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The special collections consist of rare and unique materials from the 15th century to the present: nearly 50,000 rare books, more than 27,000 single prints and drawings in albums and collections, 800 collections of rare photographs, and more than 12,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, as well as optical devices and 20th-century multiples and videos. These diverse resources have been acquired for their research value to art historians and scholars in related fields. Categories below represent some of the Research Institute's major collecting areas.