Whale Skull, 1980s

Our Collections

College Archives | Digital Collections | Special Collections

Using the Archives

Navigating the Archives | Visiting the Archives | Policies

Collaborative Efforts

The History Trust | Maine Contemporary Archives



Quick Links

Senior Projects - Senior Projects are held in the college archives and are available for in-library use. To view a senior project, click here to schedule an appointment or ask any library staff member for assistance.
Governance Archives - The College Archives contains minutes and charters for the committees that govern the college. Physical records are available in the College Archives and digital records are available in the Governance Digital Archive. 

Navigating the Archives

The College Archives contains materials documenting the history, organization, policies, people, and development of the College. The College Archives are organized by record groups under the general principal of “office of origin.” Record groups are used generally to provide structure and order but may not always be accurate due to the stratification of duties across the college.

A record group is a collection of records which share the same provenance or were created by the same administrative unit.Provenance refers to the origin or source of the materials.

The Digital Collections contains selected materials from the College Archives which have been digitized and made accessible online. Born-digital materials are also included in the Digital Collections. The materials here are publicly accessible to anyone and can be viewed anywhere at any time.

The Governance Digital Archive contains minutes and charters of the committees that govern the college. This is a digital collection, but it is not within the Digital Collections repository. The Governance Digital Archive is only accessible to COA community members and can only be viewed from a coa.edu email address.

The College Governance Collection in the College Archives contains physical records of the committees that govern the college. Some of these materials have been digitized and added to the Governance Digital Archive. 

The Special Collections contain materials of enduring historical value that do not fall within the collecting scope of the College Archives but do hold research value to our community members.

Download a visual mindmap of the College Archives and Special Collections here, which includes hyperlinks to finding aids for each collection.  

Visiting the Archives

Open to the COA community and the general public by appointment only. To schedule a visit or request materials, email archives@coa.edu or click here to schedule an appointment.

Our Collections


Collection Development Policy
Download our Collection Development Policy, 2021

Reproductions of materials are for private study, scholarship, and research purposes only and may not be transferred to any other person or institution. Some materials may be restricted by donor, law, or due to preservation concerns. The library will provide scans or photocopies of materials when appropriate.

Use of manuscripts and published materials is subject to provisions of the copyright law. Permission to examine materials, or to obtain copies, does not imply the right to publish or reproduce them, in whole or in part. Permission must be obtained from the author or anyone else who holds copyright or other publication rights. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, copyright, and literary property rights when quoting or publishing archival materials.

Materials from the Archives and Special Collections may be temporarily loaned to museums, historical societies, educational institutions, and other educational/historical organizations for exhibits or educational purposes. The Archivist or Library Director may allow individuals to borrow archival materials for exhibits or educational purposes. Materials eligible for loan must have no per-determined restrictions and be able to withstand travel, handling, and climate changes. A Loan Agreement must be signed prior to any materials leaving the premises.

Collaborative Efforts

The History Trust
 History Trust is a non-profit consortium located on MDI that provides members access to collections-related resources, professional development opportunities, collaborate on shared exhibits, and raises money to pay for the hosting and administration of Digital Archive for its members.

 Maine Contemporary Archives 
We are a proud member of the Maine Contemporary Archives Collaborative, a group of cultural heritage professionals working together to collect, preserve, and provide access to materials related to Maine community members’ experiences of current events. We represent communities from across the state.