Archives & Special Collections is open to the public regardless of institutional affiliation. In addition to providing research and curriculum support for WPI students, faculty, and outside researchers, Archives & Special Collections also provides assistance to University administration to insure the preservation of records of permanent historical value.  Outreach events such as Homecoming and Alumni Weekend are enriched by “pop-up” exhibits curated by Archives & Special Collections staff. 

Collections may be examined in the Fellman Dickens Reading Room during walk-in hours or by appointment.  Access to collections may be restricted due to institutional mandates or condition.

Research Support

Appointments

While it is not necessary to schedule a research consultation during the hours the Reading Room is open, appointments provide ASC staff with the time needed to search, verify and pull requested materials, allowing researchers to maximize their scheduled visit time.  To request an appointment please e-mail archives@wpi.edu.

Virtual Research Service

Researchers unable to visit Archives & Special Collections in-person may submit research and digitization requests by emailing archives@wpi.edu or calling +1-508-831-6112. ASC staff may perform up to 30 minutes of research on behalf of a distance researcher without charge. Requests are queued at the discretion of ASC staff. Additional research time may be available for a fee.

Administrative support

Records Transfer and Archiving

As keeper of institutional memory for WPI, Archives & Special Collections identifies, collects, and manages university records.

Records take many forms, may be physical or digital, and can be created by anyone with a connection to WPI. Some types of records, such as meeting minutes, reports, publications, some web pages, images, recordings, student work, and correspondence (including emails and tweets) may require permanent retention. These records also often have access or use restrictions that need to be managed and maintained over time. ASC staff refers to these types of files as records of enduring value and considers them to be critical to the continuing operations of WPI.

Working closely with Information Technology Services, Archives & Special Collection is committed to identifying and preserving the most important, at-risk, and permanent records of WPI. ASC staff can assist with assessing legal, administrative, and historical record retention requirements, as well as arrange for the transfer of records to the Archives.

Outreach support

Archives & Special Collections can provide temporary, curated exhibits of archival or special collections materials to enrich important events on campus. Please contact ASC staff as early as possible to enable adequate time to identify appropriate items, assess their condition and prepare them for display.

Loans

Items from archival and special collections may be available for exhibit loan or long-term installation (i.e. artwork in campus offices and meeting spaces). Loans and installations are prepared at the discretion of the ASC staff, may incur preparation or installation fees, and are made only to faculty, staff, and Student Activities-sponsored organizations.

Archives & Special Collections is unable to loan materials to student project groups or individual students. For students wishing to use collection materials in a class presentation or project, ASC staff may be able to coordinate display of original items within the library, as well as provide digital representations for use in presentations. 

Digitization

Archives & Special Collections actively digitizes portions of WPI's records, image collections, and historical publications, as well as selections from the personal papers and corporate archives collections. Digitization is carried out as part of both departmental initiatives and in response to digitization on-demand requests. Researchers may submit an on-demand digitization request of collection materials for review by ASC staff. Approved requests are normally completed within 10 business days, are delivered digitally, and are subject to digital reproduction fees. 

Items already digitized and made available to the public for personal research and non-commercial use can be accessed via Digital WPI.

Commercial use of digitized materials is subject to a rights, usage, and fees agreement. Contact archives@wpi.edu for more information regarding commercial use including digital and print publication and distribution.