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Mary Linden Sepulveda

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Mary Sepulveda

Coordinator of Collection Development, Special Collections & Archives

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Special Collections? How are they different from Archives?

Seattle University's Special Collections consist of rare books, manuscripts and other primary source materials that are historically valuable and support research and educational purposes, such as materials on Mary, Queen of Scots or  Maria Montessori.  As a subset of Special Collections, the library maintains some university archival materials that preserve the history of the University including publications, reports, student activities, department records and photographs. 

Are there any special rules or policies I need to know about while visiting Special Collections?

The items in Special Collections are either rare or in delicate condition so when you visit we ask that you follow some basic guidelines for the protection and preservation of the materials. All bags and briefcases must with checked with library staff and will be put in a safe and secure place for the duration of the research visit. Only pencil note taking is permitted. Depending on the condition of the materials, researchers may be required to wear gloves, which will be provided by library staff. Computer laptops and cell phones may be used by researchers at the descretion of library staff.

What is a finding aid?

A finding aid is a document created by a librarian or archivist that provides detailed information about a specific collection. It can include information like the donor or creator of the collection, background history, and a list of the materials in the collection. It is a way to provide researchers with information so that they can determine whether a certain collection may be useful to their research.

Although much of the collection is currently unprocessed, finding aids for selected materials are available on the  website for the Orbis Cascade Alliance Northwest Digital Archive (NWDA).  From this LibGUIDE we have provided links to two online finding aids - the Montessori papers and the Chapel of St. Ignatius.  Please ask us if there are any additional finding aids or guides availble for the materials you wish to research.

What is provenance?

Provenance comes from the French verb "provenir" which means to come forth or originate. Provenance traces an item's history of ownership to give us a better idea of where it came from and its importance in the historical context.

Where are you located?

While some materials are preserved in a closed climate controlled environment,  the majority of Special Collections are llocated in the north and south reading rooms on the 6th floor of the Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons.

What are your hours?

Appointments to visit Special Collections are available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Do I need an appointment to visit?

Yes, access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Requests may be made to the Coordinator of Collection Developmen and Special Collections by email ( or telephone (206-296-6209) and by completing the online request form.

I am a Seattle University faculty member. Can I bring my class to visit Special Collections?

Yes, class visits are welcome. Please consult the Class Visits tab for more information.

Is it possible to make photocopies of the materials?

The library can provide photocopies at 15¢ per page for most materials, consistent with prevailing copyright restrictions. We may deny photocopies if the physical condition of the material is extremely fragile. Depending on the amount of photocopies requested, library staff may need to make copies of the materials after your visit is concluded. In these instances, photocopies wil be mailed to you with an invoice including copying and mailing fees. Please note that Lemieux Library has no facilities to make photographic or color prints of materials in this collection. The extent of copying that the library allows is dependent on copyright ownership and fair use restrictions.


Special Collections Forms and Information