Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.

X

Special Collections

Special Collections invites the Dalhousie academic community and researchers from the general public to explore the rich research resources available in its twenty-five subject and author collections, a general rare book collection of significant individual pre-1821 imprints and a comprehensive pre-1900 Canadiana collection with an emphasis on Canadian literature.  Books, historical prints and maps dating from the 1480s to 2016 and from all subject fields in the arts and sciences form a collection of approximately 80,000 items.

Each collection and volume has its own unique story. In most cases the content is the primary interest, it other cases it is the binding or the specific printing, in some the added inscriptions or annotations, while others offer insight into influences on important former owners. Our diverse collection is guaranteed to have something of interest in your field.

Collection Strengths

The most significant collections are the author collections of Rudyard Kipling, Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson, William Gilpin, T.C. Haliburton, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Raddall, J. MacDonald Oxley, and Will R. Bird. Major subject collections are the Canadian small press creative writing collection, pre-1980 Australian literature, British North American travel and exploration literature, early anatomical atlases, Canadian almanacs, nineteenth century British North American literary and illustrated journals, Folio Society publications and  the Douglas Cockerel collection of historical bindings.

Access

Special Collections resources are available to all members of the Dalhousie academic community and to researchers from the general public upon presentation of a valid personal ID.
Special Collections materials are paged for use in the supervised reading room on the 5th floor of the Killam Library.

Our online catalogue Novanet provides ready bibliographical access to our Special  Collections resources by author, title and/or keywords. Look for DAL Killam Library Special Collections in the “Location” or  “Available At” section of the Novanet holdings listing.
Reference staff in the 5th floor reading room are pleased to assist in developing research strategies and to assist with specific reference enquiries posed in person or by mail , telephone, fax or email. 
Contact Information

Collection Use/Reading Room Policies

To ensure access to significant and fragile resources for current Dalhousie University researchers and into the future, a number of Collection Use Policies are in place. Access to special collections material is conditional upon adherence to the following reading room policies:

  1. Request slips will be complete for each item.
  2. All users will present a valid picture ID when requesting items.
  3. Items will be kept on the tables and if necessary, will be supported in book cradles provided.
  4. No marking on the items is permitted.
  5. note taking will be done with pencils or laptops only.
  6. No food or beverages are permitted.
  7. Researchers must return all items to staff prior to leaving the reading room.
  8. Permission must be requested to take photographs, scans etc. with personal electronic devices .

Programmes

Special Collections takes an active part in the academic and cultural life of Dalhousie University and the Halifax community by running a public reading series featuring creative writing, mounting in-house exhibits, lending special pieces to public galleries, offering lectures tailored to specific topics and levels and giving tours of the Kipling Room upon request. We are always  open to new ideas to incorporate our rich resources into the academic community. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian, Karen Smith at 902-494-8803 or kemsmith@dal.ca if your interest has been piqued. 

Since 1912, the MacRae Library has housed a collection of literature and artifacts reflecting different facets of agriculture: education, technology, and research. The Collections contain archival material such as old books, documents, maps, manuscripts, and photographs concerned with agriculture, science, natural resources in Atlantic Canada and Maritime literature.  Materials have been donated primarily by people associated with the College (20,000 items) covering the Maritime region.

Full descriptions of the Agricola Collections are available here

Collection strengths

Archival Collection

Special Collections 

  • Monographs
  • Serial Publications
  • Manuscripts

Museum Collection

  • Maps
  • Artifacts
  • Impliments (farming/household)

Access

Access is by appointment only (please allow 24hr notice)
Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Weekends & Holidays

Evening and weekend staff do not have access to the Agricola Collections.

Agricola Collections User Policy

Our principle responsibility is to ensure the safety of the archives material entrusted to our care.
Access is closely monitored because the materials are very precious to the history of agriculture.

Most archives and special collections use different policies and procedures than libraries. Some of our policies and procedures include:

  • Closed stacks. It is not possible to browse the stacks where archival and special collections materials are held. Researchers must request the items from staff member whom will then retrieve the materials for you.
  • Non-circulating items. All Archives and Special Collections materials do not circulate. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, the materials can only be used in the Archives and Special Collections reading room.
  • Requesting archival materials. Requests for archival materials must be made during regular office hours. Night and weekend staff cannot access archival materials.
  • No food or beverages. Archival and special collections materials are rare or irreplaceable. The reading room has a strict no food/no drink policy. Researchers with open beverages will be asked to finish their drinks prior to coming into the reading room.
  • No pens. Pens are not permitted near archival materials, so make sure you bring some #2 pencils and some erasers with you, preferably a vinyl eraser. We use Staedtler Mars White Vinyl Erasers. 

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these policies and procedures and to plan your visit accordingly.

Special Collections (Killam Library)

Special Collections invites the Dalhousie academic community and researchers from the general public to explore the rich research resources available in its twenty-five subject and author collections, a general rare book collection of significant individual pre-1821 imprints and a comprehensive pre-1900 Canadiana collection with an emphasis on Canadian literature.  Books, historical prints and maps dating from the 1480s to 2016 and from all subject fields in the arts and sciences form a collection of approximately 80,000 items.

Each collection and volume has its own unique story. In most cases the content is the primary interest, it other cases it is the binding or the specific printing, in some the added inscriptions or annotations, while others offer insight into influences on important former owners. Our diverse collection is guaranteed to have something of interest in your field.

Collection Strengths

The most significant collections are the author collections of Rudyard Kipling, Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson, William Gilpin, T.C. Haliburton, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Raddall, J. MacDonald Oxley, and Will R. Bird. Major subject collections are the Canadian small press creative writing collection, pre-1980 Australian literature, British North American travel and exploration literature, early anatomical atlases, Canadian almanacs, nineteenth century British North American literary and illustrated journals, Folio Society publications and  the Douglas Cockerel collection of historical bindings.

Access

Special Collections resources are available to all members of the Dalhousie academic community and to researchers from the general public upon presentation of a valid personal ID.
Special Collections materials are paged for use in the supervised reading room on the 5th floor of the Killam Library.

Our online catalogue Novanet provides ready bibliographical access to our Special  Collections resources by author, title and/or keywords. Look for DAL Killam Library Special Collections in the “Location” or  “Available At” section of the Novanet holdings listing.
Reference staff in the 5th floor reading room are pleased to assist in developing research strategies and to assist with specific reference enquiries posed in person or by mail , telephone, fax or email. 
Contact Information

Collection Use/Reading Room Policies

To ensure access to significant and fragile resources for current Dalhousie University researchers and into the future, a number of Collection Use Policies are in place. Access to special collections material is conditional upon adherence to the following reading room policies:

  1. Request slips will be complete for each item.
  2. All users will present a valid picture ID when requesting items.
  3. Items will be kept on the tables and if necessary, will be supported in book cradles provided.
  4. No marking on the items is permitted.
  5. note taking will be done with pencils or laptops only.
  6. No food or beverages are permitted.
  7. Researchers must return all items to staff prior to leaving the reading room.
  8. Permission must be requested to take photographs, scans etc. with personal electronic devices .

Programmes

Special Collections takes an active part in the academic and cultural life of Dalhousie University and the Halifax community by running a public reading series featuring creative writing, mounting in-house exhibits, lending special pieces to public galleries, offering lectures tailored to specific topics and levels and giving tours of the Kipling Room upon request. We are always  open to new ideas to incorporate our rich resources into the academic community. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian, Karen Smith at 902-494-8803 or kemsmith@dal.ca if your interest has been piqued. 

Agricola Collection (MacRae Library)

Since 1912, the MacRae Library has housed a collection of literature and artifacts reflecting different facets of agriculture: education, technology, and research. The Collections contain archival material such as old books, documents, maps, manuscripts, and photographs concerned with agriculture, science, natural resources in Atlantic Canada and Maritime literature.  Materials have been donated primarily by people associated with the College (20,000 items) covering the Maritime region.

Full descriptions of the Agricola Collections are available here

Collection strengths

Archival Collection

Special Collections 

  • Monographs
  • Serial Publications
  • Manuscripts

Museum Collection

  • Maps
  • Artifacts
  • Impliments (farming/household)

Access

Access is by appointment only (please allow 24hr notice)
Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Weekends & Holidays

Evening and weekend staff do not have access to the Agricola Collections.

Agricola Collections User Policy

Our principle responsibility is to ensure the safety of the archives material entrusted to our care.
Access is closely monitored because the materials are very precious to the history of agriculture.

Most archives and special collections use different policies and procedures than libraries. Some of our policies and procedures include:

  • Closed stacks. It is not possible to browse the stacks where archival and special collections materials are held. Researchers must request the items from staff member whom will then retrieve the materials for you.
  • Non-circulating items. All Archives and Special Collections materials do not circulate. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, the materials can only be used in the Archives and Special Collections reading room.
  • Requesting archival materials. Requests for archival materials must be made during regular office hours. Night and weekend staff cannot access archival materials.
  • No food or beverages. Archival and special collections materials are rare or irreplaceable. The reading room has a strict no food/no drink policy. Researchers with open beverages will be asked to finish their drinks prior to coming into the reading room.
  • No pens. Pens are not permitted near archival materials, so make sure you bring some #2 pencils and some erasers with you, preferably a vinyl eraser. We use Staedtler Mars White Vinyl Erasers. 

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these policies and procedures and to plan your visit accordingly.