Curation, Preservation, and Archives

Gordon Library's Curation, Preservation, and Archives (Archives) actively collects, preserves, and makes available university records, historical and cultural collections, artwork, and objects of enduring value. The Archives provides services to the WPI community, scholarly researchers, and the broader public. 

For more information about Curation, Preservation, and Archives's collections or services, or to schedule a research consultation, please call 508-831-6112 or e-mail

Collections Overview

University Archives

The University Archives' collections include early school records, academic and administrative departments' records, student organization records, alumni files, and the papers of past WPI presidents. In addition to the administrative and scholarly records, the Archives also collects, preserves, and makes available yearbooks, campus publications, WPI memorabilia, and more than 50,000 images and recordings of WPI campus life.  The Archives maintians a growing number of collection guides and inventories to support discovery of and access to the collections. These guides and growing collection of primary sources and historical resources are available online in Gordon Library's DigitalCommons@WPI.

Rare Books and Personal Libraries

Gordon Library's Special Collections consists of approximately 4,000 early and unique bound volumes ranging in topics from science and technology to American and British literature to the histories of Worcester and New England. The Archives also collects and makes available faculty publications and the personal libraries of notable WPI faculty and alumni. Books and materials held in Special Collections are listed in the library's catalog, do not circulate, and must be consulted in the Fellman Dickens Reading Room.

Cultural and Corporate Collections

Collections includes faculty, staff, and alumni papers, Worcester and area businesses' corporate archivesThe Robert Fellman Charles Dickens Collection, , the Woodbury Collection, and the Theo Brown Diaries Collection.


Records Transfer and Archiving

As keeper of institutional memory for WPI, the Archives identifies, collects, and manages university records.

Records take many forms, may be physical or digital, and can be created by anyone with a connection to WPI. Some types of records, such as meeting minutes, reports, publications, some web pages, images, recordings, student work, and correspondence (including emails and tweets) may require permanent retention. This means that they need to be kept forever – yes, FOREVER! These records also often have access or use restrictions that need to be managed and maintained over time. The Archives refers to these types of files as records of enduring value and considers their responsible archiving to be critical to the continuing academic and admnistrative operations of WPI.

Working closely with departments, the Office of Compliance & Risk Management and Information Technology Services, the Archives is committed to identifying and preserving the most important, at-risk, and permanent records of WPI. Archives staff can assist with assessing legal, administrative, and historical record retention requirements, as well as arrange for the transfer of records to the Archives.

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