Special collections encompass the university's rare and unique primary source materials that require specialized preservation and care. You are encouraged to use them to further your research. Below you will find a range of collections from the archival to the digital.
The Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL) is the first major digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Created in 2005, HIDVL began as an effort to preserve political performance works from the Americas, making these cultural documents available worldwide. This growing repository guarantees historical preservation and free access to over 1000 hours of documentation. Working alongside artists, scholars, and activists, HIDVL creates trilingual Profiles (English, Spanish and Portuguese) for each Collection, contextualizing the videos with production information, synopses, image galleries, interviews, bibliographies and more. Creators retain the copyright to their contributions, and the original materials, which are returned after digitization. With documentation spanning the 1970’s to the present, HIDVL seeks Collections that promote dialogue and deeper understandings of performance and politics in the Americas.
The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, located on the library's second floor, collects material in all formats documenting the history of labor, the Left, political radicalism, and social movements in the United States, with particular strengths in communism, anarchism, and socialism. The following represents just a selection of this impressive collection that pertains to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Below you will find each collection's finding aid, a document that details the types of materials and scope of each collection. To view these materials, please make an appointment with Special Collections. Be sure to include the call number (ex: TAM 517) listed next to each collection's name in your email.
The Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM) was incorporated in 1955 to promote research on "human living throughout the world." This collection consists of publications and papers organized geographically and topically. Additionally, it houses survey data from the 1950s-1970s from across the Caribbean on education, public health, employment, public opinion, and family dynamics. Research with these materials may require approval from NYU's Institutional Review Board (IRB).