Archives are generally defined as a collection of documents or records, often historical, providing information about an individual, place, institution, corporation, organization, or group of people.
Special Collections refers to any cohesive collection of research materials linked by origin or by a thematic focus.
Both specialize in collecting primary source research materials.
* For more information and additional definitions visit the Society of American Archivists Dictionary of Archives Terminology
See our brief, general introduction, All About the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections.
Image shows a collage of select images from University Archives
University Archives documents the records and history of Ohio University, including its students, instructors, staff, administration, events, and organizations. Ohio University students are living history. For example, you could contribute to our COVID-19 Archive which seeks to document student experiences during the pandemic. See what your fellow students have submitted, and consider making your own contribution!
Image shows a collage of select images from Manuscript Collections
Manuscripts are archival collections without a direct correlation to Ohio University, although many do have local and regional relevance. Both types contain records in a wide variety of formats, from correspondence and meeting minutes to photographs, ephemera, and memorabilia.
Image shows a black and white Lynn Johnson photograph of Fred Rogers Fred Rogers talking to a group of students in a Chicago elementary school classroom during Heroes project visit, 1994
The Documentary Photography Archive contains materials that document the history, content, and techniques of documentary photography.
Local Government Records contain select government records from counties located in southeastern Ohio including Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingam, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington.
Image shows a collage of select items from the rare book collection
Special Collections at the Mahn Center primarily refers to the Rare Book Collection. Rare Books is a broad category that is a bit more difficult to define. It includes, for example:
Miriam Intrator is Special Collections Librarian for Rare Books and can help you with any rare book questions.