What Archives Collects

Wesleyan University Archives collects and adds to its holding by receiving University records transferred by offices and departments, and by donation of faculty members' personal papers, student organizations' records, and the personal papers and memorabilia of alumni and friends of the university. 

If you have something you'd like to donate, please fill out our donation offer form and we will contact you within 10 business days. You can also contact the University Archivist, Amanda Nelson.

For all donations, the archives considers:

  • whether the papers reflect upon and contribute to the understanding of a particular research strength of Wesleyan;
  • whether the materials support the research and teaching needs of the University;
  • whether the individual or the content of the papers fill gaps in the Archives collections, particularly in documenting the lives and work of underrepresented peoples and groups.

Types of materials commonly transferred to the archives from faculty, alumni, and donors include, but are not limited to:

  • Biographical material: Resumes, vitae, bibliographies, biographical and autobiographical sketches, chronologies, genealogies, and newspaper clippings
  • Correspondence files, both professional and personal
  • Diaries and journals
  • Classroom material: Lecture notes, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, and examinations
  • Research files: Outlines, research designs, raw data, notes, analyses and reports of findings
  • Drafts and manuscripts of articles, books, reviews and speeches
  • Audiovisual material and photographs documenting personal and professional activities
  • Artifacts: Buttons and memorabilia

Materials not collected by Special Collections & Archives:

  • Documents with personally identifiable information on them (anything with social security numbers, bank accounts, etc.)
  • We generally do not collect secondary or published materials unless written by a faculty member or alumni; please check with Special Collections & Archives staff before donating (sca@wesleyan.edu)
  • Research files consisting primarily of photocopies, whether they be of secondary sources or copies of materials held by another archival repository


Records can have restrictions on access or use. Restrictions must be generic and not apply to a particular class of people. Restrictions with time limits are very much preferred, such as twenty years from date of creation or twenty years from date of gift.