Archives & Special Collections

Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Curation, Preservation, and Archives department collects, houses, and preserves artifacts and historical records that chronicle the University's history since its establishment in 1865, as well as manuscripts, rare books, art, and other collections.

University Archives

The University Archives' holdings include early school records, academic and administrative departments' records, student and alumni organization records, and the papers of past WPI presidents. Also among the holdings: Yearbooks, school newspapers, alumni publications, photographs, and WPI memorabilia.

Special Collections

The Special Collections' holdings include a rare book library that consists of roughly 4,000 old and unique editions ranging in topics from science and technology to American and British literature to the histories of Worcester and New England. One of the oldest books in the library is the 1561 edition of De Re Metallica, a text on mining, which was written by Georg Agricola.

Our manuscript collection includes faculty and alumni papers, a Worcester corporate archive, and art and literature collections.

Other notable special collections at Gordon Library: The Fellman Charles Dickens Collection, the Brenner Sculpture Collection, the Woodbury Collection, and the Theo Brown Diaries Collection.


We host exhibitions of WPI-related history in our Gladwin Gallery. Recent exhibitions include: Worcester's Morgan Construction Company, the Thomas Card Camera Collection, and the Theo Brown Diaries.


Not everything in the collection is digitized, so if you are searching for a resource and can't find it, please ask us for help. We will attempt to track it down for you or direct you to another helpful resource.

For more information about the Library's Curation, Preservation, and Archives department or to schedule an appointment, please call +1-508-831-6112 or e-mail us at

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