From the chartering of the University in 1846, official records and historical sources were preserved for the future. Over several decades, officers and staff collected and safeguarded all documentation produced by, or relating to, the institution. Some of these sources were part of the first library, established in 1849. When the Carnegie Library opened in 1938, many archival materials were housed in the Treasure room.This material was transferred to the newly constructed Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library in 1951.

The University Archives department was created by mandate of the Board of Trustees in 1957. Under the supervision of the first Archivist, J. Orin Oliphant, materials were processed, arranged, and described according to national standards. In 1986 the archival collections were transferred into refurbished quarters in the renovated and enlarged library. The LaFayette Butler Reading Room offers a comfortable space in which faculty, staff, students, and other scholars can consult these valuable resources.

Academic regalia of Arnaud C. Marts, President of the university from 1935 through 1945; the Ceremonial Chain of Bucknel University,first presented to Charles H. Watts II in 1965, and worn by each succeeding President.

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