Butler University Archives

Service Guidelines

The Department of Special Collections and Rare Books also administers Butler University's Archives. Established in 1987, the archives preserve the institutional, physical, scholarly, and, to some extent, the personal history of the university, its programs, facilities, and people. Butler opened its doors in 1855 as a fully coeducational school. Much of the university's history is intertwined with the growth of transportation, communication, business, and cultural institutions in Indiana.

The archives hold a considerable amount of historical materials that are of interest to local and regional historians, and to scholars and biographers in general. Most holdings are cataloged on-line. Many collections are augmented by detailed checklists and inventories, which are available on-site and, as they become available, via the Special Collections and Rare Books webpage.

Many Butler University faculty members, research scientists, poets, or composers have achieved lasting fame beyond regional boundaries. Published or unpublished books, papers, poems, or compositions by Elijah Jordan, John E. Potzger, Michael Schelle, Allegra Stewart, Emma Lou Thornbrough, Alice Bidwell Wesenberg, and other scholars of note are kept in the archives. Papers by and about Hilton U. Brown, of newspaper history fame, and Catharine Merrill, appointed in 1870 as Demia Butler Professor of English Literature, one of this country' s first full professorships specifically endowed for a woman, are also available.

Also available to researchers are The Drift, Butler's yearbook; the Collegian, the school newspaper (available on microfilm); biography files (including faculty, staff, students); and other university publications (including the alumni magazine, class schedules, and bulletins). The Buildings and Grounds collection contains articles and photographs documenting the histories of Butler's campuses and buildings.

Listed below are some of the major collections in the archives. Materials are described in the University's on-line catalog, and some also have supplementary access lists; these are available in the Special Collections and Rare Books Room and, as they become available, via the Special Collections and Rare Books webpage.

For descriptions of the collections, appropriate search strategies, and available access lists, click on the appropriate links.

*Note: To view the PDF files, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader.
You can download a free copy from Adobe's website.


Last updated June 28, 2012.