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Archives: Collections

Worcester State University Archives and Special Collections

How do I discover Archives Collections?

A Finding Aid is a document that describes a particular archival collection. It includes information about the contents, the size, and history of a particular collection. 

Click here for a guide to how to use one. 

Finding Aids for collections at WSU are available as PDFs you may click in the WSU Archives Finding Aids box below. All collections are housed at the Archives in LRC room L328-A. 

WSU Archives Finding Aids

The Worcester State University Archives includes materials documenting the University's history from its founding in 1874 to the present including catalogs, yearbooks, photographs, publications, and selected faculty and presidential papers.

Core historical materials from the WSU Archives are described in the finding aids below. 

The American Journal of School Hygiene

Edited by Lawrence A. Averill, head of the Department of School Hygiene and Educational Psychology at Worcester State (Normal School), The American Journal of School Hygiene was published quarterly from 1917-1922. Articles include those related to children’s mental and physical health, school building sanitation, reviews of national and international physical education programs, school medical care, school infrastructure including lighting and plumbing, special problems of rural schools, books reviews, and notes from national organizations including the American School Hygiene Association. After 1922, the journal was renamed School Hygiene Review and disappears from national catalog records after 1923.

This collection includes volumes 1-5. 

Vol. 1. March 1917

Vol. 2. March 1918

Vol. 3. March 1919

Vol. 4. March 1920

Vol. 5. March 1921

Rare Books

The Rare Books collection includes more than 300 rare or unique items. The collection includes such topics as

  • Local and regional history including general histories Worcester city and county and topics such as industry and prominent people. 
  • Selected works about social activism including a small number of 19th century abolition-related titles and titles related to community organizing. 
  • Popular fiction titles from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collection also includes examples of bindings and illustrations from the mid 19th to the mid 20th centuries. There are also a small number of signed editions or limited print runs.

How do I discover rare books?

About 75% of rare books are cataloged and can be found in the library's online catalog.

  • On the Location dropdown select ARCHIVE and then search. 

To view or search a PDF list by TITLE or by AUTHOR, click one of the PDF documents below. 

Special Collections Finding Aids

The WSU Special Collections includes the papers of Poet and activist Dennis Brutus the Malcolm Gordon Cartoon Collection, and the Edward J. Zysk Labor Collection. Collections available for research are listed in the finding aids below. 

Featured Item

This 1846 Illuminated Bible (Harper & Brothers, NY) features the most advanced printing technology of the era as well as sophisticated cross-references that allowed readers to explore and analyze the Apocrypha—those texts not included the accepted biblical canon. Typical of 19th century family bibles, this volume also includes genealogical information about the Litchfield, Connecticut family that owned it.

For many 19th century Protestant families, a bible such as this was the centerpiece of the family library and a source for both theological and scholarly learning. This particular example is in particularly fine condition in spite of its age.   

​Donated by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Natick.