Skip to Main Content

Special Collections and College Archives: Home

New to Special Collections and College Archives? Explore this page for a brief introduction!

What is the Special Collections and College Archives?

Special Collections

Musselman Library's Special Collections collects, houses, and preserves rare books, manuscripts, maps, art works, sound recordings, photographs, and other unique primary source materials which support selected instructional programs.

Special Collections is also home to the College Archives and, therefore, acquires, preserves, and makes available records of enduring value which document College activities, functions, decisions, policies and programs. Special Collections regularly exhibits items from its varied collections in its Reading Room.

College Archives

The Archives contain correspondence, records, minutes of meetings, and other documents that are part of the official record of Gettysburg College. The documents record the work of Gettysburg presidents, trustees, officers, faculty and faculty governance committees, and student organizations. The collection also includes items that are not part of the official record, but are related to the College, such as books and articles by members of the College community, College histories, theses, student publications, faculty papers, photographs, artifacts, manuscripts, and ephemera.

Bookbinding and Conservation Lab

The Marion L. Hobor Bookbindery and Paper Conservation Laboratory provides state of the art care for Special Collection's paper based materials. The lab also gives student assistants the opportunity to participate in preservation and conservation activities. 

Asian Art Collection

The Gettysburg Asian Art collection is a unique repository of objects that reflects the remarkable breadth of aesthetic production by the peoples of Asia.

Consisting of approximately 2,000 objects, the collection includes everyday items such as writing materials, clothing and personal adornment articles as well as ritual vessels and altar screens. Created from ceramic, porcelain, jade and other stones, glass, bronze and other metals, ivory, wood and horn, silk and paper, and textiles, these objects span the years from the Shang dynasty (1700-1027 B.C.) to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.) and into the mid-20th century.

The majority of objects in this collection are from China, but it also contains items from Japan, Korea, Java, India, and Central Asia. These objects can also be searched by category such as bamboo, cloisonné, glass, horn, ivory, jade and other stones, lacquer, metal, porcelain and other ceramics, and wood.

Browse the Digital Collection

Asian Art examples

Book Collections

The book collection is home to a diverse range of books, including the first library collection of Gettysburg College, private libraries of past faculty members, books from literary societies, books on Asian art, books printed prior to 1800, and books that are the only known copies in the U.S.

The collection is searchable through MUSCAT Plus.

Manuscript Collections

A Manuscript Collection is a grouping of materials which focuses on an individual, group of people, or organization. Materials can include letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia. Processed Manuscripts are stored in Special Collection's closed stacks and can be requested at the Reference Desk in our Reading Room.

Browse Finding Aids for the Manuscript Collections


MS-247: Sinclair-Donaldson Papers

Select materials from MS-247: Sinclair-Donaldson Papers


Vertical File Manuscripts

Also available are single folder collections ranging from one page to 50 pages. Included are Vertical File Manuscripts pertaining to the Civil War and to Gettysburg College. 

Browse Vertical File Manuscripts

Browse Civil War Vertical File Manuscripts

Browse Gettysburg College Vertical File Manuscripts

Map Collections

John H.W. Stuckenberg Map Collection

John H.W. Stuckenberg had a life long interest in maps, and while living in Germany purchased the majority of his collection, which consists of three 17th century atlases and over 500 map sheets from the 16th through the 19th century. A few of the cartographers represented in the collection are: Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), Matthaus Seutter (1678-1756), and Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777). The maps are housed in Special Collections at Musselman Library.

Browse the Collection


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Gettysburg

This collection contains Gettysburg College's Special Collections holdings for the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Gettysburg in 1924. Sanborn fire insurance maps were produced to document the residential, commercial and industrial buildings within city blocks. The Sanborn Map Company produced maps for more than 12,000 cities and towns in North America. The map is divided into 17 numbered sheets. The collection is missing map sheet 14. Use of the Sanborn Map Collection is limited to campus only.

Browse the Collection


Lawrence P. Taylor Collection of Maps, Posters, and Political Ephemera

This digital collection features case folding maps representing city, country, regional, and world maps from the late 19th and early 20th century which were donated to Special Collections and College Archives by former U.S. Ambassador Lawrence P. Taylor.

Taylor began purchasing many of the folded maps in this collection while living in Britain. Some were part of sales to antiquarian book dealers of large personal libraries in the 1980s. Taylor would often have the chance to sift through recent acquisitions and serendipity often rewarded him with very unique titles. The first case folding map he bought was the Bacon’s Map of the World.

Special Collections is so appreciative of the opportunity to make this remarkable collection of maps available digitally and Ambassador Taylor’s commitment to sharing these maps as invaluable learning objects for our students and researchers. 

Browse the Collection


Atlas Classica

A collection of maps of the Classical World published in 1834.

Browse the Collection

No.1 Plate I - Eslam or the countries which have professed the faith of Mahomet

Oral Histories

Our collection of oral histories document Gettysburg College, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Browse the Interviews

Scrapbooks, Photograph Albums, and Oversize

Our SPOV collection includes materials ranging in topics from World War I, World War II, Gettysburg College, Travel, Art, and Culture, and more. Please browse our SPOV collection in MUSCAT Plus to see what we have available. 

College Histories

Publications, photographs, documents, oral histories, manuscripts, and scrapbooks pertaining to the history of the college, the faculty and staff, and its students. 

College Documents

Official documents of the college. Unlike the documents in the College History collection, these documents are generally legally prepared and serve as an official record.

College Office Records

Official papers of college offices, such as the President, Board of Trustees, and Provost. Some files are restricted; see the archivist on duty for specific information on availability.

Minutes & Publications

A partial list of student and faculty publications, as well as various committee minutes. Some materials are available in the Reading Room, others are located in the closed stacks.