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The University of Arizona Poetry Center possesses one of the finest, most extensive, and most fully accessible collections of contemporary poetry in the nation. The Poetry Center’s library is most comprehensive in contemporary English-language poetry (including translations from other languages) from the last half of the twentieth century through the current day and maintains a strong representative collection of poetry from previous decades and centuries. The collection comprises single-author monographs, anthologies, literary journals, rare books, limited-edition books, artist-made books, chapbooks, broadsides, photographs, prose and critical works by poets, and audiovisual recordings. There is an open-shelf reference collection including dictionaries, directories, handbooks, encyclopedias, biographies, and bibliographies. The Poetry Center's collections are non-circulating, but are entirely open to the public. The majority of the Center's books are housed in open stacks ideal for browsing.
In 1960 Ruth Stephan seeded the collection with several hundred volumes of poetry. By 1970 the collection had grown to more than 3,000 volumes. Supported by an acquisitions endowment provided by Stephan and her mother Myrtle Walgreen, the collection now contains nearly 70,000 items, including more than 40,000 volumes of poetry; 27,000 issues of journals and periodicals (250 current subscriptions); 450 broadsides; and 3,000 photographs. Of the 1,500 audiovisual recordings in the Center's archives, dating from 1963 to the present, nearly 500 are available online at voca, the Center's world-class digital audio/video library.
The Center's books, periodicals, and broadsides are cataloged in the Library’s database, which is available and searchable by clicking here.