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Macalester College Archives and Special Collections


Welcome to the Macalester College Archives and Special Collections!

We hold archival collections that document our institution and its students, staff, and faculty, as well as published and manuscript works spanning the 9th century to the present that are rare, valuable, unique, or that require special handling.

  • The College Archives collections include newspapers, reports, meeting minutes, administrative records, student organization materials, scrapbooks, photos, audio and video recordings, buttons, posters, Google docs, email correspondence, social media posts, etc.
  • Special Collections include first editions of 20th century fiction by American authors; 9th-15th century European and Qur'anic manuscripts leaves; fine press poetry and contemporary artists books; the Diderot Encyclopédie; first editions by Vladimir Nabokov; 18th and 19th century travel narratives; and much more.

Access to the collections is by appointment—contact But you're always welcome to stop by to see if we're in!

  Don't forget to follow @macalesterarchives!

Where We're Located

You'll find our spaces on the 2nd Level of the Library (with a few exceptions) behind the wall of display cases. See more info and a few pictures here.


You'll find the door to the College Archives on Level 2 of the Library, right beyond the cafe-style seating area. We're Lib 218, the door with the window.

Door to Lib 218 the College Archives









The Archives consists of a main open area with workspace, oversize flat files, and collections storage. The rest of the Archives space is basically rows of shelving and boxes. Here you'll find reports, meeting minutes, correspondence, VHS tapes and audio cassettes, photographs, posters, digital files, publications, student org materials, scrapbooks, etc., that span from before the 19th century to documents created yesterday.










The Rare Books Room is behind the Archives Classroom Lib 254. However if you have an appointment to do research using collections in the Rare Books Room, please come to the Archives door (Lib 218).








If you come to the Library for a class session with the Archives or Special Collections, chances are we'll be meeting in this classroom, Lib 254, which is right behind the exhibit wall.

Ever wonder what's behind the sparkly blue curtain in the Wood Room (the children's book collection)?

We also have an overflow space on the Lower Level of the Library for collections storage and workspace.