Types of Library Collections

Not sure if what you need is found in an e-journal, digital collection, database, or someplace else? Still can’t tell what Special Collections or Digital Commons @ USF is? Read on!

Books and Ebooks

The USF Libraries hold over 2 million volumes, including print books and ebooks. Find information on what print and digital books we have in the USF Libraries catalog. For more information on ebook platforms and publisher restrictions on downloading or printing ebooks, see this guide to ebook collections.


Search across large collections of journals, data sets, newspapers, books, images, media, and more to find the information you need. Depending on the database, results may include links to full text articles available online or citation information to help users locate a resource. USF subscribes to over 900 databases; see the full list here or explore databases for specific subjects in research guides.

Digital Collections

Providing open, online access to research and primary sources. Through Digital Collections, you can access digitized materials from the USF Libraries Special Collections, the Digital Heritage & Humanities Collections, as well as collections created through partnerships with other libraries and repositories around the world.

Digital Heritage & Humanities Collections (DHHC)

Documents heritage sites, landscapes, and objects. This department also creates digital learning tools and collections that promote sustainable heritage tourism and interpretation strategies through the use of 3D and cutting-edge imaging technologies.


Periodical publications that are available online. Use this link to find and search inside a specific e-journal, like Nature, or the online edition of a newspaper, like The New York Times. This method of discovery does not allow users to search across multiple e-journals at one time in the way that many databases do.

Digital Commons @ USF

A virtual showcase for USF’s research and creative energies. Find faculty publications, theses and dissertations, open access journals, open access textbooks, and more in this collection.

Special Collections

Houses rare, fragile, and unique materials ranging from a 4,000 year old Sumerian tablet to early printed books, photographs and prints, sheet music, ephemera, Florida history and ecology archives, and history and literature collections. Many of these items can be viewed in person on the USF Tampa Library’s 4th floor.