Material in Special Collections & Rare Books in Criss Library Archives & Special Collections contains unique and specialized items of local, state and regional interest in addition to a wide variety of materials in many subject areas and formats, including Omaha and Nebraska history, pre-19th century books, autographed books and rare first editions.
All books are described and searchable in the library's catalog.
Finding aids for manuscript collections are available in Archives & Special Collections finding aids database. If you have not found what you are looking for in the library catalog or finding aids database Criss Library's Archives & Special Collections for assistance.
The beginning of the Rare Book collection can be traced to a collection acquired from Tabor College in Tabor, Iowa. Tabor College closed in 1927 and Omaha University acquired the approximately 20,000 rare books, books, and government documents from Tabor College's library through a receiver's sale in December 1933. The Municipal University of Omaha's Board of Regents supported the expenditure of $1,000.00 at their December 14, 1933 meeting to support the purchase and the books were moved to Omaha within days. The purchased library included the Icarian Collection as well as other single volumes of rare books now found in Archives & Special Collections. Books can be identified through a Tabor College library stamp usually on the first page of the book. The Tabor College acquisition brought the Municipal University of Omaha's library collection of 52,000 books. Criss Library continues to add to the Rare Book collection through gifts, transfers from the library's general stacks, and the purchase of material.