Special Collections and Archives' (SCA) collections support research by a wide range of scholars including University of Denver undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and others in the community whose work relies on primary source materials, rare books, and manuscripts. Over the years Special Collections has built collections of manuscripts, books, films, photographs, sound recordings, and other formats in a number of specialized areas. SCA oversees the long-term management of permanent University records, wherever they reside, and regardless of format.
Special Collections and Archives also accepts transfers of materials from other areas of Penrose Library that require special protection and care. Criteria considered in such transfers include fragility, age, association value, and market value. These materials are accepted regardless of whether the subject area(s) represented are ones targeted by Special Collections as collecting emphases.
Special Collections and Archives' primary responsibility is to serve the research needs of the University of Denver's faculty and students. To this end, Special Collections and Archives seeks to collect rare and unique materials in subject areas receiving substantial and sustained attention within the University or related to the local community, those representing ongoing departmental research interests, or those areas that are the focus of interdisciplinary programs.
The Curators of Special Collections and Archives are responsible for identifying and acquiring collection materials. The Curators of the department complement their own subject expertise by consulting with resource specialists. The Curators of Special Collections and Archives are responsible for the general supervision and coordination of collection development activities.
SCA solicits gifts of materials from individuals and organizations. University alumni, faculty members, and other members of the University community provide assistance in identifying potential donors.
Acquisitions are also made through the purchase of items from the book trade, by way of auctions, and from private individuals or organizations. Purchases are funded by endowment income, gifts, donations, and library appropriations.