Special Collections

Customers can touch history in a unique way in the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room, where Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's rare books, manuscripts, personal papers, historic photographs and archives offer a fascinating view of the past.

The Oliver Room is not only the destination for rare and unique items, it's also the place where they are cared for, preserved and made available to the public. This room is a resource for a wide variety of customer inquiries relating to every aspect of book arts, records management and preservation-related issues.

Carnegie Libraries & Museums

The Carnegie Archives identifies, collects, preserves and makes available institutional records and personal papers of enduring value from trustees, administrators, researchers, educators and benefactors from 1890 to the present for the use of staff, students, scholars and the general public. More about this collection:

Carnegie Libraries and Museums

For finding aids and more information about these collections, call the Oliver Room at 412.622.1932 or email oliver@carnegielibrary.org.

Children’s Archives

Carnegie Library School was the first training school for children’s librarians in the country. The Children’s Archives represents the strong contribution of children’s services to the profession by documenting its rich history through reports, correspondence, photographs, books and detailed accounts. More about this collection:

Children’s Collections

For finding aids and more information about these collections, call the Oliver Room at 412.622.1932 or email oliver@carnegielibrary.org.

Photographs

The Pittsburgh Photographic Library (PPL) is a unique collection of historic images documenting life in the Pittsburgh area. A project of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, its purpose was to highlight the redevelopment of Pittsburgh in the 1950s. The collection has grown in size and scope since coming to the Carnegie Library in 1960. The PPL now offers over 57,000 photographs featuring important Western Pennsylvania places, significant milestones and extraordinary people. More about this collection:

Pittsburgh Photographic Library Collections

For finding aids and more information about these collections, visit their temporary home at the Friends of the Music Library website. Call the Pennsylvania Department at 412.622.3154 or email padept@carnegielibrary.org for more information or assistance.

Music

Music fans, researchers, beginner or professional players, music students and teachers can access the Music Department’s repository of local historical music materials documenting the musical life of Pittsburgh from 1800 to the present. The thoroughly indexed collections include the Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh interviews by Maurice Levy; scores and books by local composers and authors; archival materials of performers, performing groups and music organizations; sheet music; vinyl records; and Pittsburgh Orchestra correspondence. More about this collection:

Music Special Collections

For finding aids and more information about these collections, visit their temporary home at the Friends of the Music Library website. Call the Music Department at 412.622.3105 or email musicdept@carnegielibrary.org for more information or assistance.

Art & Architecture

The Library’s art and architecture collection provides a comprehensive body of print and digital resources for aspiring art students and experienced professionals looking for in-depth information, as well as for casual art enthusiasts. In addition to the general collection, special collections and indexes such as the Pittsburgh Artists File, the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Collection, the Pittsburgh Architects File, the Bernd Collection and more, make the art and architecture holdings an extensive, unique resource for those looking to explore the rich artistic history of the Pittsburgh region. More about this collection:

Art and Architecture Collections

For finding aids and more information about these collections, call 412.622.3175 or email info@carnegielibrary.org.

General Archives

Many unique and fascinating stories about Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are available to explore in the general archival collections in the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room. Among these historical treasures are the Isaac Craig Papers pertaining to Fort Pitt, Pittsburgh Board of Education Archives, Liberty Tunnel Archives and information on Pittsburgh City government. More about this collection:

General Archival Collection

For finding aids and more information about these collections, call the Oliver Room at 412.622.1932 or email oliver@carnegielibrary.org.

Visit the Oliver Room

Schedule a tour or book a private visit to the Oliver Room at CLP – Main (Oakland) and discover expansive special collections with items dating back to 1477!

The Library does not offer official appraisals or restoration services, but we will be happy to consult with you on how to care for and value your personal special collections.

Visits, tours and consultation services are by appointment only. Please call 412.622.1932 or email oliver@carnegielibrary.org.

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