Drew University 's Special Collections program seeks to collect, preserve, interpret, provide access to, and promote the use of rare and unique materials housed in Special Collections and University Archives, in order to support research and the academic programs of the University, including use by undergraduates, and to preserve rare, fragile or vulnerable materials.
Drew's Special Collections and University Archives has three main divisions: the Methodist Library (containing both the collections of Drew and the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, the University Archives, and other Special Collections, most notably our collection of Willa Cather and Cather-related materials.
Our purpose in collecting is to develop existing collection strengths and serve our research community by focusing attention on those areas that support the goals of the library and the Drew University scholarly community, including:
- Methodism and related movements
- Willa Cather
- Nineteenth-century printed materials
- U.S. history and politics
- Small collection of incunables and early printed books (all European works before 1801 and American works before 1830 are added to our Schultz Rare Book Room if they meet other criteria for addition)
- Materials with significant Drew associational value
- Archives of the university
Although limited funds are available to purchase Methodist and related materials, special collections are acquired primarily through donation. Generally donations are accepted only if no conditions specifying retention and access are attached. Whenever appropriate, the Library will solicit funding from the donor to help cover the costs of cataloging and preservation. The Library will accept materials only with a legal transfer of title through a deed of gift, deposit agreement or other official acknowledgement.
Special Collections and University Archives will not normally acquire materials for which we do not have the resources to house, process, or preserve. Collections should complement and strengthen existing areas of the collection, including our general collections, and/or the University's academic programs.
Materials that do not reflect Drew's collecting scope or do not possess sufficient archival value may be deaccessioned, subject to the documented terms of acquisition, university regulations, and state and federal laws. Duplicate materials may be deaccessioned as well.