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Tate Archives & Special Collections

Special Collections Mission Statement, Collection Development & policy links

Holdings in Special Collections of Illinois Wesleyan University include books, records, and manuscript collections.

Mission Statement:

Special Collections consists of individual items and collections that warrant extraordinary care in preservation because of their historical significance, physical format, subject content, or other distinguishing features.

The purpose of Special Collections is to collect material in the primary collecting areas, to serve as a resource and laboratory to stimulate and nourish creative teaching and learning; to encourage the use of Special Collections through exhibits, lectures, and publications; to serve study and research by making available and encouraging the use of its collections to members of Illinois Wesleyan University and the community at large.

Collection Development Policy:

Special Collections encourages the donation, by individuals and organizations, of collected works and materials which fall within its collecting parameters and primary collecting areas. Special collections attempts to collect and welcomes donations in the following areas:

  • Avant-garde and Artists' Books, where visual arts are integral to conveying literary meanings
  • Beat Writers, including ephemera among the forms of printed materials
  • Book Arts Collection, consisting of works that exemplify artistic processes used in creating books
  • Early childhood education, conduct of life and moral instruction for youth

We also have collection strengths in

  • Sports journalism in the 20th Century
  • Works by and about John Wesley Powell and the exploration of the Western Frontier
  • 20th Century American theatre
  • Works by and about John Gay and the 18th and 19th Century British Stage
  • The Limited Editions Club

Special Collections holds material primarily for researcher use and access. However, it also holds items to assure their preservation and security, including Early imprints (prior to 1800), non-standard formats (i.e. broadsides, miniature book that are 10cm. and under), fragile bindings, and other items requiring extraordinary storage or supervised handling. Special Collections does not acquire collections of artifacts but may accept a small number of artifacts when those items are integral to a specific collection.

Special Collections may consider accepting donations of unique items or collections, even if they fall outside of its primary collecting areas. To discuss the possibility of donating materials and to learn about our gifts policy, please contact the Archivist & Special Collections Librarian at The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University.

Tate Archives & Special Collections does not conduct monetary appraisals of donated materials but will refer the donor to professionals in the area who specialize in such services.