About Special Collections


The Special Collections Department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, serves to collect, house, preserve, and make accessible scholarly collections of materials that are original, rare, unique, fragile, historical, and archival. Topical collecting areas are particularly emphasized within the fields of photography, the history of the biological sciences, the Baltimore Sun newspaper, science fiction literature and popular culture, alternative presses, UMBC history and records, and Maryland manuscript, photograph, and newspaper collections.


Susan Graham, Special Collections Librarian

Lindsey Loeper, Archivist

Robin Martin, Special Collections Technician

Beth Saunders, Curator and Department Head

Tom Beck, Emeritus Librarian

Jessica Riley, Graduate assistant

Finny Rocca, Graduate assistant

Ryan Koons, Maryland State Arts Council contract archivist


View the telephone and e-mail information for Special Collections staff. You can also send your questions and comments by:

  • chat (select "Ask a Librarian" button on the right side of any webpage),
  • e-mail (speccoll@umbc.edu),
  • phone (410-455-2353),
  • or in person when the Reading Room is open (view semester hours).


During the Fall and Spring semesters, the Special Collections reading room is open Monday-Wednesday 12-4pm with extended hours on Thursday until 8pm. All other times, and during Intersession, Winter, and Summer semesters, researchers should make an appointment in advance. To make an appointment, submit your request using the contact information above. The current listing of Library building and department hours is available on the Hours and Location page.


News, events, workshops, and collection highlights are frequently posted to the Library's myUMBC blog.

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Special Collections gratefully accepts gifts in a variety of ways. Your generosity benefits the entire UMBC community as well as visiting researchers and helps the Library execute its mission to fulfill the information needs of a research university with a distinctive undergraduate and graduate experience and to offer the highest quality resources and services for UMBC's growing and evolving teaching, learning, research, and service environment. You can help the collection reach its full potential by making a gift online, sending a check, and by donating materials (in-kind gifts). Learn more...

Internship and volunteer opportunities

Special Collections accepts interns and volunteers year-round, as allowed by staff availability. Possible projects include:

  • Exhibit assistance: help to curate, install, and promote an original exhibit, either in the Library Rotunda, Special Collections reading room, or online.
  • Provide access to published material: rehouse and learn to create holdings records for the Science Fiction & Fantasy fanzine collection
  • Archives processing: rehouse, arrange, and describe records and multimedia collections
  • Metadata creation: Learn/practice subject analysis, use of controlled vocabularies, CONTENTdm, and PastPerfect as you create item-level descriptions for scanned photography collections
  • Collection-level description: create collection-level records for archival and photography collections
  • Outreach: raise awareness of collections and resources
  • Digitization: prepare, scan, record technical metadata, QC, and upload collection materials to CONTENTdm

Contact Special Collections for more information.

Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

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Special Collections Services


Special Collections Hours

  • Monday - Wednesday 12pm - 4pm
  • Thursday 12pm - 8pm
  • By appointment during Summer Term, Winter Term, and Intersession

Gallery Hours

  • Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday 10am - 8pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 12noon - 5pm