March 02, 2009

Library’s Special Collections Research Center open

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is now open in its new location on the first floor of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The SCRC closed temporarily Jan. 26 for the move of 6,484 liner feet of books -- about 70,000 volumes in all. Since that time, staff provided materials when contacted via mail, e-mail or telephone. But now, scholars, students, faculty and community members can find the extensive SCRC collection at the library by entering through the Hall of Presidents, adjacent to the rotunda reading area and near the new coffee commons, Delyte’s.

During the massive Morris Library expansion and renovation project, SCRC and its much-used Reading Room were housed at 1835 University Press Drive, off McLaffery Road and adjacent to the Morris Library Annex. The collection is extensive, featuring priceless editions of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” an Abraham Lincoln speech penned in his own hand, Paul Simon’s senate chair, rare books, political papers, historical records of SIUC and the region and much more.

“It’s the raw materials of history,” said Pam Hackbart-Dean, SCRC director. The collection comprises some 20,000 boxes of materials.

“We are delighted to have SCRC back in Morris,” said David H. Carlson, dean of Library Affairs. “The spectacular holdings of Special Collections are now more accessible to scholars and patrons, who are truly the beneficiaries of our new facility.”

For more information about special collections, call 618/453-2516 or e-mail