Libraries use the term "special collections" to describe materials in their collections that are rare, unique, old, require special handling or are otherwise distinctive. The amount of special collections material is one of the reasons why Yale's libraries are known around the world. Like all of our library materials, special collections are here for you to use, although they often require some preliminary steps before you can do so. Special collections materials are not available for circulation, however. Please visit this guide to learn more about using Yale's special collections.
Digital Collections refers to materials that have been digitized by Yale Library, usually in response to scholar requests, sometimes by grant-funded projects. Only a small portion of our collections have been fully digitized, but even so, these items number in the millions. You can explore our Digital Collections here.