Books and Published Material
Highlights of the Book Collection
Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection
One of the largest collections of books, maps, personal papers, and other historical material about Afghanistan in the United States. The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection was established in 1974 with the initial gift of 1,200 items donated to the university by Arthur and Daisy Paul.
Fine Arts Press Collection
A large collection of fine arts press books, broadsides, and artists' books. The collection includes material from the United States with an especial focus on local and regional creators. The most important segments are the Mary L. Richmond Cummington Press Collection and UNO's own Abattoir Editions.
The Icarian Collection contains books formerly owned by a
LGBTQIA+ Book Collection
The collection of LGBTQIA+ books and serials includes over 3,000 titles in a range of subject areas including fiction, romance, pulp, memoirs, history, sociology, travel, self-help, and many other topics. The collection brings together titles from a number of personal and organizational libraries. Dr. Meredith Bacon's collection of books and magazines predominantly cover trans issues. The Rainbow Outreach GLBT Center's lending library covered the widest possible range of topics from literature to travel guides to fantasy titles. The personal library of Dr. Jim Medder is predominantly gay popular fiction and literature along with history, art, and other topics. This collecting area continues to grow with gifts from community members.
A growing collection of books and printed material about the history of Omaha and Nebraska.
Omaha Magical Society
Members of the Omaha Magical Society built a collection that contains books, periodicals, and pamphlets covering topics such as magicians, various types of magic, and the history of magic. The over 1,000 books in the collection will also be of interest to researchers investigating recreation and leisure activities, the evolution of local and international entertainment, gender roles, gambling, and other topics. The Omaha Magical Society was established in 1921 and the library began with a $500 estate gift of secretary John Keenan. In 1993, the addition of the library of John Ilson increased the collection to almost 1,000 titles. Donations by other members continued to grow the collection until it was donated to UNO Libraries in 2020. The collection is currently being cataloged and added to the library's database. Contact Archives and Special Collections staff for assistance.
Nebraska Authors & Literature
A number of first editions and autographed copies of books by Nebraska authors, including Wright Morris, Weldon Kees, and Wayne C. Lee. In addition, the department also holds the manuscript collections of Seven Anderton and Steppenwolf, a poetry magazine edited by Philip Boatright.
Archives and Special Collections is home to a growing collection of over 1,000 zines. The Omaha Zine Collection is predominantly zines produced by local and regional creators with selected national zines. Topics include perzines, social justice, self-care, art, music, comics, LGBTQIA+, and many other subjects. The majority of zines in the collection were acquired at Omaha Zine Fest beginning in 2017 with other notable additions of student zines created as part of UNO courses.
History Of Our Rare Book Collection
The beginning of the Rare Book collection can be traced to a collection acquired from Tabor College in Tabor, Iowa. Tabor College closed in 1927 and Omaha University acquired the approximately 20,000 rare books, books, and government documents from Tabor College's library through a receiver's sale in December 1933.
The Municipal University of Omaha's Board of Regents supported the expenditure of $1,000.00 at their December 14, 1933, meeting to support the purchase and the books were moved to Omaha within days. The purchased library included the Icarian Collection as well as other single volumes of rare books now found in Archives and Special Collections. Books can be identified through a Tabor College library stamp usually on the first page of the book.
The Tabor College acquisition brought the Municipal University of Omaha's library collection of 52,000 books. UNO Libraries continues to add to the Rare Book collection through donations, transfers from the library's general stacks, and the purchase of selected material.