Archives & Special Collections houses Amherst College's rare books, literary manuscripts, written materials of unique value, historic photographs, sound recordings, moving image recordings, and a large collection of objects. It serves as the official repository for the records of Amherst College, including those pertaining to academic programs and departments, College administration, and student activities. The department collects a wide range of historical and biographical materials relating to alumni, alumnae, faculty and other individuals connected with the College.
Archives & Special Collections holds over 80,000 books and 11,000 linear feet of archival materials. The department houses major collections of Emily Dickinson and Richard Wilbur books and manuscripts, along with extensive holdings of other poets and writers. The history of Amherst College, and the local community, is extensively documented through books, manuscripts, photographs, film, and objects. Other strengths of the collections include natural history, especially ornithology; missionary activity; travel literature; theater; international politics and diplomacy; and social justice and activism.
General guides to our collections:
Collection Development Policy
Guide to Rare Book Holdings
Subject Guides to Archival and Manuscript Holdings
Guides to specific collections:
Emily Dickinson at Amherst College
Robert Frost at Amherst College
Richard Wilbur at Amherst College
James Merrill at Amherst College
Native American Literature at Amherst College
Three newly digitized collections are available in Amherst College Digital Collections:
Sidney Brooks (AC 1841) Papers
Amherst College Early History Collection
Admissions Office Annual Reports to Secondary Schools
This collection contains correspondence, petitions, pamphlets and other printed material documenting the early history of the College.
A selection of photographs taken by the College Photographer for the Office of Public Affairs, approximately 1965 - 2005. Photos include portraits, events such as commencement and reunion, sports games, landscape shots of campus, and John F. Kennedy's 1963 visit to campus for the dedication of Frost Library.
A nearly complete set of The Olio dating back to 1861 is now available online through Amherst College Digital Collections.
Newly found WAMF reel proves to be a possibly unique recording of a lecture by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on "The Summer of Our Discontent."