College Archives and Special Collections

Colby College Libraries Special Collections promotes the use of Colby’s rare books, literary manuscripts, and college archives. For an engaging look at the history and scope the collections, see History of Special Collections @ Colby.

Browse the College Archives and Special Collections Collections:

College Archives: Colbiana Collection
The Colby College Archives are also known as the “Colbiana Collection.” The archive consists of historical records of the College from 1813 to the present, including administrative and curricular policy documents, information on student life and customs and Senior Scholars papers/Honors theses. There are complete runs of the Board of Trustees minutes, the Colby Echo (student newspaper), the Alumnus/Colby magazine (alumni publication) and the Oracle (student yearbook). Also included in the collection is a trove of historic photographs, presented in digital form as the Colbiana Photographs Collection.

Finding Aids
Finding Aids are the primary tools for accessing unpublished manuscripts and archives in Colby College Special Collections. The Finding Aid describes and summarizes the contents of a collection including aspects of its arrangement; the scope of its subject matter; organizations and persons of relevancy; and its chronology. The Finding Aid contains a listing of the collection's contents and their location within Special Collections. Finding Aids serve as guides to these unpublished resources, not the materials themselves, most of which are not available in electronic form. For more information and assistance please contact the staff in Special Collections.

Bern Porter Collection of Contemporary Letters
Colby alumnus and Maine native Bern Porter (1911–2004) was an artist, writer, philosopher, and scientist. A pioneer in the arts, he is known for his landmark work as an author and publisher. As an artist he produced mail art, found and performance poetry, typography, sculpture, photography, artists’ books, and collage. Housed in Colby College Libraries' Special Collections, the Bern Porter Collection of Contemporary Letters is an eclectic mix of published and unpublished materials that reflects the complexity, creativity and humor of Porter himself. Finding Aid | How Bern Porter Saw the World

The Vernon Lee Collection at Colby College
Violet Paget (1856-1935), who published under the pseudonym Vernon Lee, spent her life in England and Italy, was fluent in four languages, and became a central figure in the literary and social circles of her day. She wrote essays on aesthetics, archaeology, history and politics and authored over fifty books. The Vernon Lee Collection at Colby College contains over 1000 letters, 136 manuscripts and articles, 117 photographs, and a small number of personal documents and artifacts. Finding Aid | Reconstructing Violet Paget

Waterville Materials
Digital collections of holdings related to the Elm City: Colby's host community of Waterville, Maine.