The Arizona Collection has been an integral part of the University Libraries for many years. Although no official beginning date exists, the origin of the present collection can be traced back to 1917, when Thomas J. Cookson, the College Librarian, began building a small Southwestern Collection. In 1943, the primary focus shifted to materials about Arizona.
The Arizona Collection has changed considerably in size and scope since those times. In 1985, the Collection became part of the Archives and Special Collections department.
The Collection contains materials in all formats. Its strengths include over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts and personal papers; oral histories; a book collection of over 30,000 titles; and more than 500,000 photographic prints and negatives.
As a research repository containing primary and secondary source materials covering prehistoric Arizona to the present, the Arizona Collection has resources relevant to historical studies of old Arizona as well as materials necessary for any true understanding of current and future issues affecting our state.
The Arizona Collection actively solicits collections of manuscripts, personal papers, books, photographs, and other resource materials on Arizona and the Southwest. Out principal interest is in unpublished materials such as correspondence, diaries, photo collections, minutes of meetings, scrapbooks, and research files. All material will become part of the Arizona Collection and will be available for scholarly use. Every effort will be taken to provide for the security and care of donated materials.