The University of Waterloo Library's Special Collections & Archives department is housed in the Dana Porter Library. Our Doris Lewis Reading Room is named in honour of Doris Eileen Lewis, the first University Librarian of the University of Waterloo. The department opened on June 2nd, 1976.
Mandates/Sources of authority
The mandate of Special Collections & Archives is to acquire and make available material that supports the goals of the major teaching and research programs at the University of Waterloo. The collections are considered working collections that have been developed systematically around special subjects that reflect the above goals. Special Collections & Archives does not acquire collections of artefacts but may accept a small number of artefacts within an archival collection.
Now numbering over 70,000 volumes, the rare book collections have particular subject strengths in the following areas: women's studies, local history, the history of mathematics (especially Euclid's Elements of Geometry), architecture, dance and ballet, fine printing, spiritualism and theosophy, and urban planning.
Architecture titles from the Rosa Breithaupt Clark Architectural Collection and the William Dendy Library are housed in the Musagetes Architecture Library.
Historical and literary archives are maintained in a variety of subject areas that, for the most part, complement the book collections. The collections are considered working collections that have been developed systematically around subjects that reflect the goals of the University of Waterloo's major teaching and research programmes.
The University of Waterloo Archives is also part of Special Collections & Archives. The University Archives houses official records of the University of Waterloo. Included are correspondence, reports, minutes, publications, architectural and building plans, photographs, ephemera, and memorabilia.
Special Collections & Archives resources are available for use by students, faculty, and staff, visiting scholars, and by the public.
Finding aids, guides and publications
The Archives Database provides descriptive information about the literary and historical collections maintained by Special Collections & Archives at the University of Waterloo Library.