In Distinctive Collections at Southwestern University, we create physical and virtual spaces to experience the history of Southwestern University and Texas as well as the heritage of the printed and written word. We aim to use these spaces and our collections to create meaningful experiences for anyone.

To this end, Distinctive Collections holds books, manuscripts, and objects of historical and scholarly value that support undergraduate teaching and research, research by Southwestern faculty members, and research by the wider community of scholars. Though we collect with these groups in mind, our collections are open to all who want to use them.

As of September 2017, Distinctive Collections holds 19,861 volumes, in addition to 1,390 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections.

Significant collections include Southwestern University archives, Texana, Methodism, hymnals, 19th century American and British works, and works related to travel and description. The oldest item in Special Collections is a cuneiform from approximately 2000 BCE.