Special Collections Collection Policy

The Special Collections department of the Stewart Library focuses on collecting materials that document Ogden and Weber and Davis Counties specifically and Northern Utah generally. Such materials include printed works, and non-printed items such as photographs, maps, ephemera, personal papers and organizational records. In addition to this primary focus, the department acquires materials which help to better understand the history of Utah and those forces - both within its boundaries and in adjacent states - that have contributed to its development.

Special Collections will also house materials that are distinctive by reason of their age, origin, cost, special binding, illustrations, or other features that make them unique. Materials that may be found logically in the general collections of the library should be excluded from Special Collections unless for some reason the book is considered to be of special significance due to the following: being part of the gift collection of a donor, signed copy by the author, publisher, or illustrator, a limited edition, a presentation copy, or a memorial book.

Duplication of materials should be avoided. When possible the additional copy should be added to General Collection. Reproductions of fragile or unusually valuable items should be acquired in order to avoid damage to the original.

Named Collections

Located in Special Collections are several named collections. The collections were created and continued through donor funding

Howell Library

Acquisitions for the Howell Library are made from the James Albert Howell Trust Fund or through donations from Judge James Albert Howell’s relatives. The materials are collected within the parameters established by Judge Howell for his personal library. These include:

  1. Nineteenth Century books that relate to subject matter and authors collected by Judge Howell

  2. Nineteenth Century books whose irreplaceability or uniqueness makes them rare such as limited editions, autographed copies, books previously owned by persons of significance, first editions of significance, etc.

  3. Books of esthetic importance (fine printing, illustrations, bindings, or hand-made paper)

  4. Critiques of Nineteenth Century authors or their writings

  5. All books written by or about Pearl S. Buck

  6. Books requested or donated as memorial books by Judge Howell’s family.

Andra Collection

This collection includes poets and poetry from the 20th century in both the English and French languages.

  1. Poets and poetry in the English and French languages, including but not limited to: Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliott, E.E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath, Willa Cather, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Cocteau and Stéphane Mallarme.

  2. Jean Andra Miller and her designated family members may donate or make book suggestions which will be purchased using the Andra funds.

Bransom Book Collection

Donated by artist Paul Bransom, the collection includes books illustrated by Bransom along with presentation copies from authors such as Jack London and J. Frank Dobie. There are several special Christmas gift printings of Dobie stories which are very valuable because only a limited number of copies were printed and then the plates were destroyed. The presentation copies from Jack London include photographs and lengthy inscriptions which are valuable. This collection is no longer being actively added to.

Wheelwright Collection

The collection originated with the gift of the personal library of Hyrum Wheelwright. The majority of the collection documents Mormon Americana but is no longer actively added to.

Special Collections

This collection includes rare or special books, along with books that relate to Utah, the West, in-house manuscript holdings, and other specified collecting areas.

Books of a rare or special nature which warrant their inclusion in Special Collections will be defined as follows:

  1. Books bearing an early imprint date:

    1. Publications outside the U.S. prior to 1801

    2. Publications printed in the U.S. prior to 1821

    3. Relevant publications printed in Utah from 1860 to 1930

  2. Intrinsic - dependent upon value, condition and topic

    1. Association copies

    2. Books owned by people of local importance

    3. First editions of notable authors

    4. Limited editions of 250 or less

    5. Miniature books under 10cm

    6. Signed books by notable authors

  3. Esthetic Importance (fine printing, illustrations, binding or hand-made paper)

  4. Valuable books subject to loss or damage

    1. Books of fragile physical make-up

    2. Books who illustrations make them subject to mutilation

    3. Volumes of fine or loose plates

Areas of collecting in Special Collections include:

  1. Books that document Utah's history with an emphasis on Weber and Davis Counties. This includes boks written by local authors.

  2. Books that compliment Manuscript collections such as but not limited to:

    1. Local women’s groups including service groups, literary clubs, and social organizations

    2. Architecture focusing on Prairie Style homes to augment the current holdings of Leslie Hodgson and Eber Piers.

    3. Utah Construction /Utah International

    4. World War I and II- focusing on books discussed in manuscript collections, diaries of soldiers, and books used by service men and women.

    5. Local baseball players and teams such as Frank Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, and Rickey Henderson along with the Ogden Raptors and its predecessors.

    6. Local jazz musicians including Red Nichols and Joe McQueen

  3. The West - This collection focuses on the issues that developed the West, specifically the Intermountain West, including:

    1. Land use

    2. Transportation and Railroads

    3. Water

    4. Western authors such as Edward Abbey, Juanita Brooks, Vardis Fisher, and Wallace Stegner

    5. Women in the West documenting the female experience in the Western United States with such topics as prostitution, pioneers, and homesteading.

  4. Victorian Etiquette- This collection augments the holdings in the Howell collection. It includes books on manners, party and dinner etiquette, home life and dressing printed in the 19th century but also some new studies and reprints.

  5. National Undergraduate Literature Conference authors- This collection includes copies of books by poets and authors that present at the annual NULC hosted by Weber State University. The 4 collection showcases the nationally renowned authors brought to Weber State for this unique conference. Most should be signed when possible.

  6. Cookbooks- This collection includes locally produced cookbooks by religious organizations, women groups and private organizations.

  7. Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered and Bisexual- Materials in this collecting area document the LGTB community in Weber and Davis counties. This includes manuscripts, photographs, and local publications including books and newsletters that deal with this diverse community.

Manuscript and Photographs

  1. Any family, group, organization, or business that lived or operated in Weber or Davis counties. Main focus is on collecting women’s groups in the area and minorities such as Latinos and the LGTB community.

  2. Photographs that document the histories of Weber and Davis Counties. These include personal photographs, businesses, buildings, scenery, etc.

Areas Not Solicited

Special Collections is not a museum and therefore not equipped to properly house certain materials. These items will only be taken under certain special circumstances and at the discretion of the curator and the University Librarian:

  1. Artifacts

  2. Artwork

  3. Films

  4. Natural science items

  5. Porcelain

  6. Textiles

Gift Collections

The factors determining the special features and inclusion of materials in Special Collections are to be approved by the Curator of Special Collections and the University Librarian. Whenever necessary, the decision to include or exclude materials will be made after due consideration and consultation with other knowledgeable persons.

The acceptance of large gift collections must be approved by the following persons:

  1. Curator of Special Collections

  2. University Librarian


Public Relations

Good public relations with Donors must be exercised at all times. Caution must be used to avoid offending Donors if at all possible. Whenever gifts are declined because they are not suitable for our collections, appropriate repositories may be suggested.

Gift Agreements

Donors of gift collections must fill out a Deed of Gift which identifies the gift and states any restrictions.

Donors of a large collection may have an attorney draw up a legal agreement which is signed by the donor, Curator of Special Collections, University Librarian and either the President of Weber State University or the Director of Development.

Donations of all gifts are acknowledged by a letter sent from the University Librarian and a separate form from the Development office. It is not the position of the University to appraise any items for tax purposes. If a donor wants an appraisal, they will be required to find and pay for one.

Copies of all documentation are filed in the donor files in the Special Collections department.

Transfer of Items from the General Collection

The Curator of Special Collection determines which materials will be accepted for transfer from the General Collection. All transferred Items must fall within the established guidelines for Special Collections, regardless of their value.