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Stony Brook University
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About Special Collections and University Archives 

Stony Brook University Libraries is the largest academic research library system on Long Island and maintains membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a non-profit consortium of 125 distinguished libraries in North America. The collections and services offered by the libraries are central to the academic success of students and facilitate the scholarship produced by world-renowned faculty and visiting scholars.

Stony Brook University's collections of rare maps, atlases, manuscripts, and books comprise the largest repository of archival materials in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Special Collections and University Archives is the steward of these distinctive primary source materials.

The Senator Jacob K. Javits Collection contains nearly two million separate items that document modern United States history and the career of New York’s longest serving state senator. The W.B. Yeats Collection is the most extensive collection of the famed Irish poet and author’s manuscripts housed outside of Ireland. In 2002, the department became the official repository for Environmental Defense Fund, whose efforts in 1967 led to the nationwide ban on DDT and the birth of modern environmental law.

In 2006 and 2009, two exciting American Revolutionary War-era letters authored by George Washington, documenting spy activities in Setauket, NY during 1779 and 1780, were acquired. The purchase of these letters was made possible with a generous gift from Dr. Henry and Marsha Laufer, and laid the foundation for the establishment of a Long Island Historic Documents Collection. The collection includes primary and secondary source material on the history of Long Island from the earliest settlers through the present, with a strong emphasis on the period of the American Revolution through the War of 1812 (1764-1812).

Special Collections was honored in 2009 by the New York Board of Regents and New York State Archives, when it was awarded the “Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository.” In August 2012, the department’s guide to digital Long Island documents and books was lauded by The Scout Report, a division of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Project.


Featured banner image credit: Walter Hamady

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