University Archives - Explore the rich history of Denison University through historic documents, photographs, objects, audio-visual materials, and more. The mission of the archives is to select, preserve and make accessible primary resources that document all facets of the institution. Authentic, reliable primary resources can be valuable to student and faculty research, and are part of the educational and cultural history of the United States.
Denison University was founded by the American Baptists in 1831. The archives holds the papers of first president, John Pratt, as well as subsequent past presidents. Selected faculty and alumni papers, plus biographical information on well-known alumni, are held. There is information on campus buildings, events of importance to Denison, academics, student organizations and publications, and other subjects related to the university's unique history.
For more information on the types of materials that are collected in the archive, see our University Archives page.
Special Collections - The library's Special Collections holds: rare books; collectibles such as artists' books and volumes published by the Limited Editions Club; broadsides; serials; music; and fragile books unsuited to general circulation. The Denisoniana Collection contains materials written by Denison faculty and alumni, plus books published by the university such as the Adytum yearbook, college catalogs, and alumni magazines.
There are more than 5,000 titles in numerous subject areas, dating from medieval times to the present, in Special Collections. All are available for use in the Archives Reading Room on the 7th floor of the library. Faculty may ask the Special Collections Librarian for permission to check out materials for personal or class use.
Special Collections materials add value and interest to classroom discussions; for example, artists' books visually communicate their subject matter in ways beyond that of standard print/online texts, while history comes alive when students touch a vellum manuscript leaf.
For more information on the types of items that are in the Special Collections, see our Special Collections page.