Special Collections & University Archives and the Digital Archiving Lab are open by appointment during the Fall 2020 semester. Please see our guide to Using the Library During the COVID-19 Pandemic for information regarding reference and material requests.
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Welcome to Simpson Library's Special Collections and University Archives department.
Special Collections includes rare books and journals and a large collection of original WWI posters. Opened in the fall of 1964, our rare book collection is made up of over 1,500 volumes dating from the 16th century to the present, comprised of many first editions, fine and private press editions, and limited editions. Selected issues of rare journal titles from the 18th to the 20th centuries are also housed in Special Collections. All items within Special Collections can be found in the Library catalog.
University Archives collects and preserves the history of the University of Mary Washington. The Archives serves as the repository for historical materials from all offices, departments, and divisions of the University. Past issues of University publications, the student newspaper, and the Battlefield yearbook are housed in the Archives, and can be located by searching the Library catalog. University Archives also includes students’ departmental Honors Papers, scrapbooks, manuscript collections, books written by faculty, and physical artifacts.
The Digital Archiving Lab is part of the Special Collections and University Archives department. The mission of the Lab is to convert Simpson Library’s rare and unique archival materials to digital objects that are used to support the research and teaching goals of the UMW community, and can be accessed on many platforms among the Library’s digital collections.
Special Collections and University Archives is also home to UMW’s Records Management program. As a public institution, UMW is considered a state agency and subject to the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA). UMW faculty and staff have both legal and practical responsibilities to create, manage, and ultimately dispose of records according to established retention and disposition policies. Our department provides records management assistance to anyone at UMW and can help with any issues that might arise such as identifying records, completing forms, or creating policy for your department.