Special Collections Librarian: Denise Monbarren
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm
Contact: dmonbarren@wooster.edu, Phone: 330-263-2527

Institutional Repository Specialist: Katherine Farr
Contact: kfarr@wooster.edu, Phone: 330-263-2130

In order to preserve our social and literary history, The College of Wooster Libraries, Wooster, Ohio, have secured rare materials, archival materials, and other unique collections. These materials include first editions of classic texts, signed and inscribed editions of major literary works, examples of fine binding, materials that offer significant historical documentation and the College Archives. Collection strengths include the College Archives (special emphasis on the Independent Study program), British and American history and literature (specializing in 18th century), Theatre, and Women's Studies.


Buildings & Grounds Collection

The College of Wooster Buildings and Grounds digital collection contains images of buildings and grounds that are associated with the College of Wooster or the city of Wooster. Sub-collections include the College of Wooster Lantern Slide collection and the College of Wooster Postcard collection.

Campus Close-up

These films were recorded in the 1990s on Wooster's campus. In this series, College of Wooster staff, faculty, and students discuss their work.

Campus Council Records

This is a collection of digitized documents about Campus Council going back to its founding in 1969. The collection includes policy recommendations, memorandums, and budget reports. Campus Council is a representative governing body of students, staff, faculty, and administrators at the College of Wooster. Council reviews, writes, and approves policies that govern the Wooster student body, authorizes charters for student organizations, and oversees the annual process for allocating the student activities fee. Furthermore, Campus Council has the power to make unlimited recommendations to the President of the College, the Board of Trustees, officers of the College, and campus organizations or committees. This collection began in 2019 in celebration of the organization’s 50 years anniversary. For current updates about Campus Council, please see the Campus Council page on the College website.

Commencement Programs

This is a full collection of the College of Wooster's commencement programs, dating from 1871-2019. Of note are the honorary speakers, commencement address titles, and schedules of events, as well as the lists of graduates. For more information on the history of graduation and commencement ceremonies at the College of Wooster, please contact Special Collections.

Compton Family Collection

The Compton Collection includes clippings, correspondence, photographs, memorabilia and manuscripts of the family of Dr. Elias and Ms. Otelia Compton.

Dr. Elias Compton was appointed Alumni Professorship of Philosophy in 1908 and in 1937 the endowed chair was renamed The Compton Professorship of Philosophy in honor of Elias who had served the college from 1883-1928. Elias came to the college as an instructor of Latin and English and later went on to become the college’s first dean. In 1895-1896 he taught the college’s first course in the history and science of education.

Otelia Compton was a guiding force in her own right. She was on the board of managers of the children’s missionary homes on campus. In 1933 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Western College for Women (Oxford, Ohio) “for achievement as wife and mother of the Comptons.” In 1939 she earned the title “American Mother” given by the Golden Rule Foundation.

Arthur H. Compton (Class of 1913) received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927 for his work with X-rays and what later became known as “The Compton Effect.” Arthur was the director of the University of Chicago laboratory when he received an order from the President on December 6, 1941, to prepare a scientific team to develop an atomic weapon for use against the Japanese. On December 2, 1942, he was among a team of men who first witnessed a controlled nuclear reaction. He also served as chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis.

Karl T. Compton (Class of 1908) was president of M.I.T., as well as a well-known scientist in his own right. Wilson M. Compton (Class of 1911) was the president of Washington State University and a renowned economist and business executive for the lumber industry. Their sister, Mary Compton Rice (Class of 1911), also is included in this collection, although the bulk of materials relating to her life are included in a related digital exhibit titled "Life and Letters of Mary Compton Rice", which is house outside of the repository.

Many generations of the Compton family have attended the college. Members of the family have served on various campus-related committees, including the Board of Trustees.

Coronavirus: Campus Response

The College of Wooster CORONAVIRUS: CAMPUS RESPONSE was created through the cooperation of many members of our campus community. The Wooster Digital History Project facilitated the start of this particular collection during the summer of 2020 and the College of Wooster History Department continued the project through the course HIST 29800 MAKING HISTORY: THEORIES/METHODS taught by Dr. Madonna Hettinger. The collection was continually supported by the College of Wooster Special Collections Department, with assistance from Special Collections Librarian Denise Monbarren and student workers Tobin Chin and Zdena Sinkhorn. The materials in this digital collection are photographs taken during the height of lockdown on campus during the fall semester of 2020, with subjects ranging from classroom layouts to examples of signage posted throughout campus.

The collection was developed as a response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that began in March 2020. Following the decision of the campus to conduct remote classes in place of in-person learning, the Wooster Digital History Project was conducted remotely and developed the collection policy for the Coronavirus Collection online. For the photographs available in this repository, the goal was to accurately portray the visual impact that the college’s reaction to the coronavirus had on the campus. Additional physical items are available within the College of Wooster Campus Archives Collections found in Special Collections.

English Historical Library of Wallace Notestein

These items are from the personal collection of Wallace Notestein, class of 1900. Notestein was an internationally known scholar of British literature and social history. Many of the materials in the collection served as primary source material for Notestein's own research. Selected pamphlets, sermons and other texts are on a variety of subjects are included in this digital collection such as "Collection of Civil War Pamphlets" which is a compilation of 34 pamphlets with titles such as "The Answer of Both Houses of Parliament, Presented to His Majestie at Yorks the ninth of May, 1642" and "The Form of Church-Government to be used in the Church of England and Ireland.” There are also pamphlets on alleged witches Margaret Harkett, Elizabeth Fraunces, Elleine Smithe, and Mother Nokes.

Galpin Takeover & Call In

The Galpin Takeover and Call In Collection highlights the history of the 1989 Galpin Takeover and, separately, the 2018 Galpin Call In. Both events were student-led protests responding to the inequitable treatment of marginalized groups on campus.

The Galpin Takeover of 1989 took place after a series of racially based incidents against black students occurred at the College of Wooster. Students protested, in particular, the institution's lack of response after a campus security officer suggested a black student be lynched. On April 1st 1989, over 200 Wooster students gathered in Lowry Center. Two weeks later, four students broke into Galpin hall in response to the College’s lack of structural and administrative support for its black students and took over the building in what became known as the “Galpin Takeover.” The students laid out eleven demands, five of which were the driving forces behind the students’ movement. They demanded that the College do the following:
1. Divest in companies with ties to South Africa 2. Provide a competitive salary for the Minority Admissions Counselor 3. Add a black counselor/psychologist to the counseling staff 4. Increase space for the Director of Black Student Affairs 5. Express administrative support of a black studies requirement

Almost 30 years later, in the spring semester of 2018, roughly 300 students sat in Galpin Hall to protest the inadequacies of administrative support of minority groups.

Please note that this collection is in process and is being actively built.

Herbarium Sheets Collection

The Herbarium Sheets Collection was created and donated by Mary Ronsheim while she was a student at the College of Wooster in 1950. The sheets contain leaves collected on the College of Wooster campus and at nearby locations in the community. This collection will be of particular interest to those interested in regional history and dendrology.

Lee Lybarger Collection

This is a collection of digitized images from the personal slide collection of Lee Lybarger, class of 1956. Highlights from the collection include images of College traditions and celebrations, such as Homecoming, historic shots of campus, and images of sports and recreation. Other students attending the college during the mid-50's are depicted, and often named, in the collection.

Mary Behner Papers

Mary Behner Christopher was born in Xenia, Ohio in 1906 to a Presbyterian minister. She attended the College of Wooster between the years 1924-1928. Her letters talk about life at the College of Wooster in the mid 1920s. She discusses student activities, current events, courses she took, and her goal to become a missionary. Behner was highly devoted to religious life activities, such as the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, Y.W.C.A., and Christian Endeavor Society, but also enjoyed singing, Women's Debate Club, and various athletics. She graduated with a History major in 1928.

After graduation, she accepted a job in West Virginia as a missionary for the Presbyterian church. She worked in Scott’s Run, the coal mining community outside of Morgantown, until her marriage to David Christopher in 1937. Behner remained in Morgantown for the rest of her life, passing away on March 15, 1988. Her diaries and photos from her time in Scott’s Run were donated to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. These letters from Mary Behner’s time at the College of Wooster were donated by her daughter, Elizabeth Burger, in the fall of 2011. The letters are housed in the College of Wooster's Special Collections

Mother Home & Heaven

Aimed primarily at women, this is a monograph collection of popular advice literature. Books cover topics from cooking and cleaning to marriage and birth control. Many of the titles are manuals that offer guidelines for self-improvement. The collection demonstrates how self-improvement advice has been redefined to meet the needs of popular culture.

The Victorian notion of the woman as the "Angel in the House" is well-represented, with many of the texts proposing that every young woman should be prepared to be the guardian of her home and to provide heaven on earth for her family. Later imprints document the change in social constructs.

The original collection consists of approximately 800 titles that were collected by Harrison Hayford. In 1990, his wife, Josephine Wishart Hayford (Class of 1937), donated the bulk of the collection in honor of her mother, Josephine Long Wishart, wife of President Charles F. Wishart. This collection is currently in progress and is being added to by Digital Collections staff.

New Student Directories

The New Student Directories were a yearly publication from the years 1948 to 2004. These directories consist of photographs of individuals from the first-year class along with some basic information including their name, the high school they attended, hometown, major, and activities they are involved in. The directories also contain photographs of the new faculty members with their names, and the department they were joining. Historically these New Student Directories have been known as "Freshman Books" and "Baby Books."

Notestein Family Collection

This collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, memorabilia, photographs and publications of the Jonas O. Notestein family. The collection documents the lives of a scholarly American family living both here and abroad during the first half of the twentieth century. The correspondence spans both world wars.

Daughter Lucy Lilian Notestein (Class of 1911) is the author of “Wooster of the Middle West,” the best history of the College of Wooster written to date. The collection includes her notes for the history, as well as several unpublished manuscripts. Son Frank B. Notestein (Class of 1908) was an internationally known geologist for the petroleum industry.

Presidents Collection

This collection includes photographs, speeches, and inaugural addresses from the college's presidents. These materials have been digitized from a larger, analog collection that is housed in The College of Wooster Special Collections.

Robert D. Davis World War II Collection

The Robert D. Davis World War II Collection is a collection of correspondence about, from, and to Robert D. Davis (June 2, 1922 - March 3, 2012) Davis served as a rifleman and interpreter during World War II. These materials provide a soldier's personal insights and reflections on the war. Davis went on to make a full-time career of military service. His boyhood diary and the letters trace the trajectory of his path from a naive young man through his time in the service and his work as a diplomat. At the end of his career, he moved to Wooster where, as a member of both The College of Wooster campus community, he was involved with the Great Decisions Lecture Series. All digitized materials were property of the estate of Robert D. Davis. His daughter, Ruth Brown (donor), gave permission for the materials to be digitized and used for research purposes. They are available as open access. Special Collections received this collection in February 2013.

Theatre and Dance Performances

This collection showcases an archived collection of performances from the Theatre and Dance Department at the College of Wooster. Kimberly Tritt MA Visiting Asst Prof Theatre 1983-1993, Assoc Prof Theatre 1993-2000, Prof Theatre 2000-2009, Prof Dance 2009-2020.

In Summer 2019, Kim Tritt donated her personal collection of dance performances that document the evolution of the Dance program at The College of Wooster. Performances highlight the annual Spring Dance Concert and Fall Stage Door Concert, as well as other performances by the Dance Company.

At the same time that she donated her collection of VHS tapes and DVDs, Tritt also donated her collection of print materials, including clippings, correspondence, contracts, flyers, programs, and photographs. These items were added to The College of Wooster Archives Collection.

The Howard F. Lowry Addresses

Students who attended The College of Wooster during the Lowry years have often shared their memories of sitting in the old Memorial Chapel to hear President Lowry’s famous “Chapel Talks.”While The College of Wooster Archives Collection does include many typed drafts and transcripts of his speeches, the collection also includes many of his scribbled notes for such talks, often consisting of no more than a few quotes taken from his favorite works of literature. He would use these touchstones to link the fiction that he embraced to the reality of current events. The following audio files span the later Lowry years, 1959-1967, with the last chapel talk dating just months before his death on July 4, 1967.

The Index

The Index is The College of Wooster yearbook. Since 1874, the Index has been producing an annual archive of the student experience at the College. With the support of the College, the yearbook is produced and made available for current students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and Special Collections. Digital Collections is continuing to digitize past editions of the Index and will add them to the collection as they are available.

"The Voice" Student Newspaper Collection

The Voice collection showcases the College of Wooster's student newspaper, which chronicles the news and human interest stories from the College of Wooster campus and the larger community. The Wooster Voice is a student-run publication and is one of the oldest student newspapers in America. This archive includes papers from the late 19th century through mid-2011. For more current issues of the Wooster Voice, please see http://thewoostervoice.spaces.wooster.edu/. Should you wish to see these newspapers in the context of the Five Colleges of Ohio newspapers, please see the collection located here.

Please note that this collection is currently in process and Digital Collections is actively adding to it. We appreciate your patience during this process.

Wooster Magazine

Wooster magazine is currently published in the fall, spring, and summer by The College of Wooster for alumni and friends. The publication showcases alumni, students, and faculty of the College, and provides an opportunity for alumni and other audiences to engage in college news, events, and development. Founded in 1886 as The Post Graduate and Wooster Quarterly and later known as the Wooster Alumni Bulletin, the publication finally settled on the name Wooster in the late 1960s. Printed copies of recent issues of the magazine and past editions are available in Special Collections at The College of Wooster Libraries. Digital Collections is continuing to digitize past issues and will add them to the collection as they become available. All photo and text copyrights are retained by The College of Wooster.