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Archives & Special Collections

Digital Collections

Introduction

"We have a responsibility to our history. Given the aspiration and struggle and sacrifice that lie in our history, we need to let the past use us by demanding from us our best."
Professor William C. Placher
Founder's Day Convocation
December 3, 1982

The Robert T. Ramsay, Jr. Archival Center provides a climate-controlled environment for the preservation of records of the college, related materials that document its history, and special collections. The Reading Room is custom designed to accommodate individual research and student seminars. The primary purpose of the Center is to serve the archival needs of Wabash College, but researchers are welcome.

Reading Room Hours

Academic Year
Monday-Thursday:
9:00 am - 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday
9:00 am - 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Summer
Monday-Friday:
9:00 am - 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Off-campus visitors are advised to call and confirm hours before traveling to campus.

Services and Staff

Researchers are welcome to use the Center in person, or may request information by mail, e-mail, phone, or fax. Because of limited staff time, we do not conduct extensive research for users, but we do assist researchers to identify and access appropriate sources for their research.

Archival and Special Collections materials do not circulate. A photocopier is available for public use in the Reading Room and charges are minimal.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Beth Swift, Archivist Lilly Library
Wabash College
P.O. Box 352
Crawfordsville, IN 47933-0352
phone: 765-361-6378
fax: 765-361-6295
e-mail: swiftb@wabash.edu

Collections

The Robert T. Ramsay, Jr. Archival Center houses both archival and special collections; the most extensive are listed below.

  • The Archives of Wabash College, consisting of materials that predate our founding in 1832 and that document the life of the College up to the present day.
  • Dear Old Wabash, the Archives Blog
  • Historic Images, photos of Old Wabash
  • Three Years in the Saddle, a civil war diary by Henry Campbell, a member of Wilder's Lightning Brigade.
  • First editions of books and other formats that have been published by Wabash College alumni, faculty, and staff.
  • Hovey Manuscript Collection, letters that describe the early history of the college, contrast life in frontier Indiana with that of New England, and give details of 19th century travel, religious and political movements, etc.
  • Rare books and fine bindings, a small collection.
  • Government documents and British and American bound periodicals from the 19th century.
  • Tuttle Miscellany, over 100 bound volumes containing 19th century pamphlets, speeches, sermons, college publications, including rare items.
  • Dewitt O'Kieffe Collection, 900 volumes of early western Americana, including rare early imprints, first editions, and fine bindings.
  • Horsethief Detective Association minute books, rolls, and artifacts that record the origins of this national organization in Montgomery County.
  • Thomson-Ristine families collection of letters, photographs, books, and other early records of everyday life at the College, in Crawfordsville, and during Civil War. Includes books and papers that relate to the history of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County, and other Indiana county histories.
  • Byron Price Collection, 119 signed first editions by authors prominent primarily in the first half of the twentieth century.
  • Ellington-Busard Collection of 78 r.p.m. recordings of Duke Ellington's bands between 1926 and the late 1940s, with an additional 300 recordings of other bands of that era. Includes band memorabilia.
  • Dave Gerard Cartoon Collection documenting the making of nationally syndicated strips, "Citizen Smith" and "Willyum," from original sketches to printing plates.
  • Oral History Project, tapes with transcripts that record the Black experience at Wabash and in Crawfordsville during the turbulent years of integration in American higher education.