Special Collections & University Archives: FAQs
Is Special Collections & University Archives open to students?
Yes! Special Collections and University Archives is open 8-4:30 M-F for students, faculty, staff, researchers, and other community members who may wish to use our resources. In addition, we have a large quiet study area in the back for student use! Remember that because we have rare and valuable items, you can't browse the stacks. Staff members are happy to work with you to find what you need!
Do I have to make an appointment to visit?
No. We prefer that students let us know ahead of time when they'd like to come so we can maximize your time spent here by having resources already pulled and waiting for you.
What is the difference between using materials in Special Collections and other University libraries?
Books in Special Collections are housed in closed stacks. This means they can't be checked out, and patrons can't browse them like they might in Mary Idema Pew Library or Steelcase Library. Instead, items you'd like to see will be brought right to you! Use and reproduction of materials may also be restricted due to the condition of the item or copyright ownership.
Can I get photocopies or reproductions?
Yes! The majority of our items can be photographed (without flash) using your smartphone. We will also make photocopies or high-resolution scans for you as needed. Some items, however, are too fragile for these kinds of duplication and in those cases, we reserve the right to restrict reproductions. Always check with the archivists beforehand!
Why are there recently published books in your collections?
There are several reasons why we might have a recent publication. For example, we collect comprehensively the work of some Michigan writers and books for our collection of "Michigan in the Novel". All books in Special Collections are listed in the Library Catalog with the designation Seidman House in the Location field. Some of these books may also be available in the University's other libraries.
What did Seidman House use to be?
Seidman House used to be the Student Center when Grand Valley first opened! It included space for a student center, the bookstore, and offices for student groups. By the early 1990s, it was home to the Registrar, Admissions, and Financial Aid. In 1995, Special Collections and University Archives moved into the building.