Actively collected and curated since 1850, the collections of the River Campus Libraries represent the collective effort of dozens of library workers with the input of hundreds of faculty and thousands of students for more than 150 years in support of teaching, research, and the creation of new knowledge at the University of Rochester. They continue to grow and evolve as we apply collaborative frameworks and sustainable practices to ensure the stewardship of our distinct collections.
Learn More About Collections
River Campus Libraries focuses on strategic approaches to supporting the stewardship and selection of materials aligned to the University community's research and learning priorities. A team of library workers, including our Outreach Team and members of our Patron Services Team, Collection Management Unit, and many others work to select and steward materials per the Guiding Principles for Collection Development and Management. Learn more about our Collection Strategies.
Recommend a Purchase
All requests to purchase material are appreciated and will receive serious and prompt consideration. Follow this link to make a request.
Thank you for graciously considering the River Campus Libraries for your donation- due to space constraints and collecting practices, we are generally unable to accept gifts of materials. Follow this link for more detail.
River Campus Libraries includes the following collections:
Located on the ground floor of Rush Rhees, the Art/Music Library houses approximately 75,000 books on visual arts, art theory, architecture, music, and photography as well as thousands of music scores, CDs and an extensive collection of films.
The Carlson Science & Engineering houses approximately 180,000 volumes on science and engineering subjects in print and thousands of electronic books and journals online. Our collections and services reflect the strengths of our academic departments and the vision for the future of research in the science and engineering fields at the University of Rochester. The library has 3 floors, equipped with many computers, scanners, printers, wireless access, 470 seats, and four group study rooms. Twelve staff members are present to help faculty and students with all their scientific information needs.
Located on the 4th floor of Rush Rhees, Koller-Collins was named in honor of English Professors Kathrine Koller and Rowland Collins. The center contains a core collection of about ten thousand primary texts in all areas of British and American literature, with special holdings in the works of the Elizabethan dramatists, and reference material for literary studies. It is a non-circulating collection.
The UR Library Annex, established in 2005, houses important materials in the Libraries’ collections that are older or lesser used. Incorporated into the Annex are materials from the River Campus Libraries as well as the Charlotte Whitney Allen Library at the Memorial Art Gallery. The collection consists of over 400,000 volumes, and our most frequent requests are for medical and scientific journal articles. There are also monographs and a significant collection of oversized materials. The collections are stored on high-density shelves in a climate-controlled environment.
The Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library (POA) enjoys a presence central to the Physics & Astronomy Department in 374 Bausch & Lomb Hall. Although the vast majority of the library’s holdings are electronic, the POA library has a small print collection of books and journals serving the research and teaching needs of the Physics & Astronomy Department and the Institute of Optics. The collection is particularly strong in astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter, nuclear and high energy physics, optics and quantum mechanics. Of notable interest is the History of Optics collection, which includes significant and rare materials dating from the 18th century to the present. The library also retains a comprehensive collection of theses and dissertations from its liaison departments.
Located on the 2nd floor of Rush Rhees, the 110,000 volume collection ranges from incunabula (books printed before 1501) to modern first editions. The 430 manuscript collections include the papers of William Henry Seward, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, George Eastman, Jerre Mangione, and John Gardner. Prints, maps, photographs, broadsides, and printed ephemera are also available.
The core of this medieval studies collection of more than 20,000 volumes was donated by noted Middle English scholar Rossell Hope Robbins and Helen Ann Mins Robbins. The Robbins Library contains comprehensive holdings in all aspects of Middle English literature, as well as significant holdings in Old English, Anglo-Norman, and medieval French literature; medieval history, philosophy, theology, and art; manuscript studies; witchcraft; and Arthurian and Robin Hood studies. The collection is non-circulating and is located on the 4th floor of Rush Rhees.