Due to maintenance activities taking place in Archives and Special Collections, the reading room will be open by appointment on a very limited basis, December 19, 2022 through January 31, 2023. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-542-2299 with at least 48 hours notice (more lead time may be necessary for material stored off site). Walk in visitors will not be able to be accommodated.
The Archives and Special Collections reading room will be closed December 26, 2022 through January 2, 2023.
The Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College 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 one of the largest collections of Native American literature in the United States. It is the official repository for institutional memory of Amherst College, including records pertaining to academic programs and departments, College administration, alumni activities, and student life. 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 history; international politics and diplomacy, and social justice and activism. Read more about our collection development policy.
Newly digitized material is available in Amherst College Digital Collections:
Commencement programs give an overview of the commencement ceremony at Amherst College from 1822 to the present. Contents of the commencement programs vary by year, but often include information such as the names and hometowns of the graduates, names of speakers at the ceremony, and lists of members of honors societies.
Three newly digitized collections are available in Amherst College Digital Collections:
Sidney Brooks (AC 1841) Papers
Amherst College Early History Collection
Admissions Office Annual Reports to Secondary Schools
This collection contains correspondence, petitions, pamphlets and other printed material documenting the early history of the College.
A selection of photographs taken by the College Photographer for the Office of Public Affairs, approximately 1965 - 2005. Photos include portraits, events such as commencement and reunion, sports games, landscape shots of campus, and John F. Kennedy's 1963 visit to campus for the dedication of Frost Library.
A nearly complete set of The Olio dating back to 1861 is now available online through Amherst College Digital Collections.
Newly found WAMF reel proves to be a possibly unique recording of a lecture by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on "The Summer of Our Discontent."