But before this academic school year, this part of the library was “the best kept secret” of the Denison library. The Archives and Special Collections had been tucked away on the seventh floor, but over the summer a new space was constructed and the library staff and physical plant moved the entire collection to Level B.

During the Archives and Special Collections Open House on October 30th, University Archivist and Special Collections librarian Sasha Griffin thanked all those who were responsible for making the move happen within three weeks. “It’s amazing that everyone pitched in to make this happen.”

Lyn Boone, retired Senior Development Officer, current board member of Licking Land Trust, and Granville Historical Society committee member, said that the new facility “looks stupendous. It beats the old one by about 10,000 percent.”

In celebration of the archives’ move, English professor Dr. Fred Porcheddu made his own contribution to the new space by donating 10 pieces of a medieval manuscript to the special collections for future Denisonians to study. The archives now has 60 medieval manuscripts in its reservoir.


BethAnn Zambella, Library Director, shows Fred Procheddu’s manuscript donation to Library Social Media Assistant Jewell Porter, ‘16.

“I couldn’t think of any better way to congratulate the staff than to increase the amount of special collections,” he said.

The archives new location means that students and staff can access the space more easily, and professors can take advantage of the space by bringing their classes to the archives, thanks to the tables and chairs installed into the space. Some professors have already taken advantage.


Pictured: John Cort (Professor, Asian and Comparative Religions, Religion Department Chair), Fred Porcheddu (Professor, English), and Pam Magelaner (Library Circulation Supervisor)

Members of the Denison community have also enjoyed the new space individually. In the first month of the archives re-opening, it saw over 100 visitors, approximately as many as the archives previously would see in an entire academic year.

This is largely due to its visibility. The old archival space “had a lot of cages and doors. It wasn’t welcoming,” library director BethAnn Zambella said. “The new space is much more accommodating and welcoming.”

The new space is also better suited to the collections. The library is now better able to control humidity and temperature which will aid in preserving the items housed there.


President Weinberg speaking at Archives and Special Collections Open House Reception

President Weinberg commended the efforts the library staff and facilities services accomplished together. “I’m glad that the archives are more accessible, and I’m glad to see more students here,” he said.

Want to Know More?

Read more about what the University Archives and Special Collections has to offer here.

November 16, 2015