Stony Brook University Libraries is the largest academic research library system on Long Island, New York and is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a non-profit consortium of distinguished libraries and archives in North America. The collections and services provided by the libraries are central to the academic success of students and facilitate the scholarship produced by world-renowned faculty and visiting scholars. Special Collections and University Archives' collections of rare books, manuscripts, and maps comprise the largest repository of archival materials in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The depth of primary sources offers diverse opportunities for scholarship and supports a wide range of disciplines. The division's Long Island collections are premier sources for the study and research of regional history. The rare book collection includes more than 30,000 titles dating from 1493 to the present. The Senator Jacob K. Javits Collection contains nearly two million items on modern United States history and the career of New York’s longest serving state senator. The W.B. Yeats Collection is the most extensive collection of the famed Irish poet and author’s manuscripts housed outside of Ireland. In 2002, Special Collections became the official repository for the Environmental Defense Fund, whose efforts in 1967 led to the nationwide ban on DDT and the birth of modern environmental law.
In 2006 and 2009, the division acquired two rare American Revolutionary War-era letters authored by George Washington that document activities of the Culper Spy Ring. These important acquisitions laid the foundation for the establishment of a Long Island Historic Documents Collection. The collection includes primary and secondary source material on the history of Long Island from the earliest settlers through the present, with a strong emphasis on the period of the American Revolution through the War of 1812 (1764-1812).
Special Collections has been recognized and honored for its curatorial and outreach activities. The New York Board of Regents and New York State Archives awarded the department with the “Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository.” In August 2012, a research guide for the department's Long Island documents and books was lauded by The Scout Report, a division of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Project. In 2020, Special Collections and University Archives received the Three Village Historical Society's prestigious Kate Wheeler Strong Memorial Award in recognition of the division's significant contributions toward the fostering of interest in local history and a fuller appreciation of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Three Village community.
Special Collections and University Archives is committed to providing excellent educational and research opportunities to the Stony Brook University community, visiting scholars, and remote users. Please note: access to the physical collections is by appointment. Advance notice is required for scheduling and to retrieve collections. For more information, visit: https://www.stonybrook.edu/libspecial.
Stony Brook University - Stony Brook University Libraries is a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council.