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The Fales Library & Special Collections, one of three special collections at New York University, comprises over 350,000 volumes of books and other printed materials; more than 11,000 linear feet of archives, and over 100,000 individual and unique media elements.

Major collections in the Fales Library & Special Collections include the Fales Library of English and American Literature, the Downtown New York Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, the Riot Grrrl Collection, and the general Special Collections of NYU. These complement the collection policies of the Libraries by supplying rare or fine editions of text and original copies of media, or by prospectively collecting in areas of historical and cultural interest.

The Fales Library and Special Collections are preparing for a major renovation of our public and collection spaces. During this transitional phase, we will not be fielding requests for exhibition loans from our collections. We anticipate the renovation to be complete by January 2020.

Highlighted Collecting Areas

Fales Library of British and American Literature

The Fales Library of English and American Literature documents the history of the novel in English, broadly representing developments in narrative and prose fiction from 1700 to the present.

The Downtown Collection

The Downtown Collection, founded in 1994, comprises hundreds of archives, printed materials and media documenting the downtown arts scene that evolved in SoHo and the Lower East Side from the 1960s through to the present.

Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection

The Marion Nestle Food Studies collection documents the evolution of world cuisines and food practices with a particular focus on the United States and the food habits and activity in New York City.

The Riot Grrrl Collection

The Riot Grrrl Collection documents the evolution of the feminist, punk youth movement Riot Grrrl in the 1990s, as well as adjacent queer and feminist activism and performance emerging from or inspired by Riot Grrrl.

Special Collections

Serving as the Special Collection for the arts and humanities at NYU, the general special collections range from cuneiform tablets to modern manuscripts, and cover a wide range of material formats and subjects.