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SCAD Library Atlanta Special Collections

SCAD Special Collections Atlanta

What are Special Collections?

Special collections are library and archival materials that are characterized by their historic significance, monetary value, uniqueness, and/or rarity. Special Collections are housed separately from the rest of the library collections in a temperature controlled and secure room. Special Collection items can only be accessed by appointment in the library and cannot be checked out.

Special Collections maintains non-circulating collections of unique and significant original works in areas of study relevant to all SCAD programs. SCAD Special Collections supports a wide range of research, inspiration and teaching in the fine and applied arts. 

What does SCAD Atlanta Special Collections offer?


Request an instruction session to expose students to Special Collections. The library offers curated pulls focused on one topic, project, or technique as well as general pulls that highlight the collection fully.

To request an instruction, please fill out the following form


Anyone at SCAD can request a consultation individually or as a group to view Special Collections. Specific topics are welcomed, however, general pulls can also be accommodated.

To request a consultation, please fill out the following form


Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Primary Sources: Are firsthand accounts of an event or occurrence, documented by the creator, author or witnesses. Primary sources vary widely in format but are mainly characterized as original materials such as: archives, manuscripts, artifacts, Ephemera, objects, diaries, photographs, newspaper reports, research datapamphlets, oral histories, and books (memoirs and autobiographies). 

Secondary Sources: Describe, interpret or analyze information obtained from other sources (often primary sources).

Tertiary Sources: Compile and summarize secondary resources. Examples include Bibliographies and Encyclopedias. 


Evaluating Primary Resources

Primary sources are invaluable tools for understanding how and why events took place. When analyzing primary sources here are a few questions to ask.

Who created the source and why? For whom was the source created?

What information does the source supply? Under what circumstances was the source created? How would this influence the content of the source? Was the source meant to be public or private? What did the creator hope to accomplish by writing the source?