DePaul University Libraries > Special Collections > Collections


A collection of old books.
Special Collections and Archives is a gateway for research utilizing rich primary source materials, unpublished documents, rare and specialized books, maps, graphic materials, and three-dimensional objects. While DePaul Special Collections and Archives administers four collection areas detailed below, there are complementary strengths among the collections, and researchers are free to request and view materials from any of these collections.

Harmful Content Notice

SPCA, the Library, and the University stand against hate, racism, and violence. Some historical materials within Special Collections and Archives may include harmful, outdated, and prejudicial language, ideas, and imagery, representing viewpoints that we do not endorse or condone. We are committed to ensuring the historical integrity of our materials for teaching and learning purposes, and to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. 

Researchers may find potentially harmful descriptions in our catalog records and finding aids. These records were created using terminology and descriptive standards that are now outdated. We are in the process of updating descriptions with inclusive and respectful language and will continue to do so as preferred terminology evolves. If you come across harmful descriptions or have suggestions for better and more inclusive language terms, please let us know by sending us an email.

Finding Aids and Guides

Collections from individuals and organizations with ties to Lincoln Park, social justice, the Catholic Left, and women's and community advocacy organizations are found in this collection. The tabs in the linked research guide are general categories for the collections, and each collection offers a diverse array of formats and subjects better explained by reading individual finding aids.

Explore Community Archives

Special Collections and Archives houses the official archives of DePaul University. These are materials (photographs, papers, reports, correspondence, etc.) of enduring historical value to the University that span three centuries, from the founding of St. Vincent’s college in the 1890s to emails and documents produced today. Research about DePaul’s institutional history, as well as the legacy of faculty, staff, and students can be conducted with these materials. There is a natural overlap between Lincoln Park materials held in the Community Archives with the DePaul University Archives materials that show the planning, growth and development of the Lincoln Park campus.

Explore DePaul University Archives

More than 12,000 books and hundreds of maps spanning six centuries are housed in Special Collections, and can be identified by using the library catalog. As an aid to researchers, bibliographies of our collection strengths are available on the linked research guide. The book and map collections complement the archival collections, but there are also distinctive niche areas within the book collections, including book arts, 18th and 19th century literature, Irish studies, the Napoleonic Era, and travel and exploration.

Explore Rare Books and Maps

The Vincentian Collections include archives, books, and maps relating to the history and legacy of St. Vincent de Paul and the religious orders he founded and influenced. The Vincentian Archives includes correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, and records from parishes, schools, seminaries and individuals about the educational, mission and organizational work of the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentian order). Book and map holdings range from items available to St. Vincent de Paul during his lifetime (1581-1660), titles published before 1818 and brought from Europe to the United States by the first Vincentians to found a seminary near St. Louis, and more contemporary scholarship relating to the Vincentian Studies Institute.

Explore Vincentian Collections


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