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The Digital Library Program hosts a set of digital exhibitions and digital collections that feature unique content created by or for Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff, as well as for a community of users beyond our campus. 

Digital Exhibitions are curated by the Libraries' knowledgeable and talented staff and tell unique stories through digital objects. Our Digital Exhibitions can be accessed in the following spaces:

Digital Collections are primarily derived from original materials held in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Other collections represent materials obtained through various digital initiatives via the Libraries' Department of Research and Scholarship, campus collaborations, and materials accessed through SURFACE, the University's institutional repository.

Collection highlights include:

This collection consists of a set of six mosaic aerial photographs of the city of Syracuse NY taken in 1926. They are currently housed with the aerial photography collections in the Map Room of Bird Library. These photos are the earliest and only known aerial photos of Syracuse for this date.

Principal Collections

Search Aerial Photographs, Syracuse NY, 1926

AIC is a teaching resource collection of art images for Syracuse University faculty and students. It includes images from a variety of sources within the Libraries' purchased and created collections. Access is available on campus only to SU faculty and currently enrolled students.

Principal Collections

Search Arts Image Collection

The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection provides online access to digital audio files of cylinders in the Belfer Audio Archive. Belfer's cylinder collection includes over 22,000 cylinders, 12,000 of which are unique titles. With initial funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Syracuse University Libraries have been able to digitize over 1,400 cylinders. Work is ongoing, so please check back regularly for newly added titles. The digital recordings, provided in both MP3 and WAV file format, can be searched or browsed by genre/subject.

Special Collections

Search Belfer Cylinders Connection

The Belfer Latin American 45s Digital Collection provides access to over 12,000 recordings held in the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. The bulk of these recordings date from the 1950s to the early-1960s, and include many rare and little-known issues on small independent record labels from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.

Special Collections

Search Latin American 45s Collection

This collection of playbills from the Boar's Head Dramatic Society of Syracuse University covers productions from 1904 to the late 1960's. The playbills are housed in the collections of the University Archives. For more information regarding this collection as well as the Boar's Head society, please visit the Boar's Head website.

University Archives

View Boar's Head Dramatic Society Collection

This collection of over 200 photographs of the Syracuse University Carnegie Library includes the 1905 ground breaking through the 2007 centennial. The images show the reading room, interior rooms and spaces, students, librarians, and the exterior façade including architectural detail. The historical images were digitized from the University Archives' collection of campus building photographs. Links to historical news articles and information may be found at the Carnegie Library History page.

Special Collections

View Carnegie Library 1907-2007

The Character Studies Archives Collection includes dozens of interviews with America's leading playwrights, actors, directors, choreographers, lyricists and composers. Created and conducted by playwright and producer Tony Vellela, this interview series features in-depth discussion of the art and craft of theatre. Three episodes relate to Arthur Miller's The Price, a production of which was featured in the Spring 2010 season at Syracuse Stage.

Principal Collections

Search Character Studies Theatre Interviews Archives Collection

Publications authored by philanthropist and social reformer Gerrit Smith, including various circulars, speeches, sermons, and tracts which deal with such topics as abolition, suffrage, temperance, transportation, and the postal system.

Special Collections

Search Gerrit Smith Broadside and Pamphlet Collection

The Kenya National Archives are part of the Syracuse University Libraries’ holdings consisting of thousands of microfilm reels of documents, reports, newspaper articles, and miscellaneous correspondence of the colonial government of Kenya from the 19th century until independence in the mid-1960’s. The collection is only sparsely indexed and the reels are housed on the 3rd floor of Syracuse University’s Bird Library, arranged by their microfilm numbers. Included here in SURFACE is the only index, the Guide to the Kenya National Archives, as well as guides and bibliographies to other parts of the collections, including other districts and regions within Kenya.

For more information, refer to the Kenya National Archives subject guide.

This work is the property of Syracuse University. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Principal Collections

Search Guides to the Kenya National Archives

The Marcel Breuer Digital Archive represents a collaborative effort headed by Syracuse University Libraries to digitize over 70,000 drawings, photographs, letters and other materials related to the career of Marcel Breuer, one of the most influential architects and furniture designers of the twentieth century.

Special Collections

Search Marcel Breuer Digital Archive

Descriptive information and selected images from ten western medieval manuscripts ranging from the 13th through the 16th centuries. The collection includes an apocalyptic text by Telesphorus; glossed decretals of popes Innocent IV and Gregory IX; a Dominican gradual of saints; a part of the Old Testament which consists of a fragment of the Books of Tobit and Esther, and a complete Book of Judith; and six Books of Hours.

Special Collections

View Medieval Manuscripts Collection

This site is dedicated to the 270 men, women and children whose lives were lost in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. Thirty-five students studying abroad with Syracuse University were killed in this terrorist attack.

University Archives

Search Pan Am Flight 103

The Plastics Center, founded in 2008, is the largest university-based resource on the history of plastics. The Plastics Center is home to an expansive collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and plastic objects produced from the late 19th century to the present day. Many digital images of plastic objects are now available in a searchable online database. The Libraries maintain an active acquisitions program for all areas of the Plastics Center collection.

Special Collections

Search Plastics Center at the Syracuse University Libraries

In 1960, Syracuse University Libraries acquired complete runs of the serial publications of Oneida Community and of its antecedents and branches, covering the span of years from 1837 until 1879. In 1983, the Libraries received a large collection of the surviving records of the Community.

Special Collections

View Oneida Community Collection

Syracuse is rich in African American history. Early abolitionists, suffragists, and advocates for native sovereignty and treaty rights established their voices and led nationwide change from Central New York. The area has also reverberated from such dramatic shifts as the vast migration from Southern states and the demise of the city’s 15th ward. Unfortunately, much of this history of African Americans in Syracuse is scattered among churches, community organizations, and private residences. The Black History Preservation project is committed to honoring and celebrating the history and heritage of black people in Syracuse and Central New York. A partnership of residents, community organizations, and SU faculty and staff has resulted in the development of this virtual museum to highlight the presence, accomplishments, and contributions of our often under-recognized community.

Principal Collections

View Our Stories Site

More than 1,000 photographs of 19th century sideshows and circuses by photographer Charles Eisenmann and his successor Frank Wendt. Photographs depict the physical abnormalities of humans and animals featured at these shows. Subjects include P.T. Barnum, the P.T.Barnum Firm (Barnum and Bailey Circus), and Tom Thumb.

Special Collections

Search Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs

Dime novels, serials, photographs, and other material from the archives of New York City publisher Street & Smith, known for their pulps and dime novels.  Needing covers for their prolific output of pulp magazines, serials, and dime novels, Street & Smith became "an incubator where the greatest illustrators in the country were professionally born." These included Harvey Dunn, Joseph Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell, Winfield Scott, Tom Lovell, Anton Otto Fisher, Amos Sewell, and N.C. Wyeth.

Special Collections

View Street & Smith Dime Novel Covers

This collection contains the 1908, 1924, and 1938 Insurance Atlases of Syracuse NY published by G.M. Hopkins and Co. of Philadelphia, PA and the 1892 Insurance Atlas of Syracuse NY by J.W. Vose & Company.

Principal Collections

Search Syracuse Insurance Atlases

Since 1943, Syracuse University Press has continued a tradition of serving scholars and scholarship, promoting diverse cultural and intellectual expression, and preserving the history, literature, and culture of our region. Through the publication of significant and groundbreaking books across a variety of disciplines, the Press reflects the values of Syracuse University and supports its mission of research and discovery.

Browse and read Syracuse University Press e-books here through EBSCO.

Principal Collections

Search Syracuse University Press e-books

The collection contains over 500 items of popular sheet music all published during the years of World War II. In theme all relate specifically to the war or are of a general patriotic nature. The collection thus represents a very detailed overview of patriotic music during the second World War. The material bears upon the subjects of American popular music and society. It also possesses value for the study of history of the period.

Special Collections

View World War II Songs from the Belfer Audio Archive