Archives & Special Collections

Welcome to Archives and Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections serves as the institutional memory of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and curates the university's collection of manuscripts, rare books, art, and objects.  Our staff is committed to the preservation of the historical and cultural resources produced by WPI faculty, students, and staff while also providing support for primary source education and research.  We also partner with campus units to enrich events with WPI history, curate exhibits, and foster community engagement.  Access to our collections is available via the Fellman Dickens Reading Room or through Digital WPI, our online institutional repository.

Thank you for visiting and please let us know if we can be of any service,

Arthur L. Carlson

University Archivist



Collection Guides

Use ArchivesSpace to find manuscripts and university archives for research


Digital WPI

Find digitized WPI publications, historical photographs, Dickens novels, and manuscripts


Library Catalog

Search the library catalog for rare books, publications and other special collections


The Odyssey of Naudin Oswell

WPI Archivist Arthur Carlson has made notable discoveries about Naudin Oswell ’30, WPI’s first black graduate. Despite facing racial discrimination, Oswell rose to hold significant positions in public housing and finance. “This isn’t just about celebrating Naudin Oswell’s achievements,” says Carlson. “It’s about understanding the struggles that led to those achievements.” Read more in this remarkable story.