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Special Collections Subject List

Special Collections & Archives (SCA) at The Claremont Colleges Library (TCCL) holds nearly 200,000 volumes from around the world dating from the 11th to the 21st centuries and over 11,000 linear feet of literary and historical manuscript collections which cover mainly 13th-20th century Europe and 18th-20th century America.

At the heart of SCA is a set of collection strengths that attract a variety of researchers and serve as inspiration for our public programs and academic endeavors. Today’s curators balance consolidating SCA’s areas of traditional strength, and forging new directions to better serve the library’s mission to support teaching, learning, and research at The Claremont Colleges. Listed below are our curatorial strengths and clicking on each subject area will provide a list of highlights from our holdings, both rare book collections and literary and historical manuscript collections.

Indian wedding, bride is taken to the ceremony by father and brother.

Asia and Asian American Studies

Traverse various aspects of Asian and Asian American culture, history and more through manuscript and print collections that include correspondence and historical photos; Buddhist sutras and artifacts; Japanese and Korean maps; Chinese rare books of history, literature, and local gazetteers; and early Chinese translations of the Christian literature, western science and technology publications.

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Jeweled binding

Book Arts and Fine Printing

Rediscover the art of bookmaking by examining original artifacts from a number of presses, techniques, and time periods illustrating the book arts and the materiality and historical development of the book, whether manuscript or printed. Primary emphasis is on books in languages that use the Roman alphabet, although the collection includes representative examples from other.

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Amerique Septentrionale, Engraved map, 55 x 40.

California and Local History

Even lifelong Californians will uncover a “gold rush” of new information through this tour of state and local history. This includes information about the city of Claremont and its surrounding area, cartographic resources, city directories, ephemera, manuscript collections, maps, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, and printed histories.

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Woman posing with the view of the old city from Pelourinho.

Chicanx, Latinx, and Latin American Studies

In this relatively new and growing collecting area, encounter materials that depict Chicana/o and Latina/o life experiences including art and activism, immigration and religion, as well as the rich cultures and histories of Latin American countries.

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Black Studies Photo - Students with MLK poster

Cultural History & Social Movements of the 19th-21st Centuries

Discover primary sources that document significant, and lesser known, events in culture and society including activism, civil rights, education, environmentalism, labor, politics, war, and more.

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Crispin Illustration

European History, Economics, and Political Science

You don’t need to venture across “the pond” to engage with European literary and historical manuscript collections, many of which cover the 13th-20th century. England, France, and Italy are well represented, but the holdings are also strong for Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia, with special collecting areas in the Italian Renaissance and the colleges of Oxford.

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Gay parade

Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Examine a variety of collections which depict both traditional and shifting roles in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation, and women’s history.

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History of Science and Technology

Boldly go where other bright individuals have gone before by diving into more than  6,000 volumes covering astronomy, aviation, biology, geology, mining and metallurgy, natural history, and physics.

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People gathered at main entrance to Bridges Auditorium. Stamped on back, "Pomona College News Service". Written on back, "Pomona concert".

History of The Claremont Colleges

Though we are not able to be the archival repository of ALL of The Claremont Colleges (TCC), we do collect and preserve selective records of historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value to The Claremont Colleges. Browse holdings that include official records and reports of the colleges, their officers, and component parts

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Crowd of individuals with luggage waiting to board buses

Japanese Americans during WWII

Investigate the experience of Japanese Americans — sometimes referred to as Nikkei, which describes Japanese emigrants and their descendants — during World War II.

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Illustration by Mark Twain in A Tramp Abroad ch. 1 (The Knave of Bergen)


Delve into an array of American and British poetry, drama, and prose from the 16th through 20th centuries. These literature holdings include both manuscript and print materials, such as a Mark Twain manuscript of A Tramp Abroad that includes a hand-drawn illustration of a knight.

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Shakespeare Jubilee ticket no. 54

Performing and Visual Arts

Take centerstage among our cast of performing and visual arts materials. Performing arts include dance, music, and theater. Visual arts include architecture, ceramics, design, drawing, film making, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, and video.

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The leaves of Codex II lying (backwards) in the cover, open at pages 50-51, on the right page 50 (magnified by Pahor Labib)


Study our pantheon of religion-related collections which focus on original source material and printed editions from Western Europe and the Americas, spanning the late Middle Ages through the early twentieth century. This includes Congregational Church papers and records, hymnology, illuminated manuscripts, Mormon culture and religion, religious texts, and more.

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A painted tipi, Assiniboin

United States and North American History and Politics

Explore every period of American history — from New World encounters to the Civil War to twentieth-century politics and beyond — which is well represented in our extensive array of archival materials, maps, monographs, periodicals, ephemera, and rare, unique works.

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Artesian well, San Antonio Canyon

Water in the Western United States

Discover the story of one of the most critical resources in Southern California and its neighboring regions — water. The tumultuous legacy of water in the west, including its distribution, augmentation and use, can be better understood through our expansive collection

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