This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries Rare Book Collections

Rare Book Collections

Hours of Operation (Special Collections & Archives)

Print Collections

The publications housed in Special Collections & Archives reflect a historically strong focus on Auburn University as well as the state of Alabama. Archival copies of publications by and about Auburn University, theses and dissertations by Auburn University graduate students, and publications about and by the state of Alabama and its writers are housed in the department. In addition, the department includes a southern Genealogy Collection, the Oxmoor Press Collection, as well as rare and semi rare book collections.

Publications are acquired through purchase, gift donation, and transfer from the general collection.

Auburn University Collection

The primary purpose of the Auburn University Collection is to house publications of the various departments of Auburn University including the extension units, such as the Agricultural Experiment Station. In addition, the collection includes publications about the university. In the past duplicate copies of faculty publications were added.

Archival copies of theses and dissertations by Auburn University graduate students through 2005 are housed in the department. Through 2005, graduate students were obliged to deposit two copies of their thesis or dissertation with the University Libraries as a requirement for graduation. One copy was placed in the circulating collection and the archival copy is kept in Special Collections & Archives. All graduate theses and dissertations from 2005 to the present are available online at

Alabama Collection

The Alabama Collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, and maps about the state of Alabama as well as selected publications by the state of Alabama. Works about the state and its residents range from The Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama (1836) to various publications of the Alabama Geological Survey to the more recent Literary Mobile (2003). Increasingly the Department seeks to retain only rare sources or those difficult to replace in the Alabama Collection.

Oxmoor Collection

By an agreement with the Southern Progress Corporation headquartered in Birmingham, the department preserves archival copies of Oxmoor Press publications. The press donates new issues of the periodicals it publishes, such as Southern Living, Travel South, and Cooking Light, which are housed in the department. In addition, the University Libraries receive a circulating copy and an archival copy of each book published. Oxmoor Press publishes books in cooking, gardening, home improvement, sports, crafts, regional art and other subject areas.

Genealogy Collection

The Genealogy Collection includes reference works for genealogical research relating to the American South. These include general guides to genealogical research, family histories, books on heraldry, passenger lists, dictionaries of names, Civil War rosters, selected genealogical periodicals, and D.A.R. lineage books.

Rare and Semi-Rare Book Collections

The rare (Treasure) and semi-rare (Special) collections are broad in scope and reflect various historical periods, subjects, and formats that have been important to Auburn University research, teaching and extension as well as significant contributions by individual donors. They reflect areas in the history of the Western world, particularly the American South and Great Britain. The history of travel and exploration, the biological sciences, aviation, architecture, literature, the Bible, and fashion are significant subjects covered. In format, works include sheet music, decorative bindings, miniature books, and folio publications of individual art works. Significant editions have been collected including imprints from the hand press period, the private press movement, important writers, and the commercial press in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Archival copies of important Auburn University publications as well as some early periodicals needing special protection and handling are also housed in these collections.

Current Collecting Policy

Special Collections & Archives builds its publication collections upon the strength of existing holdings; the teaching, research, and outreach missions of Auburn University; and the resources available to purchase, catalog, and house additional books.

The department actively collects publications of and about Auburn University as well as the Alabama area and its inhabitants as comprehensively as possible. It also selectively collects works related to other subject areas of collection strength and important for research and teaching purposes, such as aviation history, natural history and the Civil War with related southern issues.

Those interested in further information regarding the department’s publication collections should contact Greg Schmidt, Special Collections & Archives, Draughon Library, Auburn University, AL 36849,, 334-844-1736.

Last updated: 07/13/2023