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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. Please consult our Collection Development Policy for more information about our collecting activities.
The history of the Archives is described in the online exhibition Archives & Special Collections Celebrates 150.
The Archives and Special Collections is located in the Robert Frost Library on the main campus quadrangle. The reading room, College History Room and exhibition area are located on Level A, at the base of the main lobby stairway. (See a campus map and other information for planning a visit.)
The Archives and Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., year round. See detailed list of hours and holidays.
Contacting Archives & Special Collections
Archives & General Collections Staff
|Christina Barber||Deputy Archivist
|Margaret R. Dakin||Archives & Special Collections Specialist||413-542-5391|
|Rosemary K. J. Davis||Samuel French Collection Processing Archivist||413-542-2299|
|Mike Kelly||Head of Archives & Special Collections||413-542-5307|
|Mariah Leavitt||Archives & Special Collections Specialist||413-542-5393|