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Worcester State University Archives and Special Collections

About Archives and Special Collections

The Worcester State University Archives and Special Collections include materials that are rare, unique or historical: 

  • The Worcester State University Archives which includes university-related materials such as course catalogs, graduation programs, historic photographs, student newspapers, and selected faculty and presidential papers from 1874-present. 
  • Rare Books which include topics on local and regional history some titles in popular fiction and social justice issues. 
  • Special Collections which include the Dennis Brutus collection of personal papers and manuscripts. 

Materials are available for scholarly or independent research to members of the Worcester State community and the general public. Hours are 1:00 - 4:00 Wednesdays or by appointment-- Please check the WSU Library calendar for changes to regular hours. 

Featured image from the University Archives collection

Students serve punch at Worcester State's 75th graduation in 1949. 


View more historic photos on the Archives Flickr Page 

Featured Collection

The Worcester State University Apprenticeship Materials collection documents the experiences of students enrolled in the Apprenticeship program during the 1870s. This program placed students at what was then the State Normal School at Worcester, in the city's public school classrooms where they would observe and teach as part of their coursework. These diaries record student experiences with courses, lectures, fieldtrips and other aspects of campus life during the university's first decade. This early version of student teaching was directed by faculty member Rebecca Jones who taught here from 1874 to 1912 and whose diary is pictured below. Learn more about this collection by viewing its finding aid on the collections page. 

Archives, Rare Books, and Special Collections links.

Current Exhibit


WSU Yearbooks. Learn about the WSU Yearbooks Collection with this exhibit of selected materials. Included are examples of tooled book covers and special editions of the yearbook for WSUs centennial in 1974 and the national Bicentennial in 1976. The exhibit is adjacent to the Archives and Special Collections office, LRC room L 328A. Visit the full collection of yearbooks online here

How do I use the Archives collections?

The Archives reading room is located in the Learning Resource Center (LRC),  room L 328A. Archives materials are unique, rare, fragile, or valuable so they don't circulate and must be used only in the reading room. 

When planning your visit: 

  • Bring a pencil (no pens, please)
  • Bring your ID so you can sign in.
  • Non-flash photos are permitted. 



How do I discover archives in the collection?

Use available Finding Aids by visiting the Collections tab on this page or ask the Archivist. 

Can I donate my Worcester State stuff?

Yes! We collect nearly all Worcester State-related materials including memorabilia, photos, course materials, faculty publications, event fliers, handbooks, and promotional items such as t-shirts, mugs, and buttons.

We don't pay money for materials, but your donation may be tax deductible. Contact the archivist for more information.

High on the Archives wish list. 

  • Yearbooks from 1973, 1980, and 2000.
  • Yearbooks from before 1967.
  • Issues of The Acorn student newspaper (published 1942-1967).
  • Commencement Exercise programs from 1971, 1973, 1982, 1993, 1994, 1998.
  • Student Handbooks 1940-1958 and 2008-the present.
  • Faculty Handbooks pre 1965 and 1974-the present.
  • Staff/employee handbooks for all departments and from all years. 

Your donations help preserve Worcester State History.