The Special Collections Department was established in 1968 to serve the needs of its patrons by acquiring and providing access to information about the cultural history of the Jackson Purchase area of southwestern Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee. Published and printed regional and county histories, manuscript materials, oral histories and other significantly unique items that support the curriculum of Murray State University are acquired and made available for use by students and researchers.
The Archives Department at Murray State University was also established in 1968 to act as the repository for the official and unofficial records that document the history of the university. The Archives serves as the institutional memory of the university and as custodian of the university's historic legacy. The primary objective of the Archives is to appraise, collect, organize, describe, preserve, and make available university records and related materials of permanent historical value. The Archives also aims to support research, teaching, and public awareness of the rich heritage of Murray State University for students and researchers.