Sentimental journey

How our college archivist held onto the past for the future

Zephorene Stickney Helmreich, now retired college archivist and special collections curator, in her office in the Madeleine Clark Wallace Library (Keith Nordstrom photo)

Zephorene “Zeph” Stickney Helmreich in August 2018 retired as the college archivist. We were touched by the tribute to her written by Kate Boylan ’04, director of the archives and digital initiatives—especially the part about how Stickney Helmreich inspired her while Boylan was an English major at Wheaton, ultimately leading her into a career that has come full circle. Here, she walks us down memory lane in the Marion B. Gebbie Archives and Special Collections, which is a major educational resource for students, faculty and alumni that continues to evolve in the hands of Boylan and Mark Armstrong, archivist and records manager. And just for fun we asked Stickney Helmreich, Boylan, Armstrong and work/study student Anne Tucker ’20 to share their list of favorite items from the archives.

>> Read Kate Boylan’s post about Zephorene Stickney Helmeich

The archives by the numbers
  • 100 manuscript collections
  • 392 small manuscript collections
  • 420 students had classroom instruction as part of a course from either Kate Boylan, Zephorene Stickney Helmreich or Mark Armstrong so far this academic year
  • 1350 A.D. date of oldest item, an English hymn to the Virgin Mary
  • 1,500 linear feet of archival material located off-site
  • 4,000 linear feet of shelving on-site