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College Archives

What Does the Archives Do?

College Archives


The mission of the Gordon College Archives is to identify, collect, arrange, preserve, and make accessible materials that document the programs, people, and operations of Gordon College and Barrington College as well as rare and unique collections that support the College’s administration, teaching, research, and services. 

To accomplish this mission, the College Archives will:

Provides Access. The Archives supports researchers of all kinds by providing the widest possible access to the materials. 

Collect & Preserve. The Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible college records, rare books, and special collections that relate to the teaching and mission of the college. 

Protects Gordon's Cultural Heritage. The Archives strives to collect and promote material representing a diverse prospective of the College's history. 

Encourages Discovery. The Archives enriches the curriculum of the College by providing opportunity for first-hand research and discovery of rare texts. 

Stories from the Archives

Photo showing the physical exhibit set up of Digital Man. There are two vertical exhibit cases on each end with a horizontal case between them. All the cases are filled with items. There are panels and photos behind the cases on the wall.

Digital Man: The Story of Ken Olsen

Our new exhibit, Digital Man: The Story of Ken Olsen, follows the life of Ken Olsen looking at who he was as a person, what made his company Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) so important, and his lasting legacy. Ken Olsen Science Cetner (KOSC) is named after Ken and currently houses the Ken Olsen Archives which includes memorabilia, technological materials, and personal items from throughout Ken's life and from his businesses. 

The exhibit is on display in the Reference Room of Jenks Library along the blue wall near Bistro 255. It is also fully available online through our exhibits page.  

On the right is a clay tablet found in the College Archives with cuneiform writing. To the left is a portion of a page from the Vining Purchase Book wtih handwritten, cursive notes about the purchase of the tablets and other items.

Archives (Re)Discovers Clay Tablets

In February 2022, student intern Drake Sprowles ('24), helped rediscover two clay tablets in the Vining Rare Book Collection while working on comparing inventory lists of the collection! Dating roughly 2070-1658 BC these tablets are the oldest items in the Vining Collection and one of the oldest items held in the Gordon College Archives. Learn more about that tablets by reading The Bell article

Image shows two vertical, glass exhibit cases on either end of a wall with a horizontal, glass exhibit case in between them. They are filled with books and three descriptive panels are hung centered above the horizontal case.

La Imprenta en la Nueva España

Our newest Vining exhibit is up in the Reference Room. Check it out if you are interested in Spanish language materials, early printing history of Central and South America, and if you like pre-1700s books! These items are incredibly important (and cool) and we have some wonderful engravings, illustrations, and maps on show. You can also check it out on the exhibits page! (Note: A portion of the exhibit was taken down to make room for our new Ken Olsen exhibit. The books pictured in the vertical cases are no longer on display, but are still available in the online exhibit.)