Collections at Western Libraries

Western Libraries collects materials in a number of areas as described below. Search OneSearch to find materials in our collections and 38 other academic libraries throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Facsimile of illuminated manuscript in Special Collections.

Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections document the history of Bellingham, the surrounding counties, and the development of WWU, as well as global topics ranging from the art and history of the book to children's literature, Jewish history, and outdoor recreation. The collections include a wide variety of historical primary source material such as rare books and manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, newspapers, oral histories, maps, and more.

looking up through cedar branches with building behind

Western CEDAR makes the research, scholarship, and creative works of WWU faculty, staff, and students easily discoverable and freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. CEDAR is part of a global open access movement and the acronym stands for Contributing to Education through Digital Access to Research.

Brick sidewalk with chalk drawing of a face and speech bubble saying, "Come Write a poem!" and part of a written poem in chalk

The Children & Teen Poetry Collection (PoetryCHaT) includes antiquarian books and ephemera alongside contemporary writers, artists, and spoken word poets. Our extensive circulating and special collections support poetry teaching, learning, writing, and illustrating.

Two women reading children's books with pictures

The Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection (CLIC) contains a range of publications that reflect the breadth, depth, and complexity of literature written for children and young adults.

Rows of books on bookshelves in a library

Mabel houses digital collections from many university departments.

large table with maps spread out and people leaning over the maps

The Map Collection is a multidisciplinary collection of cartographic materials, housing over 65,000 contemporary and historic maps including atlases, reference books, and globes. The collection covers many areas of the world, with a focus on the Salish Sea, the Pacific Northwest and parts of western and northern Canada.

Parchment with handwritten Mongolian text

Western Libraries Mongolian Studies Collection is one of the largest collections of books on Mongolia and Central Asia in North America, and it serves as an important cultural bridge between America, the peoples of Central Asia, and Mongolists in other countries. At more than 18,000 titles and still growing, the collection comprehensively covers the humanities, social and natural sciences, and medicine.


Wilson Library Reading Room, with tall rounded windows and view of the painted ceiling

Located in the historic Reading Room (Wilson 4 Central), the Northwest Collection includes materials connected to the unique cultural, historical, and environmental heritage of the Pacific Northwest region, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia.

Rows of books on bookshelves in a library

The Student Assistant Recommended Reading (StARR) Collection is the product of a unique program through which graduating senior student employees at Western Libraries select a favorite book or media item to celebrate their graduation and to honor the student’s service in the Libraries. Bookplates are inserted in the book, and a note with the student’s name appear in the library catalog record for perpetuity.