The archival collections contain a multitude of documents and artifacts that relate to Wheaton College and its long, spirited history. These include administrative records of Wheaton Female Seminary and Wheaton College; College publications; papers and manuscripts of the Wheaton family, as well as of alumnae classes and faculty; photographs, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia; audio and video tapes of Wheaton events; materials related to student organizations and academic pursuits; and the records of the Alumni Association.

Collecting Policy

The Archives consists of the non-current historical and administrative records of Wheaton Female Seminary, Wheaton College, and the Alumnae/i Association, as well as associated nonofficial records and papers that relate to the history of the institution.  Publications of the College, records of the founding of Wheaton Female Seminary and of the Board of Trustees, administrative records, and photographs, sound recordings, films, and videos form major portions of the collection. The collections do not circulate. For more information, please read the more complete Collecting Policy.


The Gebbie Archives & Special Collections are maintained on their own level of the Madeleine Clark Wallace Library at Wheaton College. Visitors should proceed to the Stair Tower, and walk down two levels from the Main Level of the Library.

Directions to Wheaton College

Handicapped access is available, but not via the public elevator in the Stair Tower. Visitors with special needs may call (508) 286-3712 in advance, or ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk.

Meet the Archivist

Mark Armstrong, Archivist & Records Manager

Phone: (508) 286-3713


Information for Patrons

Audio and multimedia reproduction

Loan and listening/viewing copies of audiotapes and multimedia are made for research purposes only. Ownership of the copies is   retained by the College Archives, unless specific arrangements are made in advance. Permission to reproduce and or quote from the audiotapes and or multimedia must be obtained in advance from the College Archives.

Copyright use and statement

Wheaton College maintains and offers access to its collections in order to support education and scholarship. Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.).

The use or reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, and college policy.

Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires written permission.

The Wheaton College Library may charge permission or use fees for commercial use of materials in its collections.

Class use of the collections

Faculty are welcome to hold class sessions for the use of archival and special collections materials in the Gebbie Reading Room. Archives staff will prepare presentations, or make available material for use in a class by faculty or students. If desired, the Archives staff will also visit classes to explain the use of the collections for primary research. A limited number of seminars may be scheduled to meet in the Gebbie Reading Room. Please contact the Archives well in advance to arrange a mutually convenient time for your class or program.


Selected materials may be copied for research use only if the items can bear the stress of copying. Permission to photocopy must be obtained from the Archives staff, which reserves the right to limit the number of copies made for any patron. Copies are made for the use of the individual researcher only; they may not be consulted or reproduced by, or transferred to, any other person or institution without written permission.

Individual researchers

The unique and often fragile resources of the Archives and Special Collections must be used in the Gebbie Reading Room. Titles in the special book collections may be found in the Library’s online catalog. Information about the archival and special manuscript collections is available upon request.

Research inquires received by mail, phone, or e-mail will be handled as time, staff availability, and the fragility of the materials allow. When making such a request, please consider the amount of research or photocopying that would be required. The small size of our staff may limit our ability to fulfill some requests.


No Archival or Special Collections materials circulate. Loans are made only under the most exceptional circumstances, and must have the permission of the Archivist. Limited photocopies of some materials may be provided.


Books, manuscripts, or archival materials may be set aside for use in the Gebbie Reading Room as part of a class assignment. Materials will be available during normal open hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30). Please contact the Archives staff well in advance to choose materials and make arrangements for your class reserves.

Restricted records

Several archival and manuscript collections contain materials under restriction. A researcher may submit a written request for access to restricted records. This request will be sent for approval to the appropriate officer, with the recommendation of the Archivist.

Rules and guidelines for use of the collections

The Archival and Special Collections are non-circulating.
Researchers should complete a registration card at their initial visit.
No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room.
Only paper, notebooks and pencils, or laptop computers may be used in the Reading Room. Both wireless and network ports are available in the Reading Room.
All manuscript materials and books must be read at tables in the Reading Room.
Archives staff will instruct users in the proper handling of archival and special collections materials.

Scanning services

The Gebbie Archives & Special Collections has limited resources for scanning. For this reason only a small number of records will be scanned.

Outside Resources

  • American Women a resource from the Library of Congress for the study of women’s history and culture in the United States.
  • Historical Societies in Massachusetts a large database of registered historical societies in Massachusetts.
  • The Library of Congress provides research material and an updated database on every topic within the Library of Congress.
  • The National Archives holds the records of the United States Federal government. In Addition, it provides online access to numerous manuscripts, works of art, and Federal documents.
  • Massachusetts Historical Society provides research resources and access to rare documents and artifacts.
  • National Women’s History Museum an educational institution dedicated to “preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into the nation’s history”.
  • Norton Historical Society a collaboration between the Norton Historical Society and a Wheaton College computer science class, the website provides a look into the history of Norton, as well as the Norton Historical Society.
  • Your Old Books a guide produced by the Rare Book and Manuscript Section a section of the Association of College and Research Libraries provides information about identifying rare books and how to care for them.


Monday — Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday — Sunday: CLOSED. Other hours are available by appointment.

Contact Us

Marion B. Gebbie Archives & Special Collections
Madeleine Wallace Clark Library
Wheaton College
26 East Main Street
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-2322

Phone: 508-286-3712