Photographs and publications document the activities and exhibits of the Rare Book Room from 1976 to the early 1990s.
The Rare Book Room was founded in 1981. Its initial collection consisted of books and other rare or unique items that were already in the collection of the UNT Libraries. The holdings of the Rare Book and Texana Collection grew to include 4,000 year old tablets as wellas artist's books produced in the last year. The collection includes maps, scrolls, original artworks, artifacts, games, printing equipment, photographs, postcards, currency, and palm-leaf books. Rare Book Collections concentrates on works in 18th century, travel and exploration, fashion and costume history, literature, women's studies, Texana, and county histories.
In 2007, the University Archives and the Rare Books Department were combined into one administrative unit that is now known as Special Collections. In 2012, the departments were merged into one space when the 4th floor of Willis Library was renovated. They now share the the public service point of the Judge Sarah T. Huges Reading Room.
The heads of the Rare Book Room were: Dr. Kenneth Lavender and Mary Durio. Today Morgan Gieringer is head of the Special Collections.