University of Arizona

Students, faculty, staff, and the public are now welcome to visit Special Collections without an appointment from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.


Remembering U.S.S. Arizona at UA

Dec 5, 2014

This Sunday (December 7), designated by Congress in 1994, is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a day to remember and honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked a naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii killing 2,400 Americans and sinking or damaging many ships including the U.S.S Arizona. Besides being named for our state, the U.S.S Arizona has a significant presence at the UA.

Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Nov 13, 2014

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  After World War II Berlin, Germany was divided into sectors leaving East Berlin under the control of the USSR.  It is estimated that 2.5 million East Germans, unhappy living under communist rule, fled into West Germany between 1949 and 1961. By August 15, 1961, construction of a concrete wall began.

Veteran's Day

Nov 10, 2014

Veteran's Day, celebrated every year on November 11, honors the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Beginning in 1918, Veteran's Day--formerly known as Armistice Day--commemorated the end of World War I in 1918. While the Treaty of Versailles ended World War I on June 28, 1919, fighting ended November 11, 1918 when an armistice went into effect. In the mid-1950s after the end of several more wars and conflicts, President Eisenhower changed the name to Veteran's Day. 

Mark Twain Stock Certificate, Fact or Fiction?

Oct 30, 2014

In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday (November 4th), we decided to research one of the more mysterious items in UA Special Collections. The item is a mining certificate from the Goodman Gold and Silver Mining Company issued to Mark Twain, apparently in 1872 (MS 091). It is often the job of archivists to research the historical authenticity of items in their collection.

Home Movie Day: Celebrate American Archives Month at Special Collections

Oct 16, 2014

October is American Archives Month! American Archives Month began in 2006 as an opportunity for archivists to raise awareness of the value of archives. It also allows archivists to teach people about the important items that are being preserved, cataloged, cared for, and being made accessible.

“Leave No Trace”: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Sep 3, 2014

September 3rd, 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act by President Johnson. This act initially set aside 9.1 million acres of wilderness areas in America for the ultimate protection—no permanent structures, no roads, no mechanized vehicles and no extraction of resources.

A (Brief) History of The University of Arizona's First Library

Aug 8, 2014

The beginning of the new semester is quickly approaching while renovations on Old Main are wrapping up. If you stop by the new home of the Office of the President you will notice some Special Collections photographs of the early history of the UA along Old Main’s walls. Old Main, the oldest building on campus, is the symbol of the University.

Destruction Swirls Out of Clouds: Recounting the Wreckage Caused by a Rare Tucson Tornado

Jul 31, 2014

It appears as though the monsoons have arrived here in the Sonoran Desert. This is a most beloved time of year for us desert rats, when, sometimes like clockwork, desert storms roll in every afternoon and dump much needed rain on the overheated city. The monsoon showers are such a relief that we often forget they bring Southern Arizona’s only real natural disasters in the form of flash flooding and violent storms. The monsoons also bring enough moisture to create a climate for the rare tornado, like the one seen in this 1964 photograph.