Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Collections and Archives is open by appointment only. A minimum of three days notice is required when requesting to work with collections in-person.
The Special Collections and Archives department of Schaffer Library is an integral part of the Library. It includes the Union College Archives, which holds College records of enduring value, special book collections, manuscripts, maps, photographs, sound recordings, ephemera, three dimensional objects and other primary source materials which document the College’s history, and support and extend its curriculum. The mission of the department is to collect these materials, preserve them, and make them available to anyone with a valid need to use them, especially for the enrichment of classroom instruction. In addition, the department houses other materials which because of their physical format, condition, rarity, or subject matter require special housing and handling.
Special Collections and Archives is located on the third floor of Schaffer Library on the east side of the building. Materials housed here do not circulate and must be used in the department’s reading room. Items appearing in the Library’s online catalog marked (for example) “SpecColl Rare Book” or “SpecColl Union Coll’n” are kept in these stacks and are available for consultation in the reading room. Questions about other holdings in the department should be directed to the department staff.