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Special Collections - Gettysburg College History: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Special Collections Located?

Special Collections is on the fourth floor of Musselman Library.

When Can I visit Special Collections in person?

During the school year, Special Collections is open during these times:

  • Monday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm + 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm + 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Thursday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Friday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Appointments are encouraged and can be made online

Does Special Collections have digital collections and online versions of rare materials for researchers and the public?

Yes, over 72,000 digital versions of items from Special Collections are available 24/7 through our GettDigital Collections. We also provide links to online versions of many of our printed materials that are out of copyright (published prior to 1924) through MUSCAT Plus.

What is the Reading Room?

The Reading Room is the section of Special Collections open for research. The Reading Room has tables and chairs for researchers, as well as some reference materials. Special Collections materials are not permitted to leave the Reading Room, thus all Special Collections research must be completed there.

What are closed stacks?

Most of Special Collections’ holdings are kept in the closed stacks. Unlike the stacks in the library, you are not permitted to look for materials on your own in the Special Collections closed stacks. Instead, you can request an item from the staff on duty, who will then retrieve the item for you.

What should I bring with me?

Bring a pencil to write with because pens are not permitted. You can also bring your laptop computer, but not a scanner. Coats, purses, book bags, briefcases, binders, etc. are not permitted in the Reading Room, however, lockers are provided to store these items.

How do I cite materials from Special Collections?

In citing these materials, please cite the full name of the collection and of Special Collections. Example: The Joe Brown Collections, Special Collections/Musselman Library, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. For additional examples, see our Citation Guide.

Can Special Collections items be found in MUSCAT Plus?

Some materials (such as books and publications) are in MUSCAT Plus, so it is a good place to start looking for published materials. Special Collections is home to many materials that aren’t published (for instance, collections of letters, photographs, oral histories). These items are not in MUSCAT Plus. To find them, consult the subject guides or ask an archivist for assistance.

What if I haven't finished what I'm working on when Special Collections closes?

You cannot take Special Collections materials with you. However, the materials you are using may be placed on reserve and will be available for you when you next can visit.

Alumni and Donors

Giving to Special Collections and College Archives

Donations that document Gettysburg College history, student experiences, and other historical events and eras are used for classes, exhibits and open houses. Please contact the Director of Special Collections and College Archives, Carolyn Sautter (,  if you wish to donate rare books, personal papers, photographs, artifacts, or other special materials.

We welcome publications and personal papers of college alumni and faculty, in addition to material relating to the College's history and the local community. Email inquiries may be sent to the College Archivist, Amy Lucadamo (

If interested, you can also browse our Endowments.