About Special Collections/University Archives

Special Collections/University Archives is the repository located in the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library responsible for collecting, preserving, and providing access to three distinct collections: rare and unique materials (primarily in book format), manuscript collections, and Bucknell University's institutional records or university archives.

It is the mission and goal of Special Collections/University Archives to acquire and provide access to primary resources and rare and unique materials that support Bucknell University's academic mission as well as meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of faculty, staff, and students. Collection building is intentional; focused on meeting the specific criteria outlined the collecting policies and mission for special collections and university archives. Collecting materials having long-term value for research warrants preservation of a collection for perpetuity.

Local and regional historical resources and genealogical resources are not within the collecting scope of Special Collections/University Archives. Please contact your local repositories for assistance.

Rare book collection

The rare books collection is nearly 10,000 titles with the monograph or book as the primary format. The collection has been built from titles transferred from the  early libraries of Bucknell University, donations from benefactors, including Lafayette Butler, Rush Kress, and Emanuel and Edith Pearlman, and, more recently, from purchases. The collection is broad in nature representing  different subject matter and disciplines and new acquisitions address the liberal arts curriculum as well as interdisciplinary subjects. Special attention is paid to collecting materials that are rare or scarce, limited or early editions, those with special bindings, representative of  illustrative processes and the book arts, and works having significant provenance.
Special collection materials in monograph form are cataloged and can be located in the Worldcat Library Catalog by entering keywords, author, or title terms and "b8:special collections" (without quotes) limiting search to Special Collections/University Archives.  

If you need assistance locating special collections materials in the catalog, contact scua@bucknell.edu or 570-577-3101.

Manuscript collections

Special Collections/University Archives' manuscript collection is a small, but distinguished collection, representing literary figures, including Oliver St. John Gogarty and George Bernard Shaw, with a limited number of personal paper collections from distinguished alumni and faculty.  Manuscript collections representing  local or regional history and local figures are not within Special Collections/University Archives collecting scope and are not actively collected.

University archives collections

The mission of university archives is to collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible Bucknell University's institutional records, in all formats, that document and provide evidence of the development, activities, and the history of Bucknell University.

As approved by the Board of Trustees on December 8, 1956, university archives is designated as the repository for the inactive records (no longer needed for reference) generated and received by Bucknell University during the course of the institution's official business. University archives collections include records from Bucknell University offices, departments, and groups reaching back to establishment of Bucknell University in 1846.

Special Collections/University Archives works closely with the Records Management program to create document retention schedules for campus offices and departments so the appropriate records are transferred in a timely manner to the university archives collection. This process ensures that Bucknell University's historical records continue to be collected and are preserved and made accessible to researchers now and in the future.

Digital collections

Digitized content from Special Collections/University Archives collections are available from Library & IT's Digital Collections http://www.bucknell.edu/library-and-information-technology/library/digital-collections.html.

Special Collections/University Archives Exhibits

An exhibit area on Lower Level I, directly outside Special Collections/University Archives, is intended to display highlights from its collection on a rotating basis. Past exhibits included displays of university archives materials that tell the story of the establishment of co-education at  Bucknell University and select artists' books from special collections. Exhibits are promoted through the campus message center and campus calendar of events and are available for viewing when the library building is open. For more information about current exhibits, contact scua@bucknell.edu or 570-577-3101.


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