Michigan State University

Special Collections Hours

Tuesday (September 30): 9:00am to 5:00pm

Wednesday (October 1): 9:00am to 5:00pm

Thursday (October 2): 9:00am to 5:00pm

Friday (October 3): 9:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday (October 4): Closed

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Special Collections
Main Library Building
Michigan State University
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI, 48824
Phone: (517) 884-6471


the Special Collections reading room at the MSU LibrarySpecial Collections

Special Collections was established in 1962 to hold, preserve, build, and make accessible rare materials and special collections in the MSU Libraries. All materials must be used in the Special Collections reading room to protect and preserve them for use today and in the future.

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The plates in David Low's The Breeds of the Domestic Animals of the British Isles (London, 1842), form a highly valuable record of the state of animal husbandry at the start of the period when agriculture came to be considered a science. Many of the breeds shown are now extinct, although they are forerunners of today's breeds of domestic animals. Low, who was a professor of agriculture at the University of Edinburgh, hoped in his book to help farmers and breeders understand the importance of matching a breed to its environment while improving productivity. In addition to Low's text, William Shiels was commissioned to produce a series of paintings of all the significant breeds then of importance in Great Britain. William Nicholson made the drawings after Shiels' paintings to convert them to hand colored lithographed plates.