About Special Collections and Rare Books

Image inside of the Special Collections and Rare Books vault, featuring a bay of books on the left and grey archival boxes on the right

 Who we are

Special Collections and Rare Books is a collecting repository home to a broad range of rare and unique content, including personal and organizational archives, manuscript collections, books, photographs, sound recordings, oral histories, editorial cartoons, posters, and other formats.

Since its inception as the SFU English Department’s special collection of avant-garde publications in 1965, SCRB has acquired material to support research, teaching, and learning at SFU and beyond. 

For access to University records, faculty and departmental papers, and records of student groups, please contact SFU Archives and Records Management.

 What we do

For all these services and more, contact us at scrb@sfu.ca or reach out one of our team directly.

 Research help

We offer research assistance in-person in our reading room, and over email and phone. View some of our Research Guides to get started!

Need help searching for archival material? Have a research question? Do you want to set up a visit? Need a reproduction of one of our holdings? Get in touch! 


Our team is ready to collaborate with instructors to create interactive, hands-on experiences with our rare books and archival materials. Our team is available to host classes and provide an introduction to our collections.

We can also suggest resources that will help support the educational goal of a single lecture or an entire course.



SCRB hosts exhibitions that feature our holdings, presented in flat cases on the 7th floor at the entrance of Special Collections reading room and in vitrines on the 3rd floor of WAC Bennett Library. For a glimpse into our previous exhibition work, view our past exhibits. Check out our home page for current exhibits.

Our team also partners with members of the SFU community to curate exhibits in our space.


Curious about what we do or what we have in Special Collections and Rare Books? Join our monthly free tour of SCRB on the first Thursday of every month from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. for a hands-on introduction to our unique materials and collections. Tours are scheduled annually during September - April.

Tours are open to members of the SFU community, visiting scholars, and the general public.


 Our values

Our collections are here for you to use. Everyone has something to gain by exploring and engaging with all the rare materials housed in SCRB, no matter their academic background. Special Collections and Rare Books,

  • helps students develop their research skills in finding and using primary source material
  • empowers students to think critically
  • is a place not just of research and scholarship, but also a space of inspiration and creativity

Donate to SCRB

We welcome inquiries from individuals and organizations wishing to donate materials to SCRB. Read our Collection Policy, which guides what we acquire. For information about selective deaccessioning of SCRB material, read our Deaccessioning Policy.

You can also support SCRB through the Library Special Collections Endowment or contact the Library's Director, Major Gifts.


If you need help, please contact our Special Collections Assistants at 778.782.5674 or scrb@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.