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Arts, Architecture & Literature in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant art, architecture, and literature collections. Links are provided whenever online inventories exist.

Literature Related Guides

Teaching with Primary Source Materials

Our collections exist to be used. When students work directly with primary source materials, historic photographs, and documents that are old or unique, they discover an excitement and passion not generated by textbooks.

Primary source documents can inspire, but they also teach about learning to verify sources, tracking down connections, finding evidence from content and from physical clues.

Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Fantasy Collections in SCUA Collections

Special Collections and University Archives collects in the topical areas Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction, including personal and professional correspondence, literary manuscripts, publicity, reviews, and published works of authors of science fiction. Particular emphasis is placed on women writers of speculative fiction, such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Joana Russ, and Kate Wilhelm.

Elgin, Suzette Haden Papers

Call number: Coll. 307

Size: 6.0 linear feet (11 containers)

Summary: Suzette Haden Elgin (November 19, 1936-) is known for her extensive scholarly work in linguistics, the development of a feminist language called Láadan, and numerous publications in science fiction and other genres. The collection includes original Láadan materials, correspondence, publications, academic work, biographical information, music, plays, poems, original artwork, and audiovisual recordings all pertaining to her life as a scholar and an artist in many mediums.

Gearhart, Sally Papers

Call number: Coll. 305

Size: 6.25 linear feet (16 containers)

Summary: Sally Miller Gearhart (April 15, 1931- ) is a scholar of speech, communication, and drama; a civil rights activist; and a writer of novels, short stories, and essays that deal with lesbianism, feminist rhetoric, homosexuality and religion, and gay rights. The collection includes correspondence, academic works, literary works, reviews of literary work, biographical information, photographs, video recordings, audiotapes, and artifacts.


Gloss, Molly Papers

Call number: Coll. 296

Size: 7.0 linear feet (19 containers)

Summary: Collection comprises the papers of American author Molly Gloss, including notes, planning documents, research materials, and drafts of novels, short stories, book reviews, and essays written between 1979 and 2003. The collection includes examples of her work in several genres, including young adult fantasy literature, Outside the Gates (1986); western fiction, The Jump-Off Creek (1989); adventure fiction, Wild Life: A Novel (2000); and science fiction, The Dazzle of Day, “Interlocking Pieces” and “Lambing Season.”


Knight, Damon Papers

Call number: Coll. 340

Size: 76.5 linear feet, (55 containers)

Summary: Damon Frances Knight (1922- 2002) was a well-known editor, author, and critic in the field of science fiction. He was instrumental in establishing the Milford writers’ conference and the Clarion writers’ workshops. His book on creative writing, first published in 1981 is still in print. But, he also wrote puns, poems, television and radio scripts, western and detective fiction, biographical and autobiographical works, and an analysis of the artwork of Hieronymus Bosch. The collection contains personal and business correspondence,  manuscripts, documents, photos and memorabilia dating from Damon Knight's grandparents’ era, the Spanish American war, to his death in 2002. 


Le Guin, Ursula K. Papers 

Call number: Coll 270

Size: 140.25 linear feet, (269 containers )

Summary: Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) was an internationally renowned Oregonian novelist, short story writer, children's author, essayist, and poet best known for her world-building science fiction and fantasy works. The papers include correspondence, literary works, legal and financial files, public appearances and publicity material, personal papers, photographs and artwork, audiovisual material, website and social media, and writing of others.


Russ, Joanna Papers

Call number: Coll. 261

Size: 7.25 linear feet (15 containers)

Summary: (1937- 2011) was a feminist, educator, author and literary critic. The collection includes correspondence and literary manuscripts. Russ maintained an extensive correspondence with many U.S. and English feminist writers and theorists of the late twentieth century The basis of most of the friendships was the ongoing literary work and emerging feminist radicalism in which the correspondents were engaged in one form or another .Included among the correspondents are Samuel Delaney, Marilyn Hacker, Susan Koppelman, Marge Piercy, and Suzy McKee Charnas. Often ebullient, thought provoking, rueful and instructive, the correspondence as a whole offers a complex view of a particular historical moment in the letters of women and men who were deeply involved in evolution of feminist thought and/or the possibilities of imagination in science fiction writing.


Salmonson, Jessica Papers

Call number: Coll 472

Size: 7.5 linear feet, (15 containers)

Summary: The papers of Jessica Amanda Salmonson American author and editor of fantasy and horror fiction and poetry, are comprised of manuscripts and other published material, correspondence, subject/research files, clippings and ephemera, media, and photographs.


Wilhelm, Kate Papers

Call number: Coll 464

Size: 15.0 linear feet, (29 containers)

Summary: Collection is comprised of the papers of science fiction and mystery novelist Kate Wilhelm (1928-2018) and includes literary manuscripts, correspondence, and personal papers such as financial documents, contracts, and book reviews.

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Preferred Citation Format for SCUA Materials

[Identification of item], Date (if known), Collection Title, Collection Number, Box and Folder number [or photo ID number], Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Mission | Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives is the primary repository for the University of Oregon’s archives, rare books, historic photographs, and one of the largest historical manuscripts collections in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to acquire, preserve, and make available a clearly defined set of primary sources and rare books, reflecting the written, visual, and audio history and culture of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and selected aspects of American and world history. Our diverse collections support all types of research, from K–12 education to international scholarship. We strive to play an active and creative role in the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

Historical Collection Strengths

  • Oregon history, politics, culture
  • Authors and illustrators of children’s books
  • The conservative and libertarian movement in the last half of the twentieth century
  • Popular literature, with an emphasis on Western fiction
  • Missionaries to foreign countries, especially in the Far East
  • Labor History
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Photographs of the Northwest, including the Major Lee Moorhouse and Angelus Studio collections
  • Environmental history
  • Northwest literature, including fiction by Ken Kesey, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, and William Stafford
  • Doris Ulmann photograph archives of Appalachia
  • Utopian and intentional communities
  • Northwest architecture
  • Northwest economic history