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Archives & Special Collections

What are Archives and Special Collections? 

The Archives & Special Collections serve as the repository for the institutional history of Stevens Institute of Technology, the history of the  Stevens family of Hoboken, and the history of science and technology as it relates to the Stevens community.  

Archives are the collections of historical records that are established to document the lives of individuals and organizations. Archives are comprised of primary source materials which have been created and compiled by individuals, families, and organizations over the course of everyday life and business. The University Archives preserves the history of Stevens Institute of Technology and include records such as departmental records, campus photographs, correspondence, ephemera, and university publications (yearbooks, Stute newspaper, and Stevens Indicators).  

Special Collections include rare books, manuscripts, papers, historical artifacts, and other items that are of unique value and importance to the study of subjects that are within our scope of collections (link out to scope of collections policy here).  

Due to the unique and sometimes fragile nature of Archives & Special Collections these materials do not circulate like the main library collection and must be used only under the supervision of an archivist and by appointment only.  

Mission

The Archives & Special Collections department actively collects, preserves, engages in outreach, and makes available primary source materials that document the wide-ranging institutional history of Stevens, and the Stevens family of Hoboken. Furthermore, the Archives & Special Collections is responsible for arranging and describing the unique historical collections and artifacts of Stevens as they continue to grow in adherence to our scope of collections and records management policies. Part of our mission is to instill a sense of pride and knowledge about Stevens and its rich heritage and legacy, and to help promote the history of Stevens through various forms of outreach which include exhibitions, event programs, tours, classroom instruction with primary sources, and social media.  

Accessing the Collections 

Our collections are non-circulating but can be accessed through appointment by Stevens Institute of Technology students, faculty, staff, and the general public. 

How Do I Schedule a Research Appointment? 

It is strongly advised that appointments be made at least one week in advance to ensure collections are available for research. Use our online finding aids to request specific items from our collections. We ask that you follow our reading room rules to ensure proper care of materials. Be aware that digital surrogates may be used as an alternative to physical items if they are deemed too fragile for handling. If you are unsure how to request materials or need help navigating our collections, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. 

Please use the Research Request Form to schedule an appointment or more information.

Finding Aids

A finding aid is a document containing detailed information about a specific collection within the Archives. Finding aids in the Archives & Special Collections typically include a description of the collection, biographical information, historical context, restrictions on the use of or access to the materials, and a detailed container list for the materials arranged by box and folder numbers. Researchers can use this information to determine whether information within a collection is relevant to their research. 

History of Collections

The library at Stevens (now the Samuel C. Williams Library) has collected archival and special collection materials and artifacts since the official opening of Stevens Institute of Technology in 1871. Since then, there have been many efforts by early library staff to collect, catalog, preserve archival materials and to create a department within the Library to focus on archives and special collections.  

Historical collections were first acquired under the guidance of Stevens’ first professional Librarian, Enid Mattice Hawkins in 1907. Hawkins spent close to 40 years at Stevens developing the Library collection, and during that time period the Library acquired some of their most important historical collections which include: The Stevens Family Collection, the John W. Lieb Memorial Collection of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Frederick Winslow Taylor Collection. In addition, Hawkins established the Stevensiana Collection in 1932, which contains materials that document the institutional history of Stevens and includes photographs, university publications, faculty work, and documentation of student and campus life.  

In 1946, Frances Ida Duck succeeded Hawkins as the Head Librarian and steward of the historical collections. Ms. Duck worked hard to organize and index the historical collections according to the standards of her time, and to make them more accessible. Her passion and devotion to the history of Stevens was an asset throughout her career, as was her impeccable memory of the institutional history of Stevens. In 1952, an alumnus and former faculty member Samuel C. Williams (Class of 1915) was appointed as the Curator of Special Collections for the Library, and his motivation to build a new library building became his mission, and with the help of Ms. Duck they were able to achieve their goal. The new library opened in May, 1969 and was named the Samuel C. Williams Library after the former curator who passed away in 1968 before seeing the completion and opening of the new library building dedicated in his name. After Samuel C. Williams passed away, Frances Duck was appointed as the Curator of Special Collections, a position she stayed in until 1971. She spent the last three years of her time at Stevens dedicated to laboriously organizing and managing the historical collections, an effort to which she brought great passion.  

Although the department of Archives & Special Collections wasn’t formalized until later, there were many early efforts of Library staff that first saved these materials allowing for this department to be created and the collections accessible, and we are especially indebted to Ms. Hawkins and Ms. Duck. Both women had the keen foresight to take on the collecting and preservation of these early and unique collections that are still an invaluable resource for our university’s history. 

SCOPE OF COLLECTIONS POLICY 

The scope of collections policy is a tool to guide the Library Archives & Special Collections staff in acquiring new accessions and strengthening our collections. It is our goal to focus on areas of historical research and artifacts that complement, support, and expand our existing collections in a logical manner, and provide a balance between our available resources, commitments, and the future research needs of the Stevens community. As we continue to grow our collections and work on filling gaps in the historical record, the Archives & Special Collections has also developed a more robust and selective scope of collections policy and donation guidelines which serve as our guide in the selection process.  

The following subjects form the core of our collections:   

  • Institutional history of Stevens (University Archives)  

  • History of science & technology as it relates to Stevens alumni and faculty  

  • Voices of Castle Point - Oral History Project 

  • Student life, organizations & clubs  

  • The History of the Stevens Family of Hoboken  

  • History of Industrial Engineering & Scientific Management (Frederick Winslow Taylor Archive)  

  • North Jersey Embroidery Archive 

  • Science & Technology during the Renaissance & Enlightenment Era (The John W. Lieb Memorial Collection of Leonardo da Vinci)  

*See “Donation Guidelines” for further details/criteria of what we accept including format types. 

UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES 

The University Archives is responsible for documenting the history of Stevens Institute of Technology and serves as the collective institutional memory of the university.  Archivists identify, collect, and preserve records of permanent value to ensure that future generations of researchers can access the historical evidence and to maintain the knowledge about Stevens and its rich heritage and legacy. 

In addition to collecting faculty-related records as well as administrative and academic departments on campus, the University Archives also actively collects past and present student life and student organization materials in a variety of media. These materials are essential to presenting a more well-rounded accounting of Stevens history, as told through the eyes of its students, that is oftentimes missing from the institutional record. 

Below is a list of the types of records/collections that are included in the University Archives. For more detailed guidance on what we collect and accept as donations, please review the donation guidelines here (include hyperlink to donating guidelines here).  

The University Archives includes: 

•Departmental Records   

•University Publications 

•University Photographs 

•Audiovisual materials 

•Stevens memorabilia 

•Student Life - Student Activities  & Clubs/Organizations 

•Campus-wide events involving staff, faculty and administrators 

Oral Histories  

•Stevens Alumni collections 

•Faculty Papers 

•Presidential Papers 

•Theses & Dissertations  

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS  

The Special Collections include unique and rare materials which includes manuscript collections, rare books, historical artifacts, and paintings. Many of these collections were donated over the years by descendants of the Stevens family of Hoboken, Stevens faculty, Stevens alumni and Board of Trustees members and their family members. For more detailed guidance on what we collect and accept as donations, please review the donation guidelines here (include hyperlink to donating guidelines here).  

Special Collections include: 

  • The Stevens Family Papers 

  • The John W. Lieb Memorial Collection of Leonardo da Vinci 

  • The Frederick W. Taylor Collection  

  • Babylonian Cuneiform Collection 

  • The U.S.S. Monitor Drawings Collection 

DONATION GUIDELINES  

Archives & Special Collections collects the papers and other records of individuals, institutions, and organizations associated with Stevens Institute of Technology and the history of science and technology. We welcome donations of collections or individual items that fall within the collection scope of the department and directly complement our historic collections. 

Where do our collections come from?  

Most of the collections within Archives & Special Collections were donated by individual alumni and their families. Others were the result of appeals by Library staff over the years to student organizations, academic departments, and other members of the Stevens community and Stevens family descendants for items of historic value. Although some areas are well-represented in our collections, there still exist a number of notable absences. It is the goal of Archives & Special Collections to actively discover and rectify these gaps in the historical record so our collections better reflect the rich diversity of life at Stevens. 

Whether they are hand-made scrapbooks, photographs, faculty papers, or student organization records, we welcome these types of donations as a means of promoting access to the past and future history of Stevens Institute of Technology. 

Archives & Special Collections: What we Collect 

UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES DONATIONS:  

  • University publications 
  • Newspapers (The Stute)  
  • The Stevens Indicator  
  • Yearbooks  
  • Student publications 

*Please note that the archives already have many copies of each university publication, but we might be interested in volumes that are in better condition than our current holdings.  

Departmental Records  

  • Official correspondence  
  • Press releases  
  • Official Memos  
  • Ephemera related to events   
  • Photographs (physical and digital) 
  • Directories  
  • Marketing materials/brochures  
  • Audio-visual materials  
  • Moving Images  
  • Commencement Programs  
  • University annual reports  
  • Strategic & master campus plans  
  • Campus architectural & design plans  
  • Campus maps  
  • Stevens Public Relations & Events Photographs  
  • Building & Campus photographs  
  • Stevens Memorabilia  

Student Life/Student Organization Records  

  • Charters 
  • By-laws 
  • Constitutions 
  • Mission statements 
  • Meeting minutes 
  • Correspondence 
  • Histories 
  • Other founding documents 
  • Flyers, posters, and other ephemera  
  • Scrapbooks 
  • Photographs (physical and digital) 
  • Audio and video recordings (physical and digital) 
  • Student publications and zines 
  • For digital media, contact the Archives & Special Collections staff to arrange for the transfer of files. 
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DONATIONS:  

Due to space and limitations on resources all faculty/alumni collections will need to be selected in a case-by-case scenario using some of the guidelines as follows: 

Alumni & Faculty papers (case-by-case, as discerned by the Archives & Special Collections staff) 

  • Research value of the collection  
  • Faculty/alumni member’s record of service to Stevens and contributions to its growth and development. 
  • Faculty/alumni member’s record of service and contributions to the community, state and/or national affairs.  
  • Faculty/alumni member’s national or international reputation. 
  • Faculty/alumni member’s represent diversity and inclusion at Stevens. 
  • Stevens-related postcards  
  • Stevens-related scientific models  
  • Stevens-related (including the Stevens family) photographs  
  • Stevens-related (including the Stevens family) posters  
  • Stevens-related (including the Stevens family) engravings  
  • Stevens-related (including the Stevens family) lithographs  
  • Stevens-related (including the Stevens family) historical artifacts & paintings  

Rare books that are related to science and technology during the Renaissance or Enlightenment Era or Leonardo da Vinci   

Excluded Materials/Formats: 
  • Textbooks 
  • Non-permanent records 
  • Personnel files  
  • Student records such as grades, papers, final exams, transcripts or other student records that include private information or personally identifiable information that is confidential under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Acts (FERPA).  
  • Budget reports or any other documents containing sensitive financial information. 
  • Vendor invoices and receipts.  
  • Non-Stevens related materials 
  • Faculty book collections (except copies of their own published works) 
  • Personal book collections  
  • Duplicated materials already held in the archives  
  • Obsolete media formats (as discerned by the Archives & Special Collections staff) 
  • Atlases & Globes  
  • Plaques, awards, or trophies 
  • Home furnishings  
  • Furniture pieces  
  • Travel souvenirs 
  • Artwork (case-by-case, as discerned by the Archives & Special Collections staff)  
  • Clothing & textiles  (case-by-case, as discerned by the Archives & Special Collections staff) 
  • Slide-rules 
  • Scientific instruments (case-by-case, as discerned by the Archives & Special Collections staff) 
  • Materials in poor condition, showing evidence of mold, mildew, pests, significant embrittlement, or otherwise damaged beyond repair.  
  • Materials to which access is restricted in perpetuity or for a period of time deemed by the Archives & Special Collections staff to be beyond a reasonable limitation. 

*Criteria partially adapted from the Brooklyn College’s Collection Development Policy  

Oral History Collection  

The Library Archives & Special Collections collects oral histories from past and present Stevens students and other members of the Stevens community for the Voices from Castle Point project. If you would like to share your story, contact Leah Loscutoff, Head of Archives & Special Collections at lloscuto@stevens.edu or visit the Voices from Castle Point website. 

The Library Archives & Special Collections will actively collect and preserve these records to make them accessible to future generations. We are actively looking for more documentation on Stevens history, so please contact us with your donation inquiries and questions.  

Citation, Duplication, Costs

Citation 

For citing images used from the Stevens Archives & Special Collections please follow the format below: 

Title of item, Date. Collection name, Collection No. S.C. Williams Library at Stevens Institute of Technology, Archives & Special Collections, Hoboken, NJ.    

Duplication Policies 

Archives & Special Collections provides staff-mediated photocopying and digitization services. The use of digital cameras without a flash is permitted. 

All duplication of materials in Archives & Special Collections is done by staff only, and the library reserves the right to refuse a copying order if in the staff's judgment, fulfillment of the order would violate copyright law, or if size or condition of the material does not permit safe copying. 

Turnaround time for standard digitization or photocopying orders is four working days. 

Costs 

For patrons requesting photocopies or digital scans by telephone request or email: $.25 per page with a minimum cost of $10.00. 

Contact

For more information, please contact:

  • Leah Loscutoff, Head of Archives & Special Collections:  (201) 216-5416, lloscuto@stevens.edu 
  • Ted Houghtaling, Archivist & Digital Projects Librarian:  (201) 216-5415, thoughta@stevens.edu 
     

To Request a Research Appointment use the form link below:

https://stevens.libwizard.com/forms/previewmode/3a312d880a48cd4ddafbd1f1f49c4f8d