can be accessed through the One-Search Library Catalog, TopSCHOLAR┬«, KenCat, and in-house paper finding aids.

Reading Room Policies

Search Collections

Digitized Documents

Online Exhibits:

Photocopy Services

Unless their fragility prohibits, most items in the Special Collections Library may be photocopied.  Photocopies cost ten cents.  To arrange for publication quality reproductions, go to More about Services and Fees.

Special Collections Library Faculty & Staff

  • Nancy Richey, Professor, Reading Room Coordinator / Visual Resources Librarian
  • Emma Ward, Library Assistant

Drake's Creek Baptist Association Minutes

The Liberator, anti-slavery newspaper


 African American Civil War Recruiting poster


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 7/12/23