Alumnae Library
Matthew Sheridan
Head of Digital Special Collections & Technical Services



Alumnae Library
Anthony Fonseca
Library Director



Find Rare Books, College History Items, and Other Special Collections

Alumnae Library’s Archives and Special Collections materials consist of Elms College’s historical documents, photographs, and information in other kinds of formats, as well as rare and collectible books, manuscripts, photographs, crafts and artwork, and realia that pertain to a broad range of scholarly research topics and periods. The goals of both departments are to preserve resources in all formats (including digitized), and to provide superior information and access to these materials.

Our hours usually include the following:

Monday- Friday: 8AM to 3PM

About the Collections

The College’s archives house materials pertaining to the history of Elms College. These materials date from the College’s formative years in the early 20th founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph (SSJ) of Springfield, Massachusetts. These materials also include documents such as the correspondence of former presidents, historical building plans, photographs, postcards, and yearbooks.

Special Collections has two large rare books collections, the M. E. Barry Rare Book Collection and the Joseph C. Fenton Rare Book Collection. Both cover a large spectrum of research interests, especially in regard to English drama from the 17th philosophy, rhetoric, and the arts.


As materials are currently being cataloged, digitized, and preserved through our own efforts as well as in participation with Digital Commonwealth and the Internet Archive, we ask for your patience in understanding that there may be at times challenges to striking a balance between making Archives and Special Collections materials accessible and preserving valuable, rare, collectible, and fragile items.

The majority of these collections are non-circulating. Visiting the materials onsite for purposes of extensive research requires a request for an appointment at least one week ahead of time. Please contact Anthony Fonseca ( in Archives to set up an appointment. After checking the departments’ hours of opening, include the dates and times planned for the visit and your contact information (email and phone).


Publication of images from Elms College Archives and Special Collections is subject to approval and may be under copyright. Publication includes the following media: print; electronic/digital; sound recording; video recording; or microfilm. Written permission must be obtained in advance of publication by contacting the Archives or Special Collections Departments at Alumnae Library. Fees may be assessed and charged by the departments for reproduction and use. Please also note that some materials in Archives contain temporarily non-public materials that are restricted to use by College officials only.

As outlined above, appointments for extensive research must be requested no less than two weeks prior to a planned visit. Likewise, requests for workshops, class visits, and tours must be made no less than two weeks prior to their taking place.

When visiting the materials onsite, researchers may be asked to present photo identification (examples include driver’s and state licenses or passports). Researchers are welcome to bring their laptops or notebooks.

If you cannot visit, please contact our departments via email. We will assist you in any way we can by answering questions briefly, but we cannot do extensive research or writing for you.

Some materials may contain language that reflects the time of their origin. This historical content does not reflect the points of view of the departments, Alumnae Library, or Elms College.


In the near future, it may be possible to reproduce Archives or Special Collections materials in digital or print format. Examples of materials include books, manuscripts, ephemera, photographs and documents. Further questions should be directed to Anthony Fonseca (

Securing permission to use Archives and Special Collections materials is not a clearance of intellectual property rights for the created work itself. Alumnae Library and Elms College are not liable if requestor fails to obtain any necessary copyright clearance.