University Libraries and Archives

Office: 3100 David Adamany Undergraduate Library
Tel.: 313-577-4023; Fax: 313-577-5525
Dean of University Libraries: Jon E. Cawthorne

The University Libraries support the education, research and service missions of the University and its communities through comprehensive, high-quality resources, services and programs. The libraries are leaders in providing accurate and timely information to Wayne State University as well as the metropolitan Detroit area and Michigan. Scholarly materials in the University Libraries offer total more than three million volumes, over 56,000 journal titles and a broad range of electronic resources, including electronic journals and over 800,000 e-books, all available though the Libraries' website.

The Library System includes the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library and its Learning Resource Center at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs and University Archives. The School of Information Sciences and the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET) are also under the Library System's charge.

The University Libraries offer in-person and online reference and research support, interlibrary loan, circulation and course reserve services, document delivery and library and information literacy programs. The latest information technologies provide state-of-the-art access to instructional and research materials. The libraries provide silent and collaborative study spaces, including a 24-hour facility, as well as classroom support to over 300 general purpose classrooms throughout campus.

David Adamany Undergraduate Library

The David Adamany Undergraduate Library (UGL) is designed to enhance the learning experience of undergraduate students by offering open spaces for collaboration and silent study as well as hundreds of computers for student use. The library features instructional labs, the Collaborative Commons, an open space with flexible furniture and technology, collaborative study rooms that can be reserved online, and course reserves. The Warrior Writing, Research and Technology Zone (The WRT Zone) is a one-stop shop for Wayne State students to get research, writing and technology assistance. The UGL also houses Student Academic Success Services, which includes the Academic Success Center, Student Disability Services, the Office of Military and Veterans Excellence, Pre-Med Advising and the University Advising Center, P.A.L. Peer Assisted Learning and the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. The UGL is also home to The Tech Bunker and Vault, two new technologically-rich immersive learning spaces at the that invite users to develop, design, dream and discover.

Purdy/Kresge Library

The Purdy/Kresge Library supports the research and instructional needs of faculty, graduate students and upper-level undergraduates, as well as the information needs of the greater Detroit community. The library provides access to over sixty 60 computers as well as ample study space in a traditional library atmosphere.

The Purdy/Kresge Library houses a book collection of over 1.5 million volumes, an extensive microform collection, a large document collection and a number of special collections including the Leonard Simons Collection of rare Michigan history texts, the Arthur L. Johnson Endowment collection, and the Ramsey Collection of Children's Literature. This library is also the home of the Teaching Commons, a collaborative effort of the Libraries, the Office for Teaching and Learning, and Computing & Information Technology, that assists faculty and instructors in designing and developing instructional experiences for the classroom and online teaching environments.

Arthur Neef Law Library

Located at the north end of the University's main campus, Wayne State University's Arthur Neef Law Library offers researchers a comprehensive legal research center. Its collection of more than 620,000 print and microform equivalent volumes, plus an expansive collection of e-books, databases and other digital resources makes it a leading legal research facility in the State of Michigan. The Law Library is also a depository for U.S. government publications and for the records and briefs filed with the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Shiffman Medical Library and Learning Resources Centers

The Shiffman Medical Library supports the research, education and clinical and public health care information needs for the University, major hospitals within the Detroit Medical Center, and unaffiliated health care providers and trainees throughout Michigan. In addition to assisting WSU undergraduate students with research, learning and internship information needs in the health sciences, all WSU students are encouraged to use the library’s consumer health information services. The library maintains access to all the major health sciences, bio-scientific and consumer health databases; a core collection of journals dating to the mid-19th century; and books in print and electronically reproduced. Health information learning programs and informatics workshops, listed on our Website, are open to all members of the University community. A Learning Resources Center focused on the daily information and computing needs of students of the Applebaum College is available Monday through Friday.

Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs and University Archives

The archival collections held in the Walter P. Reuther Library cover a variety of topics, organizations, and individuals. In all, the Reuther Library has more than 95 million documents, 20,000 books, monographs, union publications and proceedings, 2 million photographic images; and 20,000 audio and moving image recordings. Due to issues of format, size, and security, the collection stacks are not open to the public and researchers work with these materials in the Reuther reading room during established hours of business.

The Reuther Library has an international reputation as the largest labor archives in the world and additionally holds significant collections relating to social and urban affairs in the metro Detroit area. It collects and preserves records of the American labor movement, related social, economic, and political reform groups, and twentieth century urban America. The Reuther Library has since become the official depository for the inactive files of several labor unions and organizations, including the United Auto Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of Letter Carriers, The Newspaper Guild, the United Farm Workers, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Industrial Workers of the World, the Society of Women Engineers, and many state and local organizations. Records have also been received from urban and civil rights groups as the Citizens Crusade Against Poverty, the Michigan Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Detroit Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United Community Services of Detroit, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and New Detroit, Inc. A unique portion of the holdings is a labor journal and newspaper collection, which has nearly 1,600 current and non-current titles dating from the late 1800s to the present. Many individuals who played leading roles in labor and urban affairs have also placed their papers in the Reuther Library.

The Reuther Library also houses the Wayne State University Archives which provides historical information about WSU and its predecessor institutions that date to 1868. In addition to collecting the University's historical records, the WSU Archives holds the papers of presidents and administrative leaders, the papers of selected faculty members, and the papers of student and professional organizations that document the development of the University and higher education in Michigan. The WSU Archives also collects all publications created by and pertaining to the University, including the student newspaper from 1917 to present, as well as departmental newsletters. Subjects in the collection range from student activities such as athletics and student organizations, to local subjects such as Central High School, the Detroit Medical Center, and the Detroit Board of Education.