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 Butler University, its programs, facilities, and people. Butler University 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 and available online through WorldCat. Many collections are augmented by detailed checklists and inventories, which are available on-site, as well as through the Digital Collections page on the Libraries website.
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 Published or unpublished books, papers, poems, or compositions by Elijah Jordan, John E. Potzger, Michael Schelle, Allegra Stewart, Emma Lou Thornbrough, Alice Bidwell Wesenberg, and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, and students); and other university publications, including the alumni magazine, class schedules, and bulletins. The Buildings and Grounds Collection, available online soon, 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 and cataloged in WorldCat Discovery, and some also have supplementary access lists; these are available in the Special Collections and Rare Books Room, as well as online, as digitization initiatives move forward.
Descriptions of the collections, appropriate search strategies, and available access lists can be downloaded (pdf) below
- Eliza Blaker Collection Guide
- Hilton U. Brown Collection Guide
- Ovid Butler Collection Guide
- Howard Caldwell/Tony Hinkle Collection Guide (coming soon)
- Will D. Howe/Irvington Athenaeum Collection Guide
- John E. Potzger Papers Collection Guide (coming soon)
- Butler University Women's Faculty Club Collection Guide
- Butler University World War II Service Ledgers Collection Guide
- Butler University Jordan College of Fine Arts: A Chronological History of the Development of the College by Dr. Jack Eaton