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Special Collections

Contribute Your COVID-19 Experiences

Contact Special Collections during the Coronavirus Response at

Current Services
The Special Collections Reading Room is currently open to Lehigh faculty, staff and students with University clearances. Special Collections is now open to external researchers with advanced notice and following Lehigh's COVID-19 policies for visitors.
  • Research: Special Collections can provide reference and answer questions about our collections and services and help you identify digital material in our collections or at other repositories for your research paper or project. Email for assistance.
  • Instruction: Librarians are available to provide online and in-person instruction as well as providing assistance with designing assignments using our digital collections and digitized items from other repositories. Learn more about our support for remote teaching and learning by contacting
  • Reproductions: Digitization services are operational and reproductions will be made as staff time allows. Depending upon the extent of your request, please allow a minimum of 72 business hours for processing. Contact for assistance or to submit a reproduction request. Orders requiring new scans will be completed in the order in which they are received.

Special Collections was established to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical collections that encompass rare books, manuscripts, and the Lehigh University archives. Housed in the historic Linderman Library, opened in 1878, Special Collections holds materials that not only document its extensive 1929 addition but also its award-winning 2006 restoration.

Special Collections holds a rare book collection of over 40,000 volumes, with first editions of English and American literature from the 17th to the 19th centuries.  Other strengths are in travel and exploration, natural history and ornithology, and works of historical significance in science and technology. Holdings in the history of technology are actively being expanded; they focus on large scale construction, such as works on bridge building and design, and iron and steel construction. Another focus is mining and metallurgy.
Special Collections also holds manuscripts and personal papers. Frequently consulted collections include the papers of Les Whitten, successful novelist and Watergate-era investigative reporter; the Congressional papers of Francis E. Walter; and the papers of the Lehigh presidents. In 2005, Lehigh acquired the Philip I. and Muriel M. Berman Archives. A collection of autograph letters has been digitized for research and curricular use in the I Remain project.
The Lehigh University Archives contains documents, photographs, and publications of the University, papers of faculty members, and Lehigh memorabilia. Special Collections is also the repository for Lehigh theses and dissertations and over 20,000 photographic images.

Research Services

Discover material, make requests, and schedule a visit

Lehigh History

Information and resources on Lehigh's role in engineering, sciences, education, arts and humanities, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Digital Projects

Digitized material and scholarly digital projects


Lehigh Preserve

Friends of the Library

Transfers and Gifts

How to make transfers, gifts, and donations to Special Collections.

Social Media


Local history, Lehigh University collections, and photographs are generally available the day of your visit. We are located in Linderman Library 3rd Floor West Room 341. Our public hours are Monday through Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Morning visits may be arranged by appointment.
Contact Information
General email: 
Fax: (610) 758-6091 
Phone: 610-758-4506
Lois Fischer Black, Curator of Special Collections
Phone: (610) 758-5185
Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian
Phone: (610) 758-4506
Alex Japha, Digital Archivist
Phone: (610) 758-5337
Mailing Address:
Special Collections
Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015