Art and Design
Art Book Room
The Art Book Room houses rare and scarce art books, graphic design exemplars, artists' books, and exhibition catalogs. This collection focuses particularly on western American modernism and Abstract Expressionism and complements the collecting focus of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University.
The Beat Poetry & Little Magazine Collections
The Beat Poetry and Little Magazine collections include significant gifts from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, and American poet, Charles Potts. These holdings chronicle the "Beat Movement" in American literature, art and history through primary sources including books, pamphlets, little magazines, anthologies, broadsides, posters and ephemera.
The Art Books are located in the bay, on the lower level. These collections may be checked out and include all of the Library of Congress call numbers beginning with N (Visual Arts) along with the TR (Photography) and TT (Arts and Crafts) call number ranges. The Prestini Design Collection is also located in the bay, on the lower level. Gifted to the library by Kathryn Caine Wanlass, an important supporter of the arts at Utah State University, this collection is the core of James L. Prestini's personal library. Visually oriented, the collection is a small library in itself, with Library of Congress call numbers running from A to Z.
Fife Folklore Archives
The Fife Folklore Archives is one of the largest repositories of American folklore in the United States. The FFA is part of Utah State University's Special Collections and Archives where the historical American Folklore Society Manuscript Collection is housed.
Established in 1972, the Archives is an integral part of USU's cultural studies arena. The Fife Folklore Archives is named for folklorists Austin E. and Alta S. Fife, Utahans who helped shape the field of folklore and worked to preserve the folk expressions of the American West. The FFA is home to sixty collections, including student fieldwork collections, oral history collections, and Austin and Alta Fife's fieldwork collections. Read more about the history of the FFA.
The Utah State University Libraries have housed federal government publications as part of the Federal Depository Library Program as a selective federal depository since 1907 and a regional depository since 1963. This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code) Access to the circulating collection is available during all Merrill-Cazier Library hours. Materials stored in the department’s Secure Area (indicated in Catalog fields) must be accessed during Reading Room hours.
Government publications provide an excellent source for in-depth study on all major subject areas. The main depository collection is supplemented by other research report series and individual reports, both print and nonprint. Materials are issued in a variety of formats including print volumes, pamphlets, posters, bound editions, maps, CD, DVD, and digital releases.
The Government Information Department receives all materials distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in a variety of formats. We strive to maintain our historic collections for the future and actively collect materials that support other SCA collections or research interests at the university.
The manuscript section of Special Collections & Archives contains correspondence, diaries, business and organizational records, professional papers, architectural drawings, unpublished works and ephemera documenting the history of Cache Valley, northern Utah, and the Intermountain West. Collections are of local, statewide, and national interest, ranging from records of area settlers and businesses to prominent Mormon historian Leonard J. Arrington and American author Jack London. New materials are acquired through purchases and generous donations, building upon the section’s historical strengths in topics like water development, agriculture, natural resources, environmentalism, and local and Mormon history.
The photograph collections consist of over 250,000 images in approximately 700 collections. Collections range from well-known photographers including A.J. Russell, C.R. Savage, Charles Ellis Johnson, William Henry Jackson, Dr. William Hopkins, Burton Frasher, and W. Eugene Smith to images documenting USU, Cache Valley, Utah and the Intermountain West. The collections range from the 80,000 images of the Compton Studio collection of Brigham City, to images documenting 2000s Latinx history; from 19th Century Western exploration to Aggie sports and traditions.
These photographs can and have been utilized for a variety of purposes such as: illustrations for publications, documentaries, exhibits, and websites; for family history and genealogy; and as historic documents worthy of study in their own right. For example, range scientists use them to study historic changes in vegetation; historians see social and cultural changes by examining what was, and what was not, photographed; and artists and art historians analyze images that are considered artistic works of high quality.
Searching Photograph Collections: About 250,000 images are inventoried at the item level and can be searched from the Archives West database. Roughly 30,000 of these images have been digitized and are part of our digital collections. Collection-level descriptions are available in both the Archives West database as well the Merrill-Cazier Library’s catalog. Photograph curator Daniel Davis should be considered another resource as he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the collection, use, and study of these images.
The rare book collections consist of books, pamphlets, serials, newspapers, microfilm, vertical files, and other printed materials primarily focusing on the history and culture of the Cache Valley, Utah, and the Intermountain West. These collections began with the purchase of the Eli H. Peirce collection of rare Mormon books and pamphlets in 1916, were enhanced by the donation of rare books to the Library by L. Boyd Hatch in the 1940s, and continue to grow through purchases and generous donations. Current collection development focuses on supporting the university’s teaching mission as well as research related to our immediate region. Core collecting areas include Mormon history and culture, natural and environmental history, Western Americana, Western fine press and artists books, and countercultural poetry of the American West. Special Collections also maintains a number of Medieval manuscript works, incunables, and early printed books in order to support the teaching of the history of writing and print culture.
University Archives endeavors to collect, preserve and make available the permanent historical record of the University. These records include published material, faculty members' papers, office files, and other historical material generated by the various research centers and institutes, as well as that from the forty-seven academic departments that comprise its six colleges and business school.
- To support and advance the mission of Utah State University, and that of the Merrill/Cazier Library.
- To preserve, organize, describe, and provide access to University records appraised as having enduring historic significance.
- To comply with all state and federal privacy acts.
- To be the source of information concerning institutional history.
- To stimulate creative thinking, and maintain an environment where teaching and learning can flourish.