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Kenyon College


Greenslade Special Collections and Archives: Policy & Forms

The Greenslade Special Collections and Archives houses Kenyon's rare books, literary manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, and College archives.

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Special Collections & Archives Policy

I.) Introduction
II.) Reading Room Regulations
III.) Accepted Formats and Exclusions
IV.) Collecting Areas
A.) Archives
B.) Special Collections
V.) Procedures
A.) Gifts
B.) Department Transfers
C.) Purchases
VI.) Deaccessioning
VII.) Policy Revisions



The Greenslade Special Collections and Archives, housed in Library Building C, consists of two main collections: Special Collections and the Kenyon College Archives. Special Collections includes rare books ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary artists’ books and special subject research collections. The Kenyon College Archives collects records and other materials of enduring historical value documenting the history, organization, policies, and activities of the College. Materials include college publications, student and faculty papers and photographs, and college memorabilia.

As with the general Library Collection Development Policy, Special Collections and Archives reflects and supports the Library’s mission and the College’s goals. Special Collections and Archives supports the use of primary source materials within the Kenyon College curriculum and the wider community of scholars.


Reading Room Rules
In order to create a positive experience and protect materials, we ask all visitors to follow these rules:

  • All visitors will sign in at the welcome desk at each visit,
  • All visitors will place coats and bags near the front closet,
  • No food or drink is permitted beyond the welcome desk,
  • Materials may be handled by visitors with clean, dry hands and must be kept in order,
  • No writing or mark may be made on any materials,
  • When taking notes, only pencil is permitted,
  • Laptops, tablets, or cameras are permitted, as is taking pictures of materials with no flash,
  • Scanning or copying is permitted in most situations, a staff member will make the scans upon request.

Reading Room Reservation
The Reading Room is available for classes and other groups utilizing materials from the collection. Appointments may be made with the Special Collections Librarian, College and Digital Collections Archivist, or by contacting Groups not utilizing collections material will be asked to find another venue for their meeting.


Selection Responsibility
Materials may be acquired for the Special Collections and Archives through transfer, gift or purchase, but selection for placement in Special Collections and Archives lies with the Special Collections Librarian and the College and Digital Collections Archivist, often in consultation with the Collection Development Librarian, Associate Director of Research and Instruction and the Library Director.

Format of Materials Collected
The primary formats collected include printed texts, manuscripts, photographs, graphics, artifacts and objects, microform, audio-visual materials, databases, and digital materials. We try to acquire scholarly editions, typically first editions or unique materials. Textiles, furniture and fine art are not typically collected due to the specialized nature of their care.

Transport of Collections
Donors are responsible for the delivery of materials to the Library. Special circumstances may be taken into consideration.


  • Special Collections and Archives can only accept unconditional gifts and donations. Exceptions may be made in special circumstances.
  • Special Collections and Archives will not accept the following items:
    • publications best suited for general circulation
    • items which cannot be properly housed (i.e. clothing, fine art)
    • items which are too large for available storage and/or display space
    • materials still in active use by departments or offices
    • materials in which the donor’s ownership is in question or disputed
    • moldy or damaged items
    • duplicate materials
    • non-original materials (i.e. photocopies, facsimiles)
    • materials of no research value to the campus community
  • The library will not be responsible for the return of unsolicited items.


Acquisition of New Materials
Special Collections and Archives acquisitions will be evaluated by the same criteria as for other library materials however, additional selection criteria specifically applicable to SC&A will be considered, including but not limited to:

  • quality of material
  • authoritativeness
  • circumstances of creation and ownership
  • enduring value: evidential, informational, intrinsic
  • cost of retention: processing, storage, preservation, technical support
  • format appropriateness
  • copyright and fair use


Materials Collected
The College Archives seeks documentation that will accurately reflect the establishment, development, and activities of Kenyon College. In pursuit of these records, the Archives will collect official records from administrative offices and academic departments of Kenyon College, their predecessors, and affiliated bodies, including:

  • Materials documenting the establishment of Kenyon College and contributing to the understanding of its history; particularly records related to the development of its governance, organizational structure, funding, and management;
  • Materials documenting policies, strategic planning, and activities of College departments and offices;
  • Materials documenting the development and achievements of the College in teaching and research;
  • Materials documenting the development of the College’s fabric and infrastructure;
  • Materials of permanent legal, administrative, and financial value;
  • Materials documenting relationships with stakeholders including staff, students, funding authorities, benefactors, and central government;
  • Materials relating to the College’s role within the local and wider community, particularly records relating to marketing, alumni, and press communications.

To supplement these records and ensure all significant aspects of the College’s activities are documented, the Archives will also collect materials from non-official sources including:

  • Materials from senior staff, administration, and academic staff; particularly correspondence, photographs, research material, manuscripts of published texts and articles, diaries, and notebooks;
  • Material from alumni, particularly those relating to their experiences as students at the College;
  • Materials from student associations, clubs and societies;
  • Materials from staff associations and societies.

If any materials require access restrictions, those restrictions should be made for a fixed term and determined at time of donation or transfer. Access to materials may not be retroactively restricted except in extraordinary circumstances agreed upon by Special Collections and Archives staff.

Due to limited staffing, budget, and space, all donations, gifts, and transfers are subject to review by the College and Digital Collections Archivist and Special Collections Librarian and may be declined. The Archivist also reserves the right to periodically review the archival status of accessioned materials (see section V. of this document).


Acquisition of New Collections
New collections will be considered by the College under the following conditions:

  • The proposed collection must be of value to the curriculum, student independent research or faculty/staff research;
  • A list of the proposed collection must be provided so the Librarian(s) can judge the value of the collection based on housing requirements and general usefulness to the college community;
  • The library will not actively seek new special collections, however, items or collections that add to current special collections strengths will be considered if the acquisitions can be supported by gifts or special funds;
  • Collections that do not build upon current special collections strengths will be discussed by Librarians and Director to determine whether or not the library should and can expand its special collections in a new direction. Such collections must be of value to the curriculum, student independent research, or faculty/staff research;
  • Materials will not be accepted on loan by Special Collections. In special cases materials may be accepted, providing they are accompanied by a letter of intent spelling out their eventual donation or sale to the Libraries within a reasonable period of time.

Existing Collections
In an effort to preserve and maintain our cultural and literary history, Kenyon College Greenslade Special Collections and Archives will continue to maintain materials in the following collections:

  • Eugene Bigler Collection of art and archeology
  • Bishop Brown Collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century works on labor, capital, socialism, and the aristocracy
  • Charles Clinch Bubb collection of books printed by Bubb’s own Clerk’s Press in Cleveland between 1908 and 1919. Many collections of lyrics, carols, tales, and liturgical texts.
  • William Dameron Collection on the history of books and printing
  • Brooke and Thomas Catesby Jones Collection of assorted fictional works
  • Lamb Collection of classic literature and essays
  • Richard Levey Collection of various twentieth century volumes of poetry and materials related to poetry and the craft of writing, especially in America.
  • John N. Lewis Collection of treatises on Math, Physics and Astronomy from between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. (In English, French and Latin). 
  • Powell Collection of materials by or relating to Vladimir Nabokov. 
  • Riker Collection of materials by and about William Butler Yeats.
  • Wright Collection of materials relating to the sport of angling


Gift materials owned by individuals or organizations may be accepted to the Special Collections and Archives if they meet the collection criteria established in this document and after evaluation by Special Collections and Archives staff.

All donors must transfer material under a Deed of Gift agreement signed by the owner(s) of the materials and Special Collections and Archives staff.

It is the responsibility of the donor to demonstrate they are the valid owner(s) of the material on offer. When assigning ownership of the materials to the Special Collections and Archives, the donor will be granting copyright of the materials to the College unless otherwise agreed.

The Kenyon College Library and Development Office requests that written appraisals be made by a qualified appraiser on collections believed to be in excess of $5,000. In order to avoid conflict of interest, librarians or library staff are not permitted to perform appraisals. The potential donor is responsible for contacting a qualified appraiser.

Access Restrictions
Materials requiring access restrictions are discouraged from deposit. If any materials require access restrictions, those restrictions should be made for a fixed term and determined at time of donation. Access to materials may not be retroactively restricted except in extraordinary circumstances in agreement with Special Collections and Archives staff.

Transfer of materials to the Archives from offices and departments of the College are considered permanent and irreversible. The materials may be made available to department staff only in the reading room of the Archives.

A department or office transferring materials to the Archives will fill out a Transfer Form before any materials are accepted for deposit in the Archives.

For departments and offices with frequent deposits of materials, i.e. programs, publicity, press releases, etc., a delivery schedule may be established with the Archivist.

Decisions regarding purchases for the collection will be based on a general knowledge of the historical strengths and weaknesses of the collection, as well as on a knowledge of the curriculum of the College and an understanding of the research needs and interests of both faculty and students.

Additional criteria to be considered includes: significance of the subject matter, importance of the author or creator, potential for use by patrons, importance to total collection, availability in consortium or area libraries, scarcity of materials on the subject, purchase price, continuation costs, format and its longevity, and available space.


The Special Collections and Archives staff reserves the right to review the status of any accessioned materials and recommend their disposal if the material does not meet the criteria of the Department Policy as outlined in this document.

Materials will only be deaccessioned within the terms of their deed of gift, college regulations, and established records management policies.


This document may be periodically reviewed and updated as needed.

Revised: August 2018 by JLC (to replace instances of reference to Olin/Chalmers with appropriate locations in response to library reconstruction)

Revised: October 2014 by AM and EWC

Created: August 2014 by Abigail Miller, College and Digital Collections Archivist; Elizabeth Williams-Clymer, Special Collections Librarian
Approved by: Julia Warga, Associate Director of Research and Instruction; Amy Badertscher, Library Director


College and Digital Collections Archivist

Special Collections Librarian

Elizabeth Williams-Clymer's picture
Elizabeth Williams-Clymer
Ransom Lawn, Library C

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