Archives and Manuscript Collections
This community is comprised of a wide variety of materials dating from the early Seminary years to the present day. These include:
• College Publications: Seminary and College catalogues, Wheaton Quarterlies, Niké /Yearbooks, alumnae/I directories, newsletters and other less permanent publications are collected. 1835 to the present.
• Faculty Files: some Seminary teachers, and most College faculty members are represented; the files include correspondence, newspaper clippings, resumés, speeches, articles, etc., drawn from Trustee’s, Principal’s, President’s and Provost’s Office records. As the College moves to electronic communication, less information is provided for these files. 1830s to the present.
• Staff Files: very few Seminary staff members are represented; early College supervisory staff are included; beginning in the 1960s, most administrative staff have files, and by the 1980s, most staff have a file, which include announcements of hiring and leaving, newspaper clippings, and the like, drawn from President's, Provost's, and Human Resources records. As the College moves to electronic communication, less information is provided for these files. 1900 to present.
• General Files: materials related to specific classes and academic years not easily categorized for other locations are filed here, including programs, obituaries, reports, newspaper clippings, and the like. 1835 to the present.
• Student Organizations: students have been forming clubs and organizations since the Seminary days, but the records in the Archives are scattered, at best. The Student Government Organization, Athletic Association, Whims, Wheatones, YWCA, Phi Beta Kappa, and many others. 1850s to the present.
• Student Publications: these include one of the oldest continuous student literary magazines in the country, The Rushlight, founded in 1855; The Wheaton News / Wheaton Wire, 1921-present; Midnight Oil, and others. As with student organizations, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the ephemeral nature of student publications that depend upon the individuals who found them and try to keep them going. 1855 to the present.
• Speakers & Lecture Series: Although the individual Speaker files are incomplete, this collection includes files on Wheaton’s honorary degree recipients, commencement speakers, and lecture series. Of particular note is the Otis Memorial Lectures in Religion/Otis Social Justice Symposium, which has featured such speakers as Eleanor Roosevelt and Janet Reno (1959 to present).
• Media Collection: films, long playing records (LPs), reel-to-reel and cassette tape recordings, Beta and VHS video recordings, DVDs and mini-DVDs, CDs and other digital recordings have captured Wheaton events, concerts, singing groups, lectures, plays, and other activities from the 1930s to the present.
• Photographs: every form of photograph, from daguerreotypes to digital images are represented in the collection of Wheaton photos. Buildings, individual founders, principals, presidents, faculty members, classes, students and groups, activities, buildings, campus views, and the like are represented. Many photos are those taken by “college photographers”, while those of students and groups are often candid shots taken by fellow students. Now that individuals take most photos on their smart phones, it will become increasingly difficult for the Archives to collect these images. 1860s to the present.
• Scrapbooks and Photograph Albums: created by individuals, classes, and even businesses connected with Wheaton, these scrapbooks and albums provide four-year snapshots of life at Wheaton, including photos, “scraps”, napkins, and other memorabilia. In addition, staff of the Seminary and College collected programs for commencement, dramatics, musical events, and athletic meets into scrapbooks. As individuals take more digital images on their smart phones, it will be more difficult for the Archives to collect and access photos taken by individuals. 1853 to present.
• Memorabilia: Wheaton memorabilia varies from felt banners to glass ashtrays, from letter openers to plaster statuettes of Hebe, from oversized event posters to the Gentleman Caller’s original pitch pipe, from President Cole’s silver-tipped cane to a Student Alumnae Building bowling ball. In other words, any object that helps to illustrate life at Wheaton. 1834 to present.
• Realia: Objects that may not be related to Wheaton, but that help to illustrate life in our, or earlier, times. These include political campaign buttons and other objects, international objects collected by alumni, time capsules, furniture, and the like.
• Clothing: Clothing often helps us to understand life in earlier times, and is especially poignant when it was worn by a Wheaton-related individual. Wheaton owns an impressive number of wedding dresses, from the 1820s to the present, as well as a large number of Victorian pieces, including foundational and undergarments, and garments owned by the Wheaton family.
• Non-Wheaton: Most of these materials relate to the Town of Norton, including Town Reports, 1867 to present (scattered), but also included are Wheaton’s food service, and the founding of the Great Woods Educational Forum/Performing Arts Center.