Special Collections Research Center

About SCRC

Greetings from the Special Collections Research Center

Welcome to the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), George Mason University Libraries. SCRC supports the research and teaching missions of the University by collecting, preserving and providing access to archival and rare book collections relevant to academic programs. SCRC librarians and archivists are dedicated to providing a secure and welcoming environment for researchers and encourage use of SCRC’s rare and primary source research materials. As part of our commitment to access, we are engaged in an active digitization program to make priority collections freely available on the Internet. SCRC is also home to the George Mason University Archives and Oral History Program Collection, and University Records Management. We will be happy to respond to your questions whether in person, or via email, phone, or chat. Thank you for visiting our Web site. We invite you to visit our reading room and collections soon.


Special Collections Research Center began operation originally as the repository for the records of the Federal Theatre Project placed on loan to George Mason University by the Library of Congress. An outgrowth of George Mason University's Institute for the Federal Theatre Project, the department began to collect rare books and University Archives in 1978 and was named Special Collections & Archives in 1984. In 2018, the name changed again to Special Collections Research Center.

Mission Statement

Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is the unit within the University Libraries charged with acquiring, documenting, preserving, and providing access to primary research collections and documents. SCRC also manages the non-current and archival records of George Mason University, is responsible for the preservation and access to the University's theses and dissertations, and undertakes, through its Oral History program, the creation of audiovisual documentary resources. SCRC services, collections and programs support the teaching and research activities of George Mason University and also serve the community at large.

Documents in SCRC are authentic, original, often unique, valuable, fragile, or otherwise exceptional. Some have the capacity to evoke the past, and embody the transmittal of knowledge over time. Others simply function as the only record of an individual or corporate life. SCRC preserves the materiality of information as it has been recorded and distributed in its original format. SCRC also adds value to its holdings through selective digitization and through interpretive exhibits, instruction, and programming.

Collection Policies & Strengths

SCRC collects materials primarily related to: George Mason University’s programs, events, and curricula; Virginia and Northern Virginia history and development; military conflicts and conflict analysis and resolution; visual and performing arts; artists’ books; transportation and planning; and photography. The Center conducts an active oral history program, regularly adding to the collection.  
Types of Records Appropriate for University Archives PDF

SCRC also oversees the University Records Management program, assisting with the retention and disposal of non-permanent university records regardless of format. Records Management has ongoing training sessions for University faculty and staff.


The George Mason University Libraries welcome gifts of books, manuscripts, music, maps, photos, prints, audiovisual materials, and other research materials. It is, in part, through such generosity that the Libraries are able to add depth to the academic resources available to our community. Particular interest is paid to scholarly, current, or rare items in good physical condition. The following guidelines are offered to assist donors. Based upon these criteria, the University Libraries retain the right to accept or decline all potential gifts. [per University Library policy]

For those who are interested in making donations or gifts to the Special Collections Research Center, please fill out the SCRC Donation Inquiry Form.

Additional questions can be directed to:

Lynn Eaton
Director, Special Collections Research Center


Special Collections Research Center is located on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University in the Fenwick Library in room 2400 (second floor).


For Reference Inquiries

Phone: 703-993-2220
Fax: 703-993-8911
Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

Special Collections Research Center
Fenwick Library
4400 University Drive MSN 2FL
Fairfax, VA 22030


We are open Monday-Friday by appointment only. Virtual reference is available on case by case basis. Please contact speccoll@gmu.edu.