General Special Collections
English and American Fiction
The Fales Collection has significant holdings of manuscripts and documents by English and American authors. The Fales Manuscript Collection, built largely by DeCoursey Fales, holds some 15,000 items, mostly from the Victorian and Edwardian period, including strong holdings of Sir Walter Scott. Other authors' papers include E.L. Doctorow, M. L. Rosenthal, Jerome Charyn, and Elizabeth Robins. Additions are made selectively.
Performing Arts Materials
Theater and film collections relating to the downtown scene, off-off Broadway theater, and experimental film and video are collected, especially as they relate to the development of fictional narratives in the "downtown" art scene.
New York Writers and History
The work of New York writers is an area of focus for collecting manuscripts, with a special focus on Village writers. New York materials include, but are not limited to, fiction writers. The papers of William Zinsser and Al Silverman, both important New York writers whose work is not primarily fiction, form a nucleus for New York non-fiction writers. New York History is collected when appropriate opportunities arise. The Richard Maass Collection of Westchester County and New York State serves as a core for such acquisitions.
Other special collections within the Fales Library include the general rare book collections from the NYU Library and several named collections.