The collections include over 100,000 monographs, 17,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 19,000 linear feet of University Archives, 400,000 photographs, 5,000 architectural drawings, 5,000 original drawings and illustrations, and over 20,000 broadsides, pamphlets, postage stamps, autographs, and pieces of ephemera. Among the most notable holdings are the Ken Kesey papers, Abigail Scott Duniway papers, Senator Wayne Morse papers, Paul Wiener papers, James Ivory papers, Ursula Le Guin papers, Doris Ulmann photographs, works by authors and illustrators of children's literature, and the Major Lee Moorhouse photographs of Native Americans. Holdings also include important collections of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts; incunabula; collections devoted to the writings of major individual authors, such as Ernest Haycox; and manuscript and archival collections that offer research opportunities in a wide variety of historical and literary subjects.
The manuscripts, photographs, University Archives, and rare books collections in Special Collections and University Archives are the collections that make the University of Oregon Library a research library. These collections provide the materials for original scholarship and the resources through which the present generation of scholars can train the next in research methodologies and critical thinking. These collections, because of their significance, draw faculty, researchers, and talented students to the University, and thus help establish a national reputation for the Library and enhance the prestige of the University. They are at the very heart of the University's research and teaching mission.