About our Collections

Collections Highlights

Treasures in our Collections

University Libraries collections consist of a variety of physical, digital, and electronic formats and has reached over 3 million items. Some of the treasures include:

  • Shakespeare First Folio is the premiere volume in the collection that also includes rare quartos printed in the 1600s and 1700s, books that were owned by distinguished individuals, engraved illustrations of scenes from the plays, and prompt books as far back as the 1770s for Shakespearian actors at Covent Garden and Drury Lane, London.
  • Archives & Special Collections holds the largest collection of Willa Cather related materials in the world, with 14 collections of material related to Cather’s life, works, and scholarship.
  • University Libraries has served as a federal depository for government documents since 1907.

Number of our Collections

According to the Libraries 2020-2021 data, our number of collections includes:

  • over 1,600,000 books and 87,000 print journal titles
  • over 1,100,000 electronic books and 80,500 electronic journals
  • over 420 electronic resources, including databases, reference tools, and other electronic collections

Comprehensive and Global Collections

Our comprehensive and global collections encompass books, journals, videos, games, electronic resources, archival materials, data, and digital collections that support our teaching, research, and service land grant mission of the university, Nebraska, and our affiliated campus.

Collections Statement

University Libraries advances the mission of the University by teaching students to become critical information users and knowledge creators; through the creation, delivery, curation, and preservation of information resources; through collaborative partnerships in research and creative activities; by advocating for equitable access to information; and by creating diverse and inclusive learning environments. The collections encompass a wide range of materials used for research and instruction. Inclusion of materials does not imply their endorsement by the Libraries or the University. Collections are assembled to serve the information needs of students, faculty, staff, and the public and to enable a valuable and sometimes challenging educational experience. They contain works by and about a wide array of identities, cultures and viewpoints, including those of historically underrepresented and excluded, or marginalized peoples or groups. The collections promote values of inclusion, fairness, accessibility, and openness. Their existence reflects the intellectual freedom to seek and receive information from many diverse points of view.

Collections Priorities


The University Libraries are people who champion learning, create and share research, and support community engagement.

Objective 5. Build a Sustainable Collections Program

(Taken from the University Libraries 2020-2022 Strategic Plan)

Build a content and collections program that is collaborative, environmentally and financially sustainable, evidence-based, and that meets the research and teaching needs of our diverse community of students, staff, and faculty.

  1. Develop values-based principles for collection development that increase investment in underrepresented areas, support ethical corporate practices, advance openness, and resist monopolization and enclosure (shared with Objective#2 above).
  2. Identify and begin to plan to significantly reduce collections spending with organizations that do not align strongly with our values (divestment).
  3. Develop new approaches for assessing collections and their value that recognize and respond to disciplinary needs and historic marginalization.
  4. Accelerate engagement in collective collection activities with the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries (UNCL), Big Ten Academic Alliance, HathiTrust, Center for Research Libraries, and other consortial partners.
  5. Develop a strategy to investigate the environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of print and digital collection development, access, and management, to further inform the collection tactics mentioned above.

Collections Contact

David Macaulay
Electronic Resources Librarian

Libraries Buzz

News and our Collections

Visit the News, Events & Exhibits Page for different ways to receive news about the Libraries collections. On this page you will find information about:

  • how to subscribe to the Libraries Buzz Newsletter
  • where to follow us on Social Media