An Introduction to The Walter Havighurst Special Collections

Established in 1970, the Walter Havighurst Special Collections is named for Walter Havighurst, a regionalist author and professor of English at Miami University from 1928 to 1969. Today Special Collections includes over 65,000 volumes, manuscripts and archives. The staff of Special Collections invites visitors and researchers to enjoy its exhibit gallery and Reading Room located on the third floor of King Library.

Cataloged volumes are included in the Miami University Libraries’ online catalog.
Finding aids for selected manuscript collections and archives are also available. A digitizing program is underway to make materials available online.

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections includes rare books, manuscripts, and special subject collections. Collection strengths include: the history and culture of the Ohio Valley/Old Northwest Territory; the history of transportation, especially in the 19th century; the American Civil War; pre- and post-revolutionary Russian history, art and literature; William Holmes McGuffey and his Readers; 19th century gift books; the Shakers; and children’s literature, especially the 18th through the 20th centuries, including 19th century schoolbooks.

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections also houses the:

Also included are collections of the works and/or correspondence of

  • John Shaw Billings (1838-1913), librarian, scientist, and Miami alumnus;
  • The working library of Louise Bogan (1897-1970), American poet and literary critic;
  • Daniel Defoe (1659?-1731), author of Robinson Crusoe;
  • James T. Farrell (1904-1979), American author;
  • Hamlin Garland (1860-1940), American author;
  • Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), lawyer, Miami alumnus and 23rd President of the U.S.;
  • William Dean Howells (1837-1920), American author and Ohio native;
  • Matthew Prior (1664-1721), English poet and diplomat;
  • Robert B. Stanton (1846-1922), civil engineer, explorer, and Miami alumnus;
  • Rodolfo Usigli (1909-1979), Mexican playwright, essayist, and diplomat;
  • Myaamia Collection, the history and culture of the Miami people, developed in collaboration with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

Other collections also include volumes that illustrate the history of printing, bookbinding and the history of the book, early texts in classical architecture, classical language, literature, drama and theater, business, religion, manufacturing, engineering and technology, patents, herbals and botanicals, applied sciences, and medicine.

Please see Collections on this website for more information.

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News and Events

Our summer exhibit Miami and Oxford in the 1960s is now on display!

Please note we have changed to our summer hours.

New finding aid: Clyde Fisher and Te Ata Collection.