Department-based and student research projects often involve use of the Oberlin College Archives. Its rich collection of original historical materials offers insight and documentation of Oberlin’s involvement in many of the significant social, religious, civil rights, and political movements of our time. Oberlin has been associated with such movements as antislavery, African Americans in higher education, coeducation, missions, women’s suffrage, temperance, diversity, and ecology and the environment.
Established in 1966, Archives contains a vast and varied collection of rare, original, and reproduced materials in printed, electronic, and digitized formats. We house the permanently valuable records of the institution as well as those of individuals, families, and organizations affiliated with the college, the Conservatory of Music, and or the city of Oberlin. We have records on the 14 college presidents beginning with Asa Mahan in 1835 to the present. Other records offer details about student life and student government, maps, master plans, art and architecture, and much more.
In addition, Archives has select personal papers of faculty, graduates, and other Oberlin-related individuals; municipal government records of the town of Oberlin and of Russia Township; and more than 260,000 photographs of the college and the community.
Archives developed its online and web presence in fall 1994, to give the public access to its finding guides that describe the collection. Students, faculty, researchers, and others curious about the life and history of the college, the conservatory, and the city can review the materials that are available online before visiting Archives. Visit Room 420, the fourth floor of the Mudd Center, the college’s Main Library.