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Special Collections

Welcome to the Special Collections Research Center. This area was specifically designed to provide a protective and controlled environment for those Kelvin Smith Library materials which require extraordinary care and handling and which do not circulate. The collection consists primarily of either printed books or original manuscripts and documents, but also includes photographs, periodicals, works of art and audio-visual recordings. The major collections are grouped in the following six broad categories:

History of the Book

Literature

History of Science and Technology

Fine Arts

Local Interest

Manuscripts

There are many criteria used to determine which of the Kelvin Smith Libraries’ millions of items belong in Special Collections including; rarity, value, fragility, ephemeral nature, or because they are part of a distinctive subject or author collection. By acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to the collection through reference services, finding aids, presentations, and exhibits the Special Collections Research Center fulfills its mission to support the teaching and research of Case Western Reserve University’s faculty and students and the local, national and international community of scholars and researchers.

Locating Special Collections Materials: Bibliographic and Descriptive Resources

The Kelvin Smith Library's online catalog provides one measure of access to the book collections. Search results indicate a Special Collections item if the citation notes one of the following locations: UL Spec Col Stacks; UL Spec Col Reference; UL Spec Col Vault. Please contact the Special Collections staff for further assistance by voice (216) 368-0189 or email kslspecialcollections@case.edu.

The collection links (listed above) are your portal to in-depth descriptions of the collection, finding aids for the manuscript collections and access to digital surrogates of Special Collections material.

Using the Special Collections Research Center

Contacts

Policies

Services

Collections FAQ

Why isn't the book on the shelf?
Find out where a book is before you go to the shelf. Search the Case Catalog to see what it says like
- "Check Shelves" (look on the shelves, find it, & check it out);
- "Just Checked In" (ask staff for help, it's nearby, but too soon to be back on the shelves yet);
- "Off Campus" (out at an OhioLINK school);
- "Due mm/dd/yyyy" (it’s checked out until that date.) 
Tip: If it is not available, order an OhioLINK copy
Can I return books to a different Library?

Return Case or OhioLINK items to any Case library, yes. Case libraries have different hours, so your book might not get checked in on the day you return it if you use a bookdrop.

Return the CPL@Case-KSL books only to KSL, so the collection is here for you & others. Case libraries are not responsible for returning other local libraries’ books. Returning public library books here will not check them off of your account at those libraries.

What does "Check Shelves" mean?
"Check Shelves" means it is supposed to be on the shelf. If it isn’t there, double-check what the Case Catalog currently says to make sure that nobody else has checked it out or has kept it out too long.
How long does reshelving take?
The times are different, depending on what is being reshelved and what time of semester it is. KSL goal: to reshelve journals within 24 weekday hours, reshelve books within 48 hours. During peak times (end of semester) the time can be longer. Ask staff at the Main Service Desk for help.
How do I reserve a book?
Books are on the shelves for anyone who needs them, and are not reserved for individual use. If our book is checked out, order a copy from the OhioLINK.
Where are the UL Storage Stacks?
KSL has a university center half a mile from KSL, where lesser used or brittle books are kept, and the catalog search screen will display "UL Storage." You can visit the Center during daytime hours, or use an online request form to bring back the item to KSL. The center is now called RRCC (Retrospective Research Collections Center.)
Can I get a book or video on a specific date?
Yes, Case faculty, staff, & students can find out more details and use a convenient online request form for Book a Video or DVD  (KSL’s other collections are available only on a first-come basis for everyone, and cannot be booked ahead of time.)
What does a Book on Order mean? When will it get here?
When the catalog item displays “1 copy ordered for (library name)” the item is already in the library getting the final processing labels, etc., and will soon be on the shelf! Ask staff if there are other copies avaialable in OhioLINK in the meantime, or if you have an urgent need.
What is a PIN?
Your PIN is not assigned, you choose what it is and enter it on the Case Catalog at “View Your Library Record,” following the instructions. A Case Library PIN is a Personal Identification Number that protects your information, just like your bank ATM asks for a similar security PIN.
How do I get a library account & where can I look at it?
Case faculty, staff, and students automatically have online library accounts. You can look at it on the Case Catalog under “View your library record.” Use your library account to renew items on line and keep track of what you have checked out or ordered from OhioLINK or RRCC or Iron Mountain sites. Your Case ID is your library card!

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Kelvin Smith Library | 11055 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7151 | 216-368-3506