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Archives and Special Collections

An introduction to using materials in Davidson College's Archives and Special Collections.

About Archives, Special Collections, and Community

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Welcome to Archives, Special Collections & Community at Davidson College! Our team helps preserve the institutional records of the college, manuscript collections from the local community, and rare books and special collections materials. We provide students, faculty, staff, and community members with opportunities for original research, inquiry-driven study, and object-inspired learning through instruction sessions and reference support. Through our work, our community engages critically with the past to understand our present and inform our future. For more information about our department and our collections, please email us at archives@davidson.edu.

Introductory Videos to the Department

Learn more about our department and our collections by watching this brief video!

Learn more about collections practices and the history of archives by watching this brief video!

Academic Year 2021 - Access and Services

For the Fall 2021 semester, Archives, Special Collections, and Community staff will be returning to in-person work. We will continue to offer hybrid collections access options to Davidson College students, faculty, and staff. Policies include:

  • Reference: Please email us at archives@davidson.edu for assistance with research questions. Reference assistance will be provided via email (archives@davidson.edu), in-person by appointment, or Zoom by appointment. Our reference hours for the Fall 2021 semester are Monday to Friday between 1:00pm and 5:00pm by appointment.
  • Instruction: We will offer in-person instruction in accordance with CDC guidelines and College policy. Davidson faculty who would like their students to use materials from Archives and Special Collections while teaching remotely should email archives@davidson.edu. We are happy to brainstorm ways to provide students with access to our unique and rare materials.
  • Collections: Many materials from Archives and Special Collections have been digitized and are available remotely through our Digital Collections guide. To browse our physical archival and manuscript collections, please visit our online catalog and if there are materials you are interested in viewing, please email us at archives@davidson.edu to make an appointment. 

All services will be by appointment only and with appropriate social distancing and wearing of masks or face coverings according to CDC guidance and College policy. If you are not a current Davidson staff, student or faculty email  to learn the latest guidelines. 

Mission

The Archives, Special Collections, and Community team advances Davidson's teaching and learning mission by leading campus and community engagement with rare books, manuscripts, official college records, and digital and physical archival resources. Librarians and archivists on this team inspire curiosity and encourage lifelong learning by collecting, sharing, and preserving the college's and community's unique materials and providing students, faculty, staff, and community members with opportunities for original research, inquiry-driven study, and object-inspired learning. We facilitate the gathering, telling, and preservation of community stories in multiple formats; promote engagement with the library's special collections through outreach initiatives; showcase student, staff, and faculty scholarship; and collaborate on the creation and use of digital and open scholarship. Through our work, our community engages critically with the past to understand our present and inform our future. 

The Archives, Special Collections, and Community team continues to broaden our scope to acknowledge the changing demographics and curriculum of Davidson, to recognize the relationship between the college and communities around the region, to give voice and a platform to those underrepresented groups that desire one, and to encourage dialogue across different. The team also works with colleagues at other institutions to ensure coverage across geographic and thematic groups. 

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