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. 

Learn more in Plan Your Visit, Frequently Asked Questions, and our blog, The Consecrated Eminence.

General guides to our collections:
Collection Development Policy
Guide to Rare Book 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