Special Collections on the library's lower level holds research and primary resource materials. Concentrated in this modest physical area are thousands of rare books and scores of drawings, plans, manuscripts, and photographs. These materials individually and collectively, offer vivid and enlightening documentation of design philosophy, experimentation, and realization. Notable holdings include the Cluny Collection, the Le Corbusier Research Collection, and manuscript papers and drawings of such eminent designers and planners as Josep Lluis Sert, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Charles Eliot, John Charles Olmsted, Eleanor Raymond, Arthur and Sidney Shurcliff, Hugh Stubbins, and Dan Kiley. GSD master's theses and a number of student papers of merit are also housed in the Special Collections Department. The Special Collections Department in its brief history has been used by hundreds of students, scholars, and design enthusiasts.
Advance appointments and consultations
As always, we strongly recommend all researchers to contact department staff in advance to assure access to materials. A substantial amount of material is stored off-site and it may take some time to be assembled. In addition, there are times when the reading room is filled to capacity. An advance appointment is especially important in the case of readers whose time is limited or who are coming from a distance. Preference in seating and services is given to those who have made advance appointments.
Archivist, Special Collections