The Arizona Collection is a continuation of the 1864 Territorial Library. As such, it contains many items not found in other libraries. The collection is located in the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building, 1901 West Madison, Phoenix, AZ 85009-5229.
The Book Collection covers a wide range of subjects related to Arizona and the Southwest; some items are listed in the online catalog. Areas of strength include:
Nineteenth century works of exploration and settlement; military activities, including: rosters of troops from 1870, general orders beginning in 1863, and a list of the garrisons of the U.S. Army in Arizona from 1851-1899; proceedings of fraternal organizations, e.g. Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Arizona [Masons] 1882-1916 and (Odd Fellows) 1884-1887; early year books of the Women's Club of Phoenix and the Arizona Federation of Women's Clubs; WPA project reports; Colorado River Commission hearings, proceeding and reports; early books encouraging Arizona travel and tourism; Col. McClintock’s Radio Talks (1930-31); and, histories of Luke Air Force Base Combat crew training wings in 1950s & 1960s.
While not a major part of the collection, there are a number of early Arizona archaeological works by such pioneers in the field as Di Pesa, Douglass, Gladwin and Haury. We have additional dissertations on microfilm.
The Arizona Collection includes biographies of such famous Arizonans as Kit Carson, Wyatt Earp, Zane Grey, Barry Goldwater, George Hunt, Frank Luke, Sandra Day O'Connor, Buckey O'Neill, and Frank Lloyd Wright along with many not-so-famous Arizonans. You can also search the biographies in the biographical database.
The collection is strong in local histories, many of which are small in size, were published in very limited editions and, hence, are scarce today. These include military posts, early Mormon settlements, mining towns, ghost towns, and cities, e.g. Estelle Ruehman's 1911 booklet, Old Tucson.
Indians of Arizona
There are many early and scarce items covering all of the Indian peoples of Arizona. Examples include: Captivity of the Oatman Girls (1858), An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre (1886), and The History of the Great Indian War of 1675 and 1676 (1852).
City & County Budgets & Audits
This is the largest collection of Arizona community, town, city and county budgets and audits in the state.
There are extensive county materials, e.g. Navajo County Water and Sewer Plan and Arizona Statewide Traffic Safety Study (for Arizona counties).
City & Business Directories
One of the largest collections in the state, some are books, some are on microfiche and some are on microfilm. Among the oldest are Bisbee 1914, Douglas 1919, Flagstaff 1929, Phoenix 1892, and Tucson 1881. We also have the Directory of the Colored Population of Phoenix, Arizona, 1915-1916.
Arizona High School & College Yearbooks
This collection contains more university than high school yearbooks.
This one-of-a-kind card index to Arizona newspaper articles covers selected Subjects arranged chronologically from 1865-1986. Pioneers are arranged by occupation. There is also a section for State legislators listing all sessions in which they served.
The collection contains many historical items on microfilm. For example: Papers and Correspondence, Arizona Missions, 1873-1920; Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916; and, Papers of Carlos Montezuma--Correspondence starting in 1887.
The Periodical Collection includes many older editions from Arizona Historical Review to Wrangler, e.g. Arizona Mining Journal, Arizona Medicine, Arizona Stockman, Hispanic American Historical Review, Outwest, Overland Monthly, Progressive Arizona, Review of Politics, Sage, Southwestern Historical Quarterly and Westways. Please see our list of our periodical holdings.
These files include both biographies and subjects. Biographies include the famous, the infamous and the ordinary. They include more than clippings. There are copies of letters, brochures, programs, etc. Biographical files have a separate collection of Arizona State Legislators.