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Using the Collections

Researchers, dive into Rollins and Winter Park history with primary source materials in our physical and digital collections.

Collection Guides

Our collection databases can help you narrow your search. Learn more about what you can find in each collection:

Archive at Rollins College (ARC)

A database of finding aids for our physical holdings that include collection descriptions, scope and contents, and may have box and folder inventories.
ARC User Guide.

Digital Archive Collections

A platform dedicated to collections of digitized materials documenting the history, art, treasures and student and faculty life of Rollins College and Winter Park.

Rollins Scholarship Online RSO)

A platform for collecting, describing, organizing, and sharing works that document the scholarly, creative, and professional activities of Rollins faculty, staff, and students.

Collections Overview

Our holdings cover a wide range of physical and digital materials, including documents, manuscripts, photographs, audiovisual recordings, maps, architectural drawings, scrapbooks, newspapers, books, and more. For an overview of the Archives’ digital collections, visit Online Collections.

The College Archives, which serves as the institutional memory for Rollins, houses the permanent records of most of the College's administrative and academic offices, and those of faculty and student organizations. Alumni Relations, Health Services, Human Resources, and Student Records maintain their own permanent records. The Archives also collects College publications and maintains complete sets of its yearbook, the Tomokan, and the student newspaper, The Sandspur.

The Rollins Collection holds the published works of Rollins students, faculty, staff, and alumni, including the complete works of Rex Beach, a novelist and alumnus, and A.J. Hanna, a faculty member, college vice president, alumnus, and historian. Among the student writings are Honors Program and Master of Liberal Studies Program theses and selected research papers.

Created by A.J. Hanna, the Florida Collection consists of books, monographs, pamphlets, and maps related to the history of the state. Among the most prized items of the collection is Volume II of Theodore de Bry's America. Printed in 1591, it is one of the first published accounts of the lives of native Floridians.

Historical photographs are a rich resource for Rollins history. With photographs dating from the late 1800s to the present, the collection offers a wealth of visual documentation for the study of Rollins, Winter Park, and, more generally, Central Florida. The Department has the capability to provide photo-quality scanned images of items in the collection.

The Rare Book Collection includes early printed books and other printed materials, medieval works, early Florida titles, and volumes from the Day Library (the College’s first collection).

The Department holds the collections of William Sloane Kennedy, a writer and scholar, and a close friend of Walt Whitman. Through funds from a special endowment, the Department actively acquires scholarly publications on the lives and literatures of both Walt Whitman and William Sloane Kennedy.

Collection Use Policies & Procedures

If you have any questions on our policies, please contact us.


Located on the first floor of Olin Library, most of the Archives’ collections are open for research to the Rollins community and general public without restriction. All researchers using the collections in the Archives Reading Room are required to:

  1. Complete a User Registration Form
  2. Present a valid photo identification (driver’s license, student or faculty R-Card). 
    Exceptions are described in the Access Policy for Permanent College Records.

Within the Reading Room:

  1. The researcher will respect the fragile nature of material held by this Department, will refrain from marking it in any way and will maintain the order of the material.
  2. No material may be removed from the Reading Room.
  3. No ink may be used on or near this material. Pencils and paper will be supplied.
  4. Briefcases, bags and backpacks are not permitted in the Reading Room. Lockers are supplied for personal belongings.
  5. The researcher is expected to be familiar with obligations imposed by the laws of libel and copyright infringement.
  6. In many cases, the College does not hold the literary rights to manuscripts held in the Department’s collections. Therefore, the Department retains the right to refuse reproduction of any material for purposes outside the purview of Sections 107 or 108 of the Copyright Act of 1976.
  7. No manuscript material will be published or reproduced in any form without the Department Head’s prior authorization.
  8. Mutilation, destruction and theft of materials are subject to prosecution.
  9. Smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited in the Reading Room.

Collection Development

The Department collects non-current College records and current and retrospective materials in all forms and in subject areas that support the teaching and research needs of the users of the Olin Library. Materials are acquired through purchase or gift, in accordance with the Department’s Guidelines for Collection Development (PDF).

Donating Materials

For information concerning donations, please contact the Head of Archives and Special Collections, Wenxian Zhang.

Reproductions and Publication

Researchers may request copies of materials for research or publication purposes. Charges to reproduce items for publication vary by item type, the type of organization requesting use, and intended use. See the Duplication Fee Schedule for detailed information.

Digitized materials accessible in our Online Collections are provided solely for personal study, research, and teaching. In making these materials available, the Archives does not thereby grant permission to reproduce or redistribute, in part or in full. See the Materials Use Policy for conditions governing re-use of online collection materials.

Researchers wishing to reproduce materials for publication must complete an Application for Permission to Publish.

Working with Primary Sources

Primary sources offer a firsthand account of events from the perspective of participants or eyewitnesses, which can be found in a variety of formats. View our examples of primary sources.

The citation guides below can assist with citing archival materials for papers, projects, and publications: