Distinctive Collections

Visiting Distinctive Collections

Special Collections



Distinctive Collections is currently closed.  Please email suspecialcollections@southwestern.edu if you have any questions.

Planning Your Visit

Researchers coming from afar are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment well in advance. The entire library (including Distinctive Collections) is closed during intersession periods and University holidays. Distinctive Collections, however, tries to accommodate researchers if staffing permits, but an appointment is essential at these times.

Southwestern University students, staff, and faculty as well as the general public are welcome to conduct research in Distinctive Collections. Although materials are non-circulating, the John G. Tower Library reading room provides an elegant and comfortable space to read and study the university’s rare books and other collections. Outlets are available for laptop computers.

Researchers are asked to read and sign a policy of rules and regulations upon registering. These policies, designed to protect and preserve rare and fragile materials, include requests that patrons show photo identification upon registering; use pencils only; check all book bags, briefcases, and other personal property not necessary for research; wear provided gloves when handling photographs, and use care when examining materials. Works in good condition may be photo-duplicated for a fee. Non-flash photographs are allowed in most circumstances, but please talk to staff first.

Before visiting, guests are encouraged to review our reading room policies.

Directions & Parking

From Interstate Highway 35

Exit 261 (Georgetown). Follow Texas Highway 29 east into Georgetown, approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left at the Maple Street stoplight, the first street after the train tracks.

From State Highway 130 (Tollway)

Exit 415 (Georgetown). Follow Texas Highway 29 west into Georgetown, approximately 2.4 miles. Turn right at the Maple Street stoplight, the last street before the train tracks.


Visitor Parking is available outside the The Wilhelmina Cullen Admission Center. 

Distinctive Collections is located inside the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center. View the campus map for walking directions.