Brookens Library's Special Collections, located in the UIS Archives, consists of books, periodicals, and other library material that merits special preservation or handling. The collection, consisting of over 2000 items, includes rare, valuable, and fragile books, signed and limited editions, SSU/UIS faculty publications, and publications pertaining to local history and genealogy. There are also significant items relating to Abraham Lincoln and Vachel Lindsay. The collection has been enriched over the years by donations of material by several individuals and families, including the Charles E. Feinberg Walt Whitman Collection, the Howarth Family Collection pertaining to Henry David Thoreau, the Donner Family Collection, and the Ethel Gingold Collection pertaining to Samuel Johnson and other writers.
The items in Special Collections are non-circulating, but can be read in the Archives reading room. Contact the Archives/Special Collections department via phone at 217-206-6520 or via e-mail regarding requests for scanning or duplication of these materials.