College Archives

Mason Library Special Collections

Greetings from the Archivist

Welcome to the Mason Library Archives & Special Collection. Our mission is to preserve, and share the historical records and publications that document the history of Keene State College. We also collect and preserve rare and unique books, papers, and manuscripts that support the curriculum of the college and fosters undergraduate research. To date, the holdings of the archives & special collections consist of over 250 linear feet of archival and manuscript material and over 6,000 volumes of print and bound materials, covering predominantly the disciplines of history, literature, poetry, film studies, Holocaust studies, and anthropology. Some of featured holdings include: College Archives, Modern Poetry Collection, New Hampshire Social Justice Collection, Mondanock Women’s History Collection, and the Orang Asli Archives. Our holdings continue to grow as does interest in using them. We encourage you to browse through our website or visit us in Keene, New Hampshire.


The mission of Special Collections of the Wallace E. Mason Library is to provide access to, and environmentally safe storage for, unique research, historical, and/or primary source materials and collections in support of the mission and curricula of Keene State College.


Though non-circulating, Special Collections materials may be used during the hours of 10am to 12pm, 1pm to 4pm or by appointment. Patrons should go directly the Archives & Special Collections room located in the west wing of Mason Library.


Collection Development

The primary responsibility for identifying and for proposing the acquisition of Special Collections resources lies with the Special Collections Librarian and the Dean of Mason Library. Generally, the selection is dependent on the special nature of the materials, including but not limited to:

  • Documentary records of the College
  • Materials relating to New Hampshire history and other areas of collection interest
  • Manuscripts, photographs, audio/visual materials, and ephemera documenting local history and culture
  • Published works by Keene State College faculty and staff
  • Theses relevant to the college or local community
  • Materials in support of research that contribute to College curricula
  • Products of research derived as a result of use of materials in Special Collections
  • Rare, unusual, signed, or otherwise valuable books that fulfill any of the above conditions

Special Collections welcomes donations of collections and individual items. Donations are often invaluable sources for primary research and for helping to strengthen the Collection’s holdings. Special Collections also welcomes and appreciates financial contributions to defray the cost of processing materials.

Conditions of Acceptance
Materials submitted for consideration must be accompanied by a Deed of Gift. Materials become the property of the College upon receipt. The library retains the right to determine the disposition of the materials. Materials deemed not suitable for inclusion in Special Collections may be deaccessioned, considered for inclusion in the general collections, offered to a more appropriate institution, or other appropriate action.

Tax Deductions

United States tax law forbids a non-profit institution from appraising donated materials. The responsibility for establishing the fair market value of the donated item for a deduction for income tax lies entirely with the donor. Donors may be referred to Internal Revenue Service Publication 561,
Determining the Value of Donated Property


Rodney Obien, Archivist/Special Collections Librarian
Telephone: (603)358-2717

Irene McGarrity, Assistant Archivist
Telephone: (603)358-2756