Current Collecting Endeavors

COA COVID-19 Community Archive Project is a collection of items that preserves the stories and experiences of the college community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the college’s official response to the pandemic. COA students, staff, faculty, trustees, and alumnx are encouraged to document their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and submit them to the archive using this Google Form or by emailing

COA COVID-19 Oral History Project is a collection of traditional oral history interviews and casual multi-person conversations to document the COVID-19 experience among the COA community (students, staff, faculty, trustees, and alumnx). The resulting materials will be collected, preserved, and made publicly available by the College of the Atlantic Archives. 

If you are interested in being interviewed, please email

About the Archives and Special Collections

Mission Statement

The mission of the College of the Atlantic Archives is to collect, preserve, and make accessible materials documenting the history, organization, policies, people, and development of the College.

The mission of the College of the Atlantic Special Collections is to collect non-college materials that are unique, valuable or fragile and relevant to the College’s teaching and research interests.

The Archives and Special Collections seek to serve as the ongoing institutional focal point for the documentation, study, and appreciation of the history and activities of College of the Atlantic.

College Archives

The College Archives contains records from the founding of the College through the present day. These records hold information about the College’s history, organization, policies, people, and development.

  • Academic and administrative records
  • Minutes, charters, and records of committees and groups
  • Senior projects and graduate theses
  • Student and college publications
  • Maps and architectural drawings
  • Photographs and audiovisual materials
Special Collections

The Special Collections contains materials of unique value supporting the core teaching and research interests of the College.

Two prominent collections are the Rare Books and the COA Authors Collection.

  • The Rare Book collection consists of non-college published books that are unique, valuable or fragile and relevant to the College’s teaching and research interests. Placement in the collection is guided by criteria regarding the scarcity, research value, physical characteristics, and condition of materials.
  • The COA Authors Collection contains publications (self and professionally published) written by COA faculty, staff, students, and alumnx. The COA Authors Collection is a non-circulating, in-library use collection. Thorndike Library will add a separate copy to the main circulating collection at the library staff’s discretion, bearing in mind accepted collection development criteria. In the case of authors who are contributors to anthologies, textbooks or book compilations, the library will endeavor to acquire a copy for the general collection provided the materials fit with the Thorndike Library’s collection development criteria.

Using the Archives

Visit the Archives
  • The college archives is open to the COA community and the general public by appointment only. Email to schedule an appointment.
  • Access to records that contain sensitive information and/or are confidential will be determined by the Archivist and Library Director.
  • Researchers are not allowed to have food or drink when viewing archival materials. 
Reproduction of Materials

All reproduction of materials requests must be submitted to the Archivist. 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.

Services provided by library:

  • photocopies and digital scans of letter- and legal-sized materials
  • digital scans of photographs

Notice Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions:
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Permission to Publish

Separate written application for permission to publish material(s) from the Archives must be made to the Archivist. The definition of “Publish” is the distribution of, or intent to distribute, any number of copies of a work, either by sale or for free. If your use of materials may result in a published work, please inform the Archivist. You will be asked to complete a Permission to Publish form.  Please note that it is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain all copyright clearances before publishing and submit those permissions with the Permission to Publish form.


The Archives holds the ownership rights to materials, not necessarily the copyright. To determine the copyright status contact the Archivist. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain necessary copyright permission before using the material for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, and/or research.

Archival Material Loans

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 pre-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.

Donating Materials to the Archives

Faculty and Staff Papers

The College Archives is interested in materials from faculty and teaching staff that document the academic efforts of the college. These materials are an essential part of the historical record of the college.

  • Administrative materials: documents related to work done for the college (new programs and initiatives), memos and notices about departmental policies and meetings
  • Biographical materials: CVs and resumes, interviews and oral histories, photographs, personal writings (memoirs, diaries, and journals)
  • Course materials: course proposals, course syllabi, notes and outlines, classroom materials (assignments, exams, handouts, reading lists)
  • Research materials: research proposals and planning documents, lab and field notebooks, reports of findings, manuscripts, grant applications and reports
  • Scholarly materials: lectures, presentations, speeches, talks
Student Materials

The College Archives is interested in COA-related materials from students, student organizations, and alumnx that document the student experience and activities of student organizations on the COA campus.

Student Papers

  • Biographical materials: CVs and resumes, interviews and oral histories, personal writings (memoirs, diaries, and journals)
  • Ephemera: pins, banners, commemorative items
  • Photographs and audiovisual materials

Records of Student Organizations or Publications

  • Bylaws and charters
  • Minutes and notes
  • Reports of official activities
  • Publications (newspapers, newsletters, magazines)
  • Membership lists
  • Organizational histories
  • Photographs and audiovisual materials
Deaccessioning of Materials

Material that does not fit the scope of the collection policy, duplicates materials already in the collections or poses a preservation issue will be deaccessioned. These materials will be transferred to another repository, returned to the donor (per Deed of Gift), sold, or destroyed.

What the Archives does not collect

Transitory records
These are records of temporary value. They are created for reference, used to prepare and finish a project, or to complete a routine task. They do not contain significant value once they have served their primary purpose. These are NOT official copies of records that contain historical value.

Duplicate materials
The Archives maintains up to 2 duplicate copies of materials in the archival collection. Duplicate materials of College and student publications are included in the COA Collection, which is accessible in the library stacks by anyone for in-library use only.