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Special Collections *: About our Artifacts

This is a guide to the Department of Special Collections at the University of Southern California and its holdings, including rare books and manuscripts. Useful tools for locating items and scheduling class visits are also included.

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In addition to its book, manuscript and archival holdings, Special Collections also houses a significant collection of artifacts. 

Because many of these materials are located in an off-site storage facility, requests must be made at least one day before visiting Special Collections.

University of Southern California
Doheny Memorial Library, 2nd floor, South wing
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0189

USC Libraries Hours


Information for first time users

Artifacts in Special Collections

In addition to books, manuscripts and archival collections, Special Collections is also home to a variety of artifacts.  They include:


  • A mastodon bone from the La Brea Tar Pits
  • A bronze bust of Jose Marti on marble pedestal
  • Indigenous Mexican and South American musical instruments
  • Mexican costumes and various dolls from Latin America and Spain, including voodou dolls
  • Section of rail from the first railroad in America (1826, Massachusetts)
  • Section of railroad crosstie from the first railroad in Panama
  • Locks of hair from George and Martha Washington
  • A torch from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
  • Former USC President Bovard's top hat and waistcoat worn at the groundbreaking of the Bovard Administration Building


Contact Information
Special Collections