Welcome to Special Collections & Archives

Due to Covid-19, we are open to the Wesleyan community by appointment only until further notice. Please contact sca@wesleyan.edu for more information or to schedule an appointment.


Special Collections & Archives 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 10,000 linear feet of archival materials and over 45,000 rare books.

But there’s more to Special Collections & Archives than just our collections! 

  • We answer hundreds of reference questions every year
  • We offer class instruction and Personal Research Sessions for Wesleyan faculty and students
  • We host events, open houses, and exhibitions during Homecoming/Family Weekend, Reunion/Commencement, and throughout the year

Today's Hours

Library/SCA Blog

Ephemera in Special Collections & Archives: Star of the North, or The Comet of 1861

This graphically arresting envelope depicts President Abraham Lincoln as the Great Comet of 1861, which could be seen with the naked eye throughout the summer in much of the United States.  The anonymous illustrator has combined several visual elements to create greater meanings: the white stars on a blue background representing both the heavens and ... Read moreEphemera in Special Collections & Archives: Star of the North, or The Comet of 1861
See All Blog Entries