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University Archives & Special Collections

Website for the Denison University Archives & Special Collections

What's in your collections?

class of students looking at artists booksThe University Archives is the memory center for Denison’s history. The Archives holds photographs, papers, letters, student scrapbooks, departmental files, faculty research, and more. These items collectively tell the story of Denison’s past in order to help inform its present and future.

The Library’s Special Collections hold a variety of rare, collectible, unusual, and fragile books. It includes medieval manuscripts, artists books, limited edition classics, sheet music, Bibles, and more.

The Denisoniana collection contains books written about and published by Denison University, its faculty, staff, students, and alumni.



Ways to find information

Finding info in the Archives & Special Collections can feel daunting as a researcher.  Here are some ways that you can start your research:

  1. Check out the Digital Archives.  The Digital Archives is a space where you can search digitized copies of things in the Archives & Special Collections.  This includes digitized publications, like the yearbook and student newspaper, and also digital collections on a specific topic, like the founding of Women's Studies.
  2. Search the catalogs.  The Archives catalog and the Library catalog both are databases of information where you can enter a search term or browse by subject to see if we have anything that can help you.  These catalogs won't give you the full text or a digital copy, so if you find something you like, you'll have to contact us to see it in person.
  3. Get started by looking at suggested resources by topic. This offers some suggested links based on the topic you're researching. This only scratches the surface of what we have, so if you find you need more information, email us or stop by for a visit.
  4. Need some advanced research help? We are here to answer any kinds of research questions in case you get stuck.  Also, if you want to do any advanced original research, you will need to contact us to get additional materials and set up a research appointment.

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