Welcome to Special Collections & Archives! Located in Olin Library, this department is the home of the University’s archives, local history, manuscript, and rare book collections, and is open to the Wesleyan community and the public. Our department holds and provides access to more than 500 collections of archival materials and over 40,000 rare books. In addition to being the official repository for historical University materials, we have strong holdings of artists’ books and local history materials, as well as the papers of Lincoln Memorial architect Henry Bacon, avant garde musician John Cage, and biographer and popular historian William Manchester, among others. Please see our “Collection Overview” page for more details about our collections.
The holdings of Special Collections & Archives are both broad and deep, and they include something for just about everybody. But there’s more to Special Collections & Archives than our collections. In addition to functioning as a full-service library and archives within Olin Library, we offer class instruction and Personal Research Sessions for Wesleyan faculty and students, and we welcome Wesleyan alumni, visitors from other institutions, and the public. We answer thousands of reference questions every year, and we participate in University events during Homecoming/Family Weekend, Reunion/Commencement, and throughout the year. Our blog, events, exhibitions, and open houses all highlight our holdings and services.Questions about Special Collections & Archives? Ask us!