August Wilson sitting on steps.

Archives & Special Collections

The A&SC Hillman Reading Room will be appointment only for the summer.

Welcome to Archives & Special Collections (A&SC), the archives, manuscripts, and rare books department of the University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS)! Our mission is to collect, describe, and preserve our ever-growing collections in order to make them available and accessible to the Pitt community and beyond. In our collections, you’ll find historic documents, photographs, maps, rare books, newspapers, audio and video recordings, and much more.

Visit the A&SC Aeon Research Portal to create a user account so you can start requesting materials!

Start your research here:

Using the Search Box below you can explore different areas of our collections.

Interested in the history of Pitt or archival and manuscript collections? Choose Finding Aids to Archives and Manuscripts from the drop-down menu to search the collections. In addition to documenting the history of Pitt in the University Archives, A&SC is also one of the largest archives of Western Pennsylvania history. Our manuscript collections include (but are very much not limited to) the papers of Pitt faculty, local authors, and genre defining creators.

More of a book person? A&SC houses over 130,000 rare books and printed materials that include 16th century illuminated books, 20th century underground zines, children’s books through the ages, and an abundance of horror. Choose the Rare Books and Special Collections in Pittcat option from the drop-down menu to search for rare and special books.

Digitization occurs across all areas of A&SC. To search what we’ve digitized, choose ULS Digital Collections from the drop-down menu.

Browse Our Digital Collections Browse Our Finding Aids

Read about our efforts to address harmful, offensive, misrepresentative, and racist language in our archival collection descriptions.

Do you have questions or can’t find what you’re looking for? Please contact us so one of our expert staff members can help you.

Explore our collections further!

John James Audubon's plate of 2 purple herons.

We’ve digitized thousands of records from our collections, and you can see them all here! Search our Audubon prints, get acquainted with the City Photographer Collection, or just peruse the collection guides for our materials.

Map of Fort Pitt and parts adjacent with both rivers from 1761.

Interested in more Pittsburgh history? We work in partnership with other organizations in the area, like the Heinz History Center, to bring you more content on our city. Search by institution, topic, or format to find exactly what you want.

Nearly 5,000 students assembled to form the Living Panther to show Pitt Spirit. April 1920

Want to know what the Cathedral of Learning looked like while under construction? Maybe find yourself in your college yearbook? Or learn what Pitt students were talking about in the 1920s? It’s all here for you, from digitized yearbooks to historic photographs to a full run of the Pitt News, and much more. Hail to Pitt!

University Library System Acquires Jonas Salk Papers
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of an archival collection documenting the research and career of Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first successful polio vaccine.
Join us for the Pitt-wide Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition!
The 3MT competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) students. Competitors vie for prizes as they explain their research in just three minutes. Monday, April 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hillman Library, Archives & Special Collections Room, Third Floor
Join us and explore the research of the Archival Scholars
Archival Scholars in Action highlights the research work and progress of the Archival Scholars Research Award (ASRA) recipients through a series of lightning talks, a panel discussion, and display of a selection of primary sources. Friday, March 31 from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Hillman Library, Third Floor 340 Archives & Special Collections Instruction Room.
Sam Rivers playing the soprano saxophone
Rivers was an American jazz musician and composer. Though most famously a tenor saxophonist, he also performed on soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, harmonica, piano, and viola. With a thorough command of music theory, orchestration, and composition, Rivers was an influential and prominent artist in jazz music. more...
Charles and Frankie Pace Sheet Music and Images
Join us in celebrating this important but little-known piece of Pittsburgh history in a Gospel Music Tribute to Charles and Frankie Pace on Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7 p.m., at Ebenezer Baptist Chruch.
Still frame from video of a news video about the August Wilson Archives
August Wilson exhibit highlights monthlong Black History Month celebration in Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh Library System is pleased to announce that students, faculty, researchers, scholars, and the public now have access to the August Wilson Archive in Hillman Library.  The organization of the archive is detailed in the collection finding aid. ... more

Check out our Horror Studies Blog!

University of Pittsburgh Library System - Horror Studies

View our blog and sign up for our monthly newsletter featuring Horror Collection updates, Romero news, horror events, and more!

Take a virtual tour of our new space!

Archives & Special Collections Virtual Tours

Archives & Special Collections resides in a state-of-the-art home on Hillman Library’s renovated third floor. It contains significant physical and digital exhibition space, an expansive reading room, a large classroom, and, the Text & conText Lab, a partnership between the ULS and the Center for Creativity, that allows for the exploration of text in all its forms.

Visit in person during library open hours or take a virtual tour!

Contact Us

Send us an email
Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) - Who We Are

A&SC at Hillman Library
320 Hillman Library
University of Pittsburgh
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

A&SC at the Archives Service Center
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

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Spotlight on…

The Erroll Garner Jazz Archive
Take a virtual tour of the Erroll Garner Jazz Archive During the 51st Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert Week.

The banner features an image from the August Wilson Archive.