Special Collections & Archives

Colby College Libraries Special Collections & Archives 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 Special Collections & Archives Collections:

Beehive Design Collective Materials

The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. [They] work as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, shared with [them] through conversations with affected communities.

"Who We Are." https://beehivecollective.org/. October 4, 2022.

Colby College Archives
The Colby College Archives, historically known as “Colbiana,” consists of historical records of the College from 1813 to the present and includes administrative and curricular policy documents, information on student life and customs, and student publications and culminating papers. In addition to the collections listed farther below, the digital collection also includes Honors Theses, Senior Scholar Papers, and Colbiana Photographs

The Letters of Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Digital Edition

The work presented here comprises the beginning of a new, digital edition of the letters written by American poet Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935). This first iteration includes the letters written by Robinson between 1889 and 1895. When complete, this publication will contain all of the letters known to have been written by the poet until his death in 1935.

This project is based on work started during the last century by Wallace L. Anderson (1917-1984) and left unpublished at his death. Anderson's research materials, transcripts, and manuscript were donated to the Colby College Libraries in 2001.

This online edition is presented in a fully searchable, open access format in order to stimulate interest in Robinson among both academic and non-academic readers and promote new research into the poet's life and work.

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Finding Aids are the primary tools for accessing unpublished manuscripts and archives in Colby College Special Collections.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.

Archives of Maine Art
The Archives of Maine Art was established by Colby College circa 1960 “to collect information and documents about artists in Maine from the eighteenth century to the present.”

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.