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University Archives & Special Collections

Website for the Denison University Archives & Special Collections

Welcome to Denison University Archives & Special Collections

outside classroom historic image
medieval manuscript
BSU reunion historic image
granville female college student historic image
medieval book
denisonian newspaper historic image

What is the Archives & Special Collections?

Denison University Archives & Special Collections is a resource center where you can find historic and rare items that you likely won't find anywhere else.  We assist all kinds of people who are looking to use our collections, such as: 

  • Students who are seeking unique primary sources to enhance their research papers
  • Alums wanting to relive their college memories (and resolve a bet on what *really* happened their sophomore year...)
  • External visitors looking to do scholarly research in the history of the institution
  • Genealogists and local historians who are seeking biographical information on an ancestor
  • Faculty who want to use our collections in the classroom and create unique research experiences for their students
  • Denison staff who need to reference old records in order to help the University's current and future operations

The University Archives specializes in documenting the history of Denison's students, alumni, faculty, staff, departments, and administration.  This includes photographs, University publications, letters, meeting records, old policies, student scrapbooks, and more.

The Special Collections focuses on collecting rare, limited edition, and/or out-of-print books, like medieval manuscripts, artists' books, rare Bibles, and historic encyclopedias.

Harmful Content Warning

The Denison University Archives & Special Collections is charged with maintaining the historical records of the college to tell the story of the institution and its community.  As such, we maintain records and descriptions of items that may be harmful or difficult to view.

Some examples of items that may be harmful include:

  • Items that include racist language, images, opinions, or context.
  • Items that contain sexist or misogynistic language, opinions, or context.
  • A lack of representation in our collection that may reflect bias or exclusion in prior collecting practices.

How is the Archives working to address this problem?

  • Making users aware of the possibility of encountering harmful materials.
  • Working to improve our collection practices to better represent all Denisonians.
  • Inviting users to explore the archives and comment on their findings.

We welcome further discussion about these aspects of Denison’s history in an effort to learn from our past, rather than hide from it. Feel free to contact us at

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6235, email:
In order to view PDF documents, you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer