Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives materials are used to develop creative and innovative ways to support a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences working with faculty, staff, students, and researchers near and far.

Comprised of two main collections: Special Collections includes rare books and special subject research collections, and the Kenyon College Archives contain material related to the history and people of Kenyon College.

Research Requests & Appointments

Please contact us with inquiries about materials in our collection or to make an appointment to view materials in person. Please allow at least 24 hours between submitting your request and your desired appointment time.

Our reading room is located on Lower Level 1 of Chalmers Library. When you visit us, in order to create a positive experience and protect materials, we ask all visitors to follow these rules:

  • DO - Sign in at the welcome desk at each visit
  • DO - Place your belongings in the cubbies near the welcome desk
  • DO NOT - Bring food or drink beyond the welcome desk
  • DO - Handle materials with care and keep in order
  • DO NOT - Write or mark any materials
  • DO - Use pencil only when writing
  • DO - Use laptops or cameras, no flash please
  • DO - Ask for assistance for scanning or copy requests 

Special Collections

The non-circulating materials in Special Collections cover a broad spectrum of topics in a variety of formats.  Below is a list of many of our collections that are available to browse in our catalog.  Although most of our collection is made up of bound books, we also preserve objects, ephemera and manuscript leaves.  

  • Bigler Collection of Art and Archaeology contains materials related to Native Americans. Notable items in this collection include prints by George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, and Frederick Catherwood, donated by Eugene Bigler
  • Bishop Brown Collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century works on labor, capital, socialism, and the aristocracy

  • Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection consists of photographs, correspondence, stamps, and objects relating to the Holocaust, provided by Michael D. Bulmash

  • Charles Clinch Bubb Collection of books printed by Bubb’s own Clerk’s Press in Cleveland between 1908 and 1919. Many collections of lyrics, carols, tales, and liturgical texts

  • William T. Dameron Typography Collection consists of items  related to the history of books and printing. The collection is named in honor of Kenyon's former Head Librarian

  • Jones Collection consists of first editions, signed editions and fine press books donated by Louisa Brooke Jones

  • Lamb Collection of classic literature and essays

  • Levey Collection of various twentieth century volumes of poetry and materials related to poetry and the craft of writing, especially in America, donated by Richard Levey

  • Lewis Collection  consists materials on Math, Physics and Astronomy from between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries donated by John N. Lewis (in English, French and Latin)

  • Powell Collection The Scott Powell Collections consists of materials by or relating to Vladimir Nabokov

  • Riker Collection The Charles Riker Collection consists of materials by and about the Irish poet William Butler Yeats

  • Wright Angling Collection The Charles C. Wright Collection consists of materials relating to the sport of angling


The Kenyon College Archives include a wide range of materials and artifacts documenting the history of Kenyon College, its founders, students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Materials in our collections include:

  • Bound materials relating to or published by Kenyon College
  • Files on individual people, events, and subjects
  • Papers of Kenyon presidents including Bishop Philander Chase and Bishop Charles McIlvaine
  • Records of the Kenyon Review
  • Papers of select Kenyon faculty
  • Student honors theses
  • Artifacts relating to Kenyon College

Materials are available for reference in the Reading Room located in Lower Level 1 of Chalmers Library.

Do you have a question about the history of Kenyon College? Please contact us.

Honors Theses Submission

Students are encouraged to submit copies of their honors thesis for deposit in Digital Kenyon to ensure preservation and access for future Kenyon students and scholars.

Instructions for submissions: 

1. Visit digital.kenyon.edu/honorstheses and click on the "Submit Research" link in the right-hand column.

2. If it's your first time visiting, follow the instructions to sign up for a Digital Kenyon account using your Kenyon network credentials.

3. Once you have received the activation email notification, follow the link and agree to the terms.

4. Complete the submission form and attach a copy of your thesis as a PDF.

5. If you have supplementary materials, upload these as Additional Files.

6. You will receive an email notification once your thesis submission has been accepted and posted at Digital Kenyon.

For Faculty

Schedule a Class Visit
Prior to a scheduled class visit, faculty are required to meet with SC&A staff to discuss the format of the class session, materials to be exhibited, and any additional preparatory information.

To schedule a class session, please email us or call (740)427-5996.

Examples of class options:

  • Single class session with no subsequent assignment: Offers students general familiarity with SC&A materials and procedures; experience handling rare and fragile items; experience examining, interrogating, and interpreting documents
  • Single class session with single assignment (requires student return visit(s) to SC&A): Offers students greater understanding of SC&A collections; experience interpreting materials and confronting challenges like handwritten documents and incomplete documentation; introduces students to the archival research process
  • Multiple class sessions with multiple assignments (requires student return visits to SC&A): Offers students deep understanding of SC&A holdings; ability to examine and interpret primary sources complemented by secondary sources; allows students to undertake archival research and learn about primary research methodology through first-hand experience

Student Projects
In addition to class visits, faculty may assign their students projects requiring research in the Special Collections and Archives. We encourage you to pursue this option, be it as a mandatory part of your course or for extra credit. Not only do students benefit from handling and studying primary sources more closely, independent projects help them develop their research and library skills.


Digital Projects

Special Collections and Archives regularly scans primary source materials from the collection and makes them available on Digital Kenyon, the College's Institutional Repository.

Special Collections


Policy and Forms

Special Collections and Archives Collection Policy

Special Collection and Archives Reproduction Request Form