The Special Collection contains items that cannot be checked out in order to preserve them for all users. Items are judged for inclusion based on rarity (e.g., early printing, limited edition, valuable inscription, fine binding, or high market value of a comparable item) and upon expert recommendation. They are searchable in the Rhodes College Online Catalog and may be used in the reading room.
To search only Special Collections items in the catalog, go to the catalog, click on "Advanced Search," and then scroll to the fifth drop-down box from the bottom of the page that is titled "location:." Select "Special Collection." You may leave all other fields blank so that the catalog will show all items in the Special Collection, or you may narrow your search as appropriate.
The over 3300 titles in the Special Collection have been acquired through donation by generous individuals and transfer from the library’s general stacks. The collection contains many first editions of twentieth century authors that were given to the College by the late Walter P. Armstrong, a well-known Memphis bibliophile.