New York State Library
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Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Manuscripts and Special Collections unit was established within the State Library in 1881. Its responsibilities include the acquiring, preserving and providing access to the Library's collections of manuscripts and personal papers; rare books; and special collections including prints, posters and broadsides, and musical scores. These collections, which include some of New York's documentary treasures, relate the history of New York State from the 17th century to the present and provide insight into many topics related American history, literature, science and the arts.

Visiting Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Research Room for Manuscripts and Special Collections is on the 11th floor of the Cultural Education Center. MSC is open for research Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM - 4 PM by appointment only. Appointments may be full day (9:30 AM – 4 PM) or half day (either 9:30 AM - 1 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM). The Library is closed Saturdays, Sundays, and New York State legal holidays.

Masks are highly recommended for visitors.

Note: Contact us at least 48 business hours in advance of your preferred appointment date(s) to allow us to reserve a table and the materials you wish to use. Vault items will take even longer to make available (up to several weeks). Please wait for your appointment to be confirmed by staff before planning a visit.  

Contact the Manuscripts and Special Collections Unit

Making Donations to MSC

Last Updated: May 2, 2024