The University of Kansas Libraries
KU Libraries at a Glance
KU Libraries house more than 4 million print volumes.
KU Libraries’ staff provides direct classroom instruction on how to use library resources for more than 1,000 classes and reaches more than 18,000 KU students every year.
Libraries are student-friendly spaces. Many have cafés or delis, and most libraries have group study areas as well as quiet zones. Watson Library boasts a recreational reading collection featuring 200 current bestsellers, both fiction and non-fiction.
Librarians are here to help. You can contact a librarian in person at the service desk, via text, e-mail, Instant Messenger or phone. They specialize in one-on-one interaction, and many are subject specialists and instructors as well.
KU Libraries maintain a wide range of electronic information resources that are available from anywhere. For instance, you can access more than 30,000 full-text journals from any computer with Internet access.
The Spencer Research Library attracts thousands of researchers, including many KU students and faculty, to use KU’s internationally known rare book, manuscript and archival collections.
Special Collections, housed in the Spencer Research Library, hold one of the most significant collections in Irish history, literature, culture and politics outside of Ireland.
The Kansas Collection, also in Spencer, provides research materials documenting the history and people of Kansas. It includes one of the largest assemblages of U.S. left and right wing political literature in the country.
The oldest and largest of the University’s libraries, Watson houses collections in the social sciences, humanities, education, journalism and social welfare. Highlights include the East Asian, Slavic, and Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American collections. The Libraries’ administration offices and Preservation Department are also housed here.
Collections here include the sciences, business and U.S. government documents, as well as the T.R. Smith Map Collection and the GIS and Numeric Data Lab.
Spencer Research Library
The University Archives are housed here, as are manuscripts and rare books that are included in the library's special collections. Also in Spencer is the Kansas Collection which includes books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and other items documenting the state’s history.
Gorton Music & Dance Library
The Archive of Recorded Sound, which features extensive jazz and opera holdings, and the Hale Media System for listening and viewing are highlights of this library, located in Murphy Hall. It contains more than 10,000 scores, books, sound recordings and other volumes, and holds the leading music collection in the Great Plains.
Spahr Engineering Library
Located between Learned and Eaton Halls, this library features collaborative and individual study spaces, as well as collections and resources to support engineering fields.
Murphy Art & Architecture Library
Located on the first level of the Spencer Museum of Art, the library supports the teaching and research programs in the Departments of Art, Design, History of Art, Architecture, Urban Planning, and the collections of the museum. The library's collection of over 170,000 volumes documents the visual arts world-wide and from all ages.
Regents Center Library
Located in Overland Park, this branch provides library resources and services on the Edwards Campus in the Kansas City metro area.