UT Libraries’ Distinctive Collections are a defining feature of the University of Texas at Austin. Consisting of unique, rare and contextually significant collections of materials and providing abundant opportunities for scholarship, they elevate the University’s reputation as a destination for research, attracting and inspiring communities of scholars worldwide.
UTL’s Distinctive Collections differentiate us from our peers. These collections have particular value and meaning in that they represent specialized areas of research, are historically significant, have specific contextual value, or are rare or unique in terms of content and/or format. Our Distinctive Collections include special collections of materials such as rare books, archives and manuscripts, and more broadly extend to materials that represent and support emerging technologies, geospatial analysis, international inquiry and open scholarship.
Our Distinctive Collections support and reflect UT’s current, historical and future priorities, driving original scholarship, innovative learning, and transformative teaching. They further benefit the University by attracting faculty, scholars, research funding, collaborative partners and charitable donations from around the world.
Appropriate stewardship of our Distinctive Collections requires allocation of resources above and beyond those that support our vibrant and substantial general collections. UT Libraries is committed to supporting Distinctive Collections through technical infrastructure for access and preservation, physical space for both storage and service, and advancing specialized professional expertise in the capacity of leadership, collection development, advocacy, assessment, language/subject skills, metadata, and preservation/conservation.