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Special Collections and Vance University Archives

  • 765 kv Line Protest Collection

    The North Country Defense Committee and the coalition Upstate People for Safe Energy Technology (UPSET) were the most prominent groups that opposed the implementation of the 765 kV power line.
    765 kv Line Protest Collection
  • Rockwell Kent Collection

    Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was born in Tarrytown, NY and spent much of his early life in and around New York City.
    Rockwell Kent Letter
  • Benjamin Kip Glass Plate Negative Collection

    The collection consists of glass plate negatives and various prints that belonged to Benjamin Kip, a photographer in Canton, N.Y.
    outdoor hockey match
  • Adirondack Collection

    The Adirondack Collection consists of ephemera, promotional literature, maps, magazines, commercial photo albums, picture books, Seneca Ray Stoddard photographs, and 2 groups of unidentified photographs.
    image of adirondack logo
  • Reading Room

    Special Collections materials inspire students by adding another dimension to their understanding of ideas and texts.
    Reading room with students


Special Collections is the place in the general library where we keep any items that are scarce, fragile, or valuable. Additionally we have a number of subject collections. Any type of library material that meets the above criteria can be found in special collections, such as printed books, journals, newspapers, maps, atlases, photographs, reports, diaries, correspondence, etc.


GIven the ongoing necessities of social distancing and precautionary measures in the face of COVID-19, access to Special Collections and Archives is currently available by appointment only.  To make an inquiry about seeing materials, please contact Paul Doty, Special Collections and Archives Librarian at  Access to the Frank and Anne Piskor Reading Room can be arranged within the guidelines of University protocols.  Discrete items from collections can be scanned, and inquiries about this should also be directed to Mr. Doty.  

Rare Book Collections

What is a "rare" book? Simply put, it can be any book in its original or unique format that is scarce, fragile or valuable. Additionally, it can be a book that the library decides to preserve in its original condition. This area contains almost 8,000 titles relating to all areas of St. Lawrence's broad liberal arts curriculum. We are acquiring new rare books annually. Although all of our rare books are catalogued in ODYsseus and Encore, click here for some of our specific focus collections.

Manuscript Collections

This area contains over 215 manuscript collections, comprising some 1900 linear feet of material, plus a number of individual manuscript items. Each of these collections is described in brief on ODYsseus the Libraries’ online catalog. Additionally, many have detailed, searchable finding aids. We are actively making more of our collections available online and adding new manuscripts to our collections.

University Archives

This area represents the "institutional memory" of St. Lawrence University. In it can be found thousands of photographs, University publications, Administrative, student and alumni records, faculty member information and records of University events, buildings and grounds...anything related to the 160-year history of SLU.

Digitized Collections

A number of the library's Special Collections holdings have been fully or partially digitized, providing much wider and more convenient access to these materials. Our digital collections offerings are continuing to expand, and currently include the Sunderland Civil War Correspondence, the Dwight P. Church Photograph Collection, Selected Letters of Frederic Remington, Rockwell Kent Collection, historic photos of St. Lawrence University Buildings and Grounds, the SLU Gridiron Yearbook and the University's student newspaper the Hill News.

Resources for Faculty and Students

Special Collections materials inspire students by adding another dimension to their understanding of ideas and texts. Books, documents, maps and photographs-- in their original or early formats-- offer additional “texts” (sometimes called paratext) for students to consider. Plus they are just plain fun. In recent years we have worked with classes in Economics, English, History, Fine Arts, Global Studies, Sociology, and the First Year Program. We have items and collections that are of interest to disciplines across the curriculum, and we can: Prepare specialized resource lists of materials available for particular courses & subjects. Host class visits in the Special Collections Reading room to introduce your classes to our resources and effective ways to use them. Assist you in designing assignments that use our materials. Assist students in ongoing research projects using our materials. Assist you in your own research by acquiring or locating specific materials.

Guidelines for Use of Collections

Anyone is welcome to use the special collections and archives. If you are coming from out-of-town, we would prefer that you contact us ahead of time so that we can make any necessary preparations, but if that is not possible, please feel free to visit anyway. Before using the collections, you will be required to present valid identification and fill out a request to examine specific materials. None of the items in these collections circulate, and all must be used within our reading room. Users are welcome to bring laptop computers. If you are taking notes manually, you must use only pencils--no ball-point or fountain pens are allowed.

Guidelines for Printing & Sending Honors Theses to the Bindery

There are two options for printing theses: sending files to Office Services or printing on department copiers.  details...