Areas of Collection: Brooklyn College | Brooklyniana | Brooklyn YWCA | The Robert L. Hess Collection | Historic Manuscript Collection | Rare Book Collection | The Stuart Schaar Collection | Digital Collections
Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections seeks to document the rich history of Brooklyn College through collecting and preserving departmental records and the papers of faculty and alumni. Other major areas of collection include Brooklyniana, the Historic Manuscript Collection, the Rare Book Collection, the Robert L. Hess Collection on Ethiopia & the Horn of Africa, and the Stuart Schaar Collection on the Middle East and North Africa.
A limited number of Finding Aids are available online. A Finding Aid is a document which provides detailed information about the contents of an archival collection. A list of the Finding Aids currently available online can be found below each collection description.
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The majority of our holdings document the history of Brooklyn College. This includes official reports and publications, student newspapers, departmental records, artifacts and photographs. The papers of noted faculty including Procope Costas (Classics), Allen Ginsberg (English), and Alfred McClung Lee (Sociology) are housed in the Archives as well.
Brooklyn College Alumni
Brooklyn College Faculty
Other collection areas include:
In our efforts to document the borough of Brooklyn, the Archives has amassed photographic collections, community and county histories, a sizable map and genealogical collection, and the papers of noted Brooklyn legislators and civic leaders.
In the fall of 2010, the Brooklyn YWCA deeded 150 boxes (approx. 500,000 items) of their historical material to the Brooklyn College Library. These materials document the history of the Brooklyn YWCA from its founding to the present day. Founded in 1888, the Brooklyn YWCA provided much needed services for women in a changing industrial world. At the forefront of education, affordable housing, child care, suffrage, and civil rights, this organization was and still remains integral to the empowerment of women in Brooklyn.
Visit Our Brooklyn YWCA Blog for more information.
The Current Finding Aid can be accessed here: The Records of the Young Women’s Christian Association of Brooklyn.
Robert L. Hess, a noted scholar of Ethiopian History, served as Brooklyn College President from 1979-1992. This collection of over 5,000 rare and out of print books and journals includes the memoirs of Italian colonial officials and soldiers, linguistic texts, travel accounts, histories, and a sizeable number of books written in Amharic. For more information about the Hess Collection, please visit the Hess Collection page.
The Historic Manuscript Collection contains the papers and memorabilia of individuals of national and social importance including the papers of child psychologist Dr. Lauretta Bender, mountaineer Annie Peck Smith, and Civil War soldier Captain James M. Pettit.
Brooklyn College has also amassed many boxing related manuscript collections including the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive, the world’s largest and most comprehensive boxing collection.
There are about two thousand volumes of rare books housed in the Archives. This collection includes titles of significant literary, historical, geographical, and scientific value.
Upon retiring from Brooklyn College, Professor Schaar of the History Department donated his book collection and personal papers to the Library. His collection consists of approximately 4,000 books and periodicals and 77 boxes of manuscript material. The collection also includes a large number of diverse and eclectic works of art from the region.
Visit our Brooklyn College DSpace Digital Collections page to view digitized photographs and documents depicting Brooklyn College’s early history, student activities, Country Fair, famous alum William Alfred, and the Farm Labor Project.
Brooklyn College's NYC Heritage Digital Collections page contains Brooklyn Democratic Party Scrapbooks and BC Student Handbills. These digitization projects were supported in part by funds from the Metropolitan Library Council (METRO) through the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program.
The Brooklyn College Student Handbill Collection is comprised of handbills that demonstrate student involvement in anti-war rallies, fascism, threats to the United States, inhibitions, defending professors, aid to the Chinese, academic freedom, and much more.
This digital collection contains the scrapbooks of Brooklyn Democratic Party leaders George A. Wingate, John B. Johnston, and Patrick Quinn. The collection contains clippings, pamphlets, tickets, endorsements, and a wide variety of ephemera from the Brooklyn Democratic Party from 1888-1966.