Fall 2020 Update

Although Special Collections will remain closed to the public until further notice, we will continue to provide online help with reference questions. We will also endeavor to host online “show and tells” for University of Miami classes as well as other types of outreach. Please contact us at asc.library@miami.edu if you have any questions.


Who we are and what we hold

The Department of Special Collections is home to a wide array of rare books, manuscripts, archival collections, photographs and audio-visual items, maps, architectural drawings, artists’ books, zines, photographic collections, and other research materials that document the history of Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and beyond.

All of the materials held in Special Collections, from 15th century books to 21st century restaurant menus, are open to use by the public as well as the University Community. Special Collections is dedicated to supporting research and teaching using the collections and actively acquires new materials to create a fuller historical record.

We are also the home to the new Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Early Americas, Exploration, and Navigation, a renown gathering of maps, books, artefacts, artwork, and ephemera documenting the history of the Western Hemisphere, including the North and South Poles.

Deep Dives

This online series of webinars offer an informative, enticing, and educational look into a selection of images that are representative of materials in Special Collections.

Selling Some Sand: The Marketing of Miami Beach


Miami in a Coco Nut, 1923 Helen C. Purdy Florida Collection
Digitized materials provide collection access to interested researchers around the world. Materials in the Helen C. Purdy Florida collection reflect the rich history of Florida and include fantastic examples of early Miami promotional material.

Strutting about, this Rooster is made of paper cut in the traditional Polish wycinanki style. Examples abound in Cutting Paper, by Claudia Cohen and Barbara Hodgson, Heavenly Monkey Editions, 2013, part of our Artists' Book collection.